When the Spartan king advanced against the enemy…
…he always had with him someone who had been crowned in the public games of Greece. And they tell us that when a Lacedaemonian from Sparta was offered a large sum of money on condition that he would not enter the Olympic lists, he refused the bribe.
After the final match, having with much difficulty thrown his antagonists in wrestling, one put this question to him, “Spartan, what will you get by this victory?” He answered with a smile, “I shall have the honor to fight foremost in the ranks of my prince!”
The honor which appertains to office in the church of God lies mainly in this, that the man who is set apart for such service has the privilege of being first in holiness of example, abundance of liberality, patience of long-suffering, zeal in effort, and self-sacrifice in service.
O, Thou gracious King of kings, if thou hast made me to minister in thy church, enable me to be foremost in every good word and work, shunning no sacrifice, and shrinking from no suffering. May I live always unto thee.
–Adapted from the writings of C.H. Spurgeon.