What About the Crown?

“Do not fear what you are about to suffer… Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” “I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.  The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” Revelation 2:10; 3:11-12

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

“And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:4

Crown: a reward of victory or mark of honor; a royal or imperial headdress

A life intent on the crown is one planned with holy inspiration and executed with intention. When we believe and are saved, we receive the Spirit of God, who infuses us with a passion to live for our King and endeavor to please Him. He implants vision for our royal purpose and heavenly course, discipline for the training, and endurance for the race. Our goals increasingly do less with temporary and self, and more with everlasting and Him. Our efforts take on higher dimension, geared more toward the unseen than the seen, on the lasting over the temporary. (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Our Jesus laid aside His glory to wear a crown of thorns. He bore our sin and died, so we could rise to receive from him a crown of righteousness, eternal life, and glory. The rewards for which we live are crowns bestowed by God’s grace alone, honors we will one day lay at His feet when we see Him face to face as reigning King of kings. (1 Corinthians 3:10-16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-11; Revelation 3:21; 4:9-11)

How does the promise of crowns motivate us to live, or change the way we live, today? What self-serving pampering, what transitory pleasures, what near-sightedness or pettiness, need transformation? Would the hope of reward, and offering them in gratitude back to Jesus, infuse in us endurance for suffering and steadfastness for every trial here below? Whom will we run alongside to race well together? How are we spurring one another on to a victorious finish? (Hebrews 10:23-25)

“Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save;
his glories now we sing
who died and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of years,
the potentate of time,
creator of the rolling spheres,
ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
for thou hast died for me;
thy praise shall never, never fail
throughout eternity.” ~Matthew Bridges (1851)

Father, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown, may I live my days for crowns to offer You on that day. (Isaiah 28:5)

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