2. Crown of Rejoicing – Souls (I Thessalonians 2:19) – PART 3
I Thessalonians 2:19, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”
At God's coming, we will experience the realization of our 'hope', supreme 'joy', and crown of rejoicing. We will soon be presented with this crown. The word crown refers to the reward given to the winner of a race. It would be similar to the awarding of a gold medal in the Olympic Games. The picture is that we are in a contest, a spiritual struggle, against Satan for the souls of men. Paul was rejoicing for the souls that had been saved. He was declaring that the most esteemed prize in his trophy case was this crown for winning souls. Those who have won souls to Christ will be given this crown that is offered before Christ at the Judgment Seat. So, we must strain and strive for the souls of men.
As an evangelist made his way across the states preaching in churches, he heard more and more of the testimonies of believer’s being converted in Sydney, Australia. He heard over and over of an elderly man who faithfully handed out Gospel tracts to people as they entered and exited from the subway. The evangelist was touched how that one man was making such an impact for the Lord in Sydney. The evangelist prayed that if the Lord ever gave him an opportunity to visit Sydney, he would meet this man and rejoice concerning what he was doing for the Lord. That prayer was soon answered and the evangelist, while in Sydney, crossed paths with the elderly man at the subway station. As the evangelist spoke of the success of his ministry, the elderly man was amazed for he had no idea of the impact he was making for the Lord. Imagine, someone who stood by the subway made such an impact for the Lord in leading souls to Him.
Paul looked forward to the day when he would stand before his Saviour with the ones in which he had invested his life's work. Paul’s greatest joy was leading people to Jesus. Paul’s reward for being a bold believer was neither fame nor fortune. His reward was people whose lives had been forever changed by God through his ministry. Those whom he led to Christ were his crown of rejoicing. Paul’s converts were also his glory, which means the honor of his life was winning them to Christ. His converts were also his joy. As the Lord’s servant, you are precious to the Lord and precious to someone else as well. God blesses those who serve Him and He allows His servants to participate in winning people to Jesus. What an awesome privilege He has given to His church! It’s been said that, “Surely there can be no deeper joy than that of saving souls”. The joy of any teacher is his pupils. The rejoicing of any pastor is those who have come to know the LORD through his preaching.
The crown of rejoicing awaits the person who will be able to present souls to the Lord in that day; joining the Lord Jesus Christ with all the believers whom we have known, reached, and grown in Christ down here on earth. To offer to Christ all the dear people we have had a part in reaching and growing for the Lord. One of the greatest joys that we shall ever know is the joy of seeing lives that God has allowed us to touch and help. When we stand before God at His throne, our crown of rejoicing will be those whose lives we have touched for Him. Let us all ask God to touch our hearts and help us to win souls for Him. When I get to heaven, I want to see the full impact of what I’ve done on earth. I want to look around and say, “I invested in him”; “I led her to Christ”; “I discipled and built them up.”
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
PRAYER: Father, thank You for bringing me to a saving faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. That is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. Forgive me for not sharing the Gospel with others on a regular basis. Bring people into my life that I can talk about Your amazing love. Help me to live a life that brings You pleasure, may I manifest Your love through my life and cause others to see Jesus in me. In Jesus name, AMEN!
Thank you for reading this devotion. This is PART THREE of this series. Please visit the website tomorrow for PART FOUR.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.