2. Crown of Rejoicing – Souls (I Thessalonians 2:19)
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?
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.
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. Paul 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.
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”.
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 her”; “I led him to Christ”; “I discipled and built them up.” 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. The glory of any teacher is his pupils. The glory of any pastor is those who have come to know God through his preaching. When we stand before God at His throne, our crown of rejoicing will be those whose lives we have touched for Him.
PRAYER: Father, give me the wisdom and power for winning souls. 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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