Crowns of a Christian (I Corinthians 15:58) PART 1
I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
These series of devotions are excerpts from a sermon titled, “We may never have a Superbowl Ring, but, WE WILL ALL RECEIVE A CROWN!” The success of our lives is determined by how well we see into eternity. The only way to see into eternity is through the Word of God. The better you see into eternity the better your life is going to be. Matthew 6:19-20, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” The greater thought is that whatever wealth we might accumulate is certainly subject to deterioration or theft. It is temporal.
We ought to invest our lives in heaven where time and effort laid up is secure forever. The work and service done for Jesus Christ today is invested in Heaven. Though God does not have a payday, as such, for service to Him now, when we get to Heaven, there will be. Don’t be discouraged if it seems that no one notices your labors. One day God will give crowns of glory to those who love and serve Him. There will be a day in the future when all of our efforts, labors, and sacrifices made in service for God will be remembered, recognized, and rewarded. Whether or not anyone on this earth ever knows your name, you can be sure that God sees all that you have done and will greet you with the words, "Well done" (Matthew 25:21). Later tonight, one NFL team, the players and staff will receive a ring in the Superbowl. We may never have a Superbowl Ring, however, WE WILL ALL RECEIVE A CROWN!
1. Incorruptible Crown (I Corinthians 9:24-27)
STRIVING: Endurance and patience in Christian life. Those who strive lawfully or walk according to the Scriptures in this life will receive this Crown.
I Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
2. Crown of Rejoicing (I Thessalonians 2:19)
SOULS: For winning souls. The individuals won to Christ will be this Crown that is offered before Him at the judgment seat of Christ by the soul winner.
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?”
3. Crown of Righteousness (II Timothy 4:5-8; I John 3:2-3)
SEEKING: Looking for HIS return. Love His appearing. Those who live in such a manner as to love for Christ to come will receive this Crown.
II Timothy 4:5-8, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
4. Crown of Life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)
SACRIFICE: Persecution and martyrdom. This Crown will be won by those who dare to go against the world, flesh, and the Devil, and do not yield to the power of temptations.
James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
5. Crown of Glory (I Peter 5:2-3)
SHEPHERDS: Faithful pastors. This Crown will be won by those who study the word of God as a Pastor and feed the Church that the Holy Ghost has made them overseers of.
I Peter 5:1-4, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
Service for Christ now will be rewarded someday then in heaven.
Points to Ponder:
Without question, the best place to invest is in Heaven.
No earthly investment opportunity can ever match the yield God will pay for investing there.
If you lay treasures here on earth, eventually you will lose them – you can’t carry them with you.
Questions to Consider:
If you knew of a sure investment [that was full-proof] sure to pay off; would you invest in it?
If someone you confided in knew of such a venture and never told you…wouldn’t you be disappointed in them?
Prayer, Father, it is a great joy, honor, and privilege that You allow me to do any kingdom work at all. Forgive me for taking this honor and turning it into a burden. Create in me an attitude, Lord, that is joyful to serve You as a humble servant should. I’m blessed to have any part in the amazing plan You have for Your people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for reading this devotion. This is PART ONE of this series. Please visit the website tomorrow for PART TWO.
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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 with Christ.