Strive for Your Golden Crown

Golden crown, as used here, is a reference to the great blessings that God has for those how obey His word, after they are saved (see I Cor. 3:11-15).

In James 1:12, James has his readers to understand that believers are likely to have some trials that they are called to endure with hope in the promised crown of life. The key idea throughout this series of devotionals is that we should remember that the crown is greater than the enduring of the trials.

In this devotional, let's focus on striving for our golden crowns. We ought to rejoice that those of us who have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith will have eternal life.

We ought to thank God that no matter what happens in our lives, we have a home not built by the hands of people. I John 5:11-12 teaches that eternal life is in the Son, He who has the Son has eternal life.

However, Paul lets us in on a secret in I Corinthians 3:11-15. He taught us that there will be a Judgment Seat of Christ, where the lives of believers will be scrutinized from their conversions until their deaths.

Get it good now, if one was a "rascal" from birth to age fifty, but at age fifty he or she accepted Christ as savior, and then the person died at age sixty then the Judgment Seat of Christ is a scrutinizing of age fifty to sixty. Somebody ought to say, “Thank You, Lord” (smile).

Now at this Judgment, which is different than the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelations 20-:11-15, the question is have you been building up gold, silver, and precious stones, or have you been collecting wood, hay, and stubble?

The way we collect gold, silver, and precious stones is by enduring the trials of this life in ways that bring glory to the Lord. God gets the glory, when in spite of tears running down our faces, we still strive to wipe the tears of our brothers and sisters.

God gets the glory, when, even though our hearts are heavy, we still strive to love our neighbors, to feed the hungry, to cloth the naked, and to stand with the weak and mistreated.

God does not get any glory, when we cuss and fuss our way through trials like those without Jesus. God does not get any glory, when we fall by the way side and try to smoke and drink our problems away. Gold, silver, and precious stones have been promised for those who endure the trials of this life.

I believe that this is what James was talking about when he mentioned the crown of life. Salvation is not based on enduring trials, but rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ are.

There is great joy in knowing that when we finish the trials and tribulations of this world that there is a golden crown that makes our troubles worth bearing.

Self Examination
On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how are you doing with getting ready for your golden crown?

What are you going to do to improve?

Prayer
Great and awesome God, the One who generously rewards those who obey You, it is to You that I pray. Thank You for allowing my moments to roll on.

In spite of Your grace towards me, I must confess that I have too often lived a life worthy of only wood, hay, and stubble. I have tried to live by my own rules and for my own ambitions. Please forgive me for these and my many other sins.

Help me to live a life worthy of a golden crown. Help me to focus on loving You, myself, and others. In the name of Your Son and my Savior, Jesus, amen.

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