The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

09/07/2009

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A Good Crowning


"In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim 4:8).

One of my mom's last warnings before some discipline was on the way was a stern, "I'm going to crown you!" I don't know if it was singular to her or a common term of warning, but I know that I did not want to get "crowned." Maybe since that bears a negative connotation, it is not the best segue into today's devotional, it will nonetheless have to do...The second letter to Timothy is Paul's last epistle. As we get into the fourth chapter, we find his last recorded words. It is not surprising then that he talks of what lies ahead for him after death.

Continuing with the same figure of speech, Paul uses the metaphor of the wreath given to the winner of a race, and makes the comparison to the "crown of life." It is a crown given as a reward for a life well lived.....For a righteous life....As the runner looks to the crown of victory, so is he looking here to that special crown designated for all who have "loved His appearing." Isn't it a wonderful and secure to know that God will fulfill His promise to His children? As he nears the end of his life on earth, Paul looks to the future. He looks both for himself and all those who share his faith.

"And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away" (1 Pet. 5:4). Believers are born again, not only to a hope but also to the inheritance that is the substance of the hope. The inheritance is eternal----in it's essence and preservation. It is not subject to decay as we know it. So Peter also tells us here about the crown. This time he uses the idea of the "Chief Shepherd" (Jesus) returning. One of our rewards on that day will be a "crown of glory." It is a crown bestowed by Jesus, and unalike the laurel crown given to the winner of a race, it will never wither.

"Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends" (Phil. 4:1). Another interesting use of the term crown is found here. Paul finds his crown in those that he loves. More than likely, Paul had a hand in their coming to the Lord and he ties in the word crown with the word joy. The crown that we hope to some day wear should indeed be a joy to us. It helps us to focus our minds on heavenly things.

Finally, Jesus Himself offers the "crown of life" to all those who remain faithful (Rev. 2:10). Again it is symbolic not of a royal crown worn by earthly kings, but to that rewarded to the winners in athletic contests. If you pardon the pun, this is the crowning touch for me. With an athletic back round, I love to feel that when my life comes to an end, that Jesus will view me as a winner....

Have a wonderful day....Let your light shine for Him.....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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