FOR THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM: CROWNS OF REWARD
BIBLE READING: 2TIMOTHY 4:6-8; 1PETER 5:1-4; REVELATION 2:10; 1CORINTHIANS 9:24-25; 1THESSALONIANS 2:19-20
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:17 (NKJV).
The greatest honour in life, second only to being a born again child of God, is the privilege of being in His Service. However, having a Crown is evidence that one is qualified to rule with the Lord and has finished his God-given Assignment on Earth. It is trite law in the Kingdom that what you don’t know, you cannot inherit. We have highlighted below the Crowns available to Believers to aid your pursuit:
1.THE CROWN OF LIFE: The Crown of Life or Martyr’s Crown is for believers who go through persecutions and various forms of trials for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom. These are people that love Jesus so much and are ready to pay any price. People may have mocked them and done all sorts of things to them but they take it all with joy. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus told one of the churches about the tough and harsh things they were going to suffer for the Sake of the Gospel: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life” Rev.2:10 (KJV).
2.THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: The Crown of Righteousness is a Reward from the Lord Jesus to Christians who faithfully fulfil God’s Divine Purpose for their lives. Apostle Paul in his second epistle to Timothy his spiritual son, aware of his imminent execution at the hands of Emperor Nero, emphasized his readiness to be reunited with the Lord Jesus Christ and claimed the Crown of Righteousness. The conditions for this Crown are that we fight the Good Fight of Faith (see 1Tim. 6:12), finish our God-given Assignment and we must have kept the Faith (see 2Tim. 4:7).
3.THE CROWN OF GLORY: This Crown is also referred to as the Shepherd’s Crown. This is Jesus’ Reward to those who have been faithful in spiritual oversight. In other words, this is His Reward to those who faithfully execute the office of a spiritual elder or pastor (specifically) and those who faithfully look after a group or groups of believers placed under their care (generally). People who qualify are those who manifest the Attributes of the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who feeds and cares for His sheep. This involves having a pastoral heart (see Jn. 21:15-17).
4.THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN: This Crown is also referred to as the Imperishable or Victors Crown and the Reward from the Lord Jesus to those who sacrificed greatly in order to successfully complete the call and mission that God had called them to accomplish. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an Imperishable Crown.” 1Cor. 9:24-25 (NKJV). Just as we respect, honour and pay these athletes for performing for us, God the Father will also be rewarding some of His own spiritual athletes if they are willing to go that extra mile for Him to complete what may be a difficult mission or call.
5.THE CROWN OF REJOICING: This Crown is also referred as the Soul Winners’ Crown and the Reward from the Lord Jesus to those who are instrumental in getting others saved and into His Sheepfold. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 (NKJV), The Apostle Paul called those he led to Christ his “joy” and his “crown of rejoicing.” “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming? For you are our glory and joy.
O Lord, please give us the privilege to live and die for You. Reveal to me Your Divine Call upon my life and grant me the grace to fulfil it that I may qualify for the Crown of Righteousness. I ask that You instill within us the pastoral heart that we may genuinely care for Your Sheep and the Grace to sacrifice greatly in bringing others to You in Jesus’ Name. Amen.