“When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away" (1 Peter 5:4).

Who is the Chief Shepherd? It’s Jesus. When will he appear? His coming is imminent. What will the faithful elder receive? The crown of glory. What will be its quality? It will never fade away. Two thousand years ago the winner of an athletic event received a victor’s crown made of leaves or flowers (they did something similar for the medal winners at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece). Sometimes it would be withered parsley, sometimes myrtle, sometimes roses or oak leaves. But the leaves and flowers would soon fade, and the triumph would be forgotten. So it is with all things earthly.

Spiritual leaders are often unappreciated in this life. The world does not notice their work. Even in the church we often overlook those who labor for Christ. But when Jesus returns, those who have served Christ faithfully will be vindicated openly. The crown they receive will last forever, and their labors on earth will never be forgotten. The slightest deed done in Jesus’ name in the remotest corner of the earth will be remembered because God writes it down in his book. He sees it all, not just the glamor, but the work of faith, the labor of love, and the patience of hope. Not even a cup of water offered in his name goes unnoticed. It’s all written down waiting the final reward.

The Chief Shepherd watches over his flock.
He knows those who labor for him.
They may feel forgotten, but he sees them.

Do you feel like no one notices what you are doing?
Keep going, keep believing, keep serving, keep giving.
The Chief Shepherd has his eyes on you.

Help us to serve you gladly today, knowing that nothing done in Jesus’ name is done in vain. Amen.