Yesterday, we began our look at five eternal "crowns" set aside for God's servants. After listing the first three crowns again, I'll add the final two and offer a brief explanation of each.
1. The Imperishable Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)
2. The Crown of Exultation (Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19–20)
3. The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7–8)
4. The Crown of Life (James 1:12)
This wonderful reward awaits those saints who suffered in a noble manner during their earthly life. The significance of this reward is not only related to the words perseveres under trial but also the words those who love Him. This crown is not promised simply to those who endure suffering and trials . . . but to those who endure their trials, loving the Savior all the way! Therefore, loving the Lord and having the desire that He be glorified in and through the trials become the dual motives for the believer's endurance. Those saints who qualify (and the Lord is the Judge!) will receive the crown of life.
5. The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1–4)
This reward is promised to those who faithfully "shepherd the flock" in keeping with the requirements spelled out in verses 2 and 3. Those under-shepherds who fulfill these qualifications (willingness, sacrificial dedication, humility, an exemplary life) will receive this crown of glory.
After receiving these crowns, what then? Look at Revelation 4:9–11:
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
What a scene! All God's servants are before His throne. What are they doing?
- Strutting around heaven displaying their crowns? No.
- Separated from one another, like peacocks, proudly displaying their tangible trophies? No.
The servants are bowing in worship, having cast all crowns before their Lord in adoration and praise, ascribing worth and honor to the only One deserving of praise—the Lord God!
Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com
Used with permission. All rights reserved.