The Prize

Tonight I was watching Dancing With The Stars.  When I was a child I attended the National School of Dance in my native country.  I learned ballet and African dancing.  My parents enrolled me in the school because they wanted me to overcome my shyness.  I love dancing.  And it seems like our toddler does to.

As the singer Brandy expressed her passionate desire and determination to win the coveted prize, I thought of the crown that was sought after by the apostle Paul.  He wrote to Timothy about it.  “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). 

James referred to the crown as the crown of life and tells us who will receive it.  “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).  Jesus said the same thing.  “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Peter mentions when we will receive it.  “and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:4).  This crown or prize is received after going through tribulation and testing yet coming through with your faith intact.  It is not perishable like the trophy the winning couple on Dancing With The Stars will receive after weeks of grueling practice sessions.  It is something that will attest to victory we have won over our enemy–it is for those who have overcome the world just as Jesus did.

Jesus encourages us with these words, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:11).  Hold fast to your faith–live in obedience, endure temptation so that when Jesus comes you will receive your reward.


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