|If you are ever looking for a fun movie, we rented one from a video store that has tons of old vhs tapes. This movie was Dr. Satan, who is an evil scientist, and it was a series of 15 cliffhangers from the black and white movie era. What fun, the robot rivaled Robbie the Robot, and after awhile we had fun watching the ending of one episode and the review at the beginning of the next and noticed differences in the action. The movie was classic good vs. evil and good won. I guess in a way that is the way the Bible works too. I have read the last page and guess what, good wins.
In the meantime I am learning just how much the tongue can get one in trouble. Sometimes I say things and wish I could take them back. Today is one of those days. It is very humbling, and even after apologies are made, it is still tough to realize that when you speak without thinking there are consequences. Some days are just harder than other days, and today was one of those.
I promised to talk about the crowns in Revelation 4. I am not a wearer of hats ordinarily even on the coldest days, but for some reason crowns are important in Revelation. Started me thinking about the different crowns mentioned in the Bible. Here are a few of them.
THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 2 Tim 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day, and not to me only but to all who have loved His appearing.
THE CROWN OF LIFE: James 1:12 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.
THE CROWN OF GLORY: 1 Peter 5:4 “…And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”
THE CROWN OF REJOICING: 1 Thes. 2:19 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?
THE CROWN OF LIFE: Rev. 2:10 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.
In Revelation the elders were casting their crowns at Jesus’ feet. Now one might ask, if we have earned crowns just to cast them at Jesus feet, why bother? Frankly, the crowns are earned for believing and loving God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If we are honest, all the good that we do is not of our own volition but of the Spirit working through us. They are not our crowns, but crowns we got obeying God. I just pray that my actions on earth are such that I have crowns to cast. God would love me whether or not I have crowns, but I really desire to do His will and work.
The crowns of the elders are gold. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ, Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
In the Day (the Day of the Lord) God will look at what we do and determine it’s worth. The work that God wants us to do is to believe on Him whom He sent (to believe on Jesus), but also to love, for that is how people will know us, by our love. Our works should be to honor God, to do God’s will. Sometimes when we work in our own understanding, even though the works are good, they may not be God’s best. If we are doing good works for praise, for elevation, for anything other than the serving of God, those works will not be enduring. I am praying that when the refiner looks at my works he sees his reflection in gold, or silver or precious stones. But please notice that God still loves us even when we muck up.
God is good in that He will look for the good in what actions we do for Him. Two examples. The Faith Chapter Hebrews 11, talks about various people who did actions by faith. An interesting study is to examine some of the lives of those mentioned as having great faith, even the stellar ones like Abraham (lied several times claiming Sara was his sister), but some of the others mentioned, Barak (whom Deborah had to shame into acting bravely – following her into battle), Samson who got seduced and disobeyed God’s commands for him, Gideon who laid down many fleece, Rahab who became part of Jesus’ genealogy, but she lied to save the spies. God examined these people, mistakes and all and only recorded their acts of faith in Hebrews 11, no mention of the mistakes. I am hoping that when God looks at my life, He too looks at the moments of faith and points them out, not my multitudinous mistakes.
Beth Moore in her Believing God Bible study says that we should add verse 41 to this chapter “By faith (fill in your name) and then fill in what you did for God by faith.
Also, when Jesus fed the multitudes the disciples did not have the faith to provide food for them, so Jesus met them where they could do works for Him. He had the disciples seat the people in order, and then to serve the food. Perhaps it is not the greatest service they could have done (for they could have had the faith to pray for provision for the multitudes), but they did what Jesus told them to do in obedience.
We have moments where we exhibit faith and are following God’s will, and moments when we are acting in our own understanding. God desires obedience, not sacrifice. He values our obedience to His Will.
As we grow in faith and learn to obey, we will be building our crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet. What a glorious day that will be.
Praying you have an awesome weekend.
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