Monday, February 17, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings February 17, 2014

Victory with Jesus Christ

We are in the full swing of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It is amazing watching all of the skilled athletes at the top of their game striving for medals. We are all watching as they smile in victory or grimace in defeat. Regardless of the outcome, we are proud of these talented few who have made it to the Olympics.

Meanwhile, there are others athletes at home that may have decided for one reason or another that they could not spend the time or energy required to reach that level of success. It may not have seemed worth the cost of sacrificing one’s life just for the temporary glory of competing on the world’s stage.

While we may not be as talented as those competing in Sochi or as willing to put forth the effort, there is another important arena and an honor with your name on it! The Judgment Seat of Christ is where we all must give an account of our lives to Christ. This is where we get our crowns for good service to God. Did we take the easy way? Did we just do enough to get to heaven? Did we strive and do everything that we could to please our Savior?

 The Bible speaks of several crowns that will be given:[1]
·  The Incorruptible Crown (1 Corinthians 9:25), is a special crown given for faithfulness
·  The Crown of Exultation or Rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19; Philippians. 4:1) is for sharing the Gospel, follow-up, and ministry to others
·  The Crown of Life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10) for enduring trials and overcoming temptation.
·  The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy. 4:8) is given for faithfulness to use our gifts and opportunities in the service of the Lord and for loving His appearing.
·  The Crown of Glory (1 Peter. 5:4) is for pastors for their faithfulness in completing their responsibilities in shepherding the people.

We are so very happy for all of those who participated in the Olympics and all of those who prepared through the trials, but most of all, we want to get our crowns at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We are looking for Jesus to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23). 

Please comment below and share how you decided that, most of all, you wanted God’s rewards and encourage others to look for and work toward God’s eternal crowns of victory.

2 Corinthians 5:9-11
New International Version (NIV) 
9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.

Revelation 22:12
New International Version (NIV) 
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

Matthew 25:23 (NIV) 
New International Version (NIV) 
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’


No comments: