And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” – 1 Cor. 9:25
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We’ve been talking about crowns. We know that they were worn by priests, kings and queens, and victors in games like races. We, too, who follow Christ are priests, royalty (1 Pet. 2:9), and victors (1 John 5:4)! And the crown with which we are adorned now proclaims our holiness to the Lord; it sets us apart from the world.
Sometimes we see that the crown is not all beautiful. Being holy to the Lord may at times mean the crown which we wear is a crown of thorns. When the Jews ridiculed Jesus for being King, they placed a crown of thorns on His head (Mt. 27:29). It had to have hurt.
When we set ourselves aside for the Lord’s holiness, we may be mocked and ridiculed like Jesus was. And we may have to suffer adversity and even pain. Remember that the afflictions of the righteous are many (Ps. 34:19). But the Lord delivers us out of them all.
Christ had to endure a crown of thorns, but “In that day the Lord of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people” (Isa. 28:5). And if we are faithful to the Lord until death, we, too, will be able to exchange our crown of thorns for a crown of glory – one that is imperishable (Rev. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:25).
The ultimate crown that we will receive is our heavenly reward. “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 only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8).
Do you want to exchange your crown of thorns of adversity, hardship, and suffering for a beautiful crown of glory, like the Lord? Is a crown of righteousness laid up for you in heaven?
You can have a crown of righteousness, if you obey the Lord Jesus. Believe that He is Lord. Repent of your sins. Confess His sweet name. And be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. The Lord says “be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
“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