After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus when he comes back again. For you are our pride and joy. - 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
The Thessalonian converts were Paul’s crown, and they gave him much joy: When Paul spoke of the Thessalonian believers as a crown of joy, he was thinking of his reward as an evangelist. Some have a special gift for evangelism, but we are all to be witnesses and win people to Christ. Those who do this will experience “much joy” when our Lord Jesus returns.
What other awards will be given in heaven? A crown of righteousness will be given to all who have been eagerly looking forward to Christ’s second coming (2 Timothy 4:8). You could call this a “crown of readiness.” Those who have cared well for God’s flock, the church, will receive the shepherd’s crown (1 Peter 5:1-4). God will give a crown of life to those who “patiently endure testing” (James 1:12).
During the Oscar presentations, I have been struck by the way every recipient takes the platform to thank the people who have made it possible for him or her to win. When the “heavenly Oscars” are presented, all of us will want to take our opportunity to thank the one who made it possible, the Lord. And unlike the earthly Oscars, the heavenly Oscars have no limit—there are plenty of rewards for everyone! Everyone, that is, who is faithful to the Lord.
For Further Study: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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