Our Eternal Rewards

  • September 06, 2018
Thursday 06

Revelation 4:9-11

Throughout Scripture, we find references to crowns. Let’s take a look at how they reveal the eternal rewards of loving Jesus Christ and following Him obediently.

The Crown of Victory. To finish life well, believers need Olympic endurance. Athletes in those ancient games were crowned with a perishable circlet of laurel leaves. But when we pursue our God-given ministry and triumph over sin, we’ll be given an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

The Crown of Exultation. Any believers to whom we ministered through the power of Jesus will be “our glory and joy” before the Lord (1 Thess. 2:18-20). Just imagine how you will rejoice in heaven upon seeing and talking with the people you care about, who appreciate your spiritual investment in them.

The Crown of Righteousness. Following Jesus is not easy, but there is great reward for living righteously when facing temptation or hardship. Believers who pursue godliness can look forward to the life to come—and to meeting God with a pure conscience (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

The Crown of Life. Anguish and pain are unavoidable in this life, but we can take heart because much spiritual growth happens in adversity. Hang in there to receive the crown of life that the Lord promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

In heaven, what will we do with the crowns God has given us? We will cast them before Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10), laying them down as a tribute to the One who saved us, gifted us, equipped us, and lived in us. Everything good and right comes to us through the Lord, so He deserves our crowns.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 32-33

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9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,

10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."

25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;

27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

18 For we wanted to come to you--I, Paul, more than once--and yet Satan hindered us.

19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

20 For you are our glory and joy.

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

1 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first of the month, the word of the LORD came to me saying,

2 Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him, `You compared yourself to a young lion of the nations, Yet you are like the monster in the seas; And you burst forth in your rivers And muddied the waters with your feet And fouled their rivers.'"

3 Thus says the Lord GOD, Now I will spread My net over you With a company of many peoples, And they shall lift you up in My net.

4 I will leave you on the land; I will cast you on the open field. And I will cause all the birds of the heavens to dwell on you, And I will satisfy the beasts of the whole earth with you.

5 I will lay your flesh on the mountains And fill the valleys with your refuse.

6 I will also make the land drink the discharge of your blood As far as the mountains, And the ravines will be full of you.

7 And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud And the moon will not give its light.

8 All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you And will set darkness on your land," Declares the Lord GOD.

9 I will also trouble the hearts of many peoples when I bring your destruction among the nations, into lands which you have not known.

10 I will make many peoples appalled at you, and their kings will be horribly afraid of you when I brandish My sword before them; and they will tremble every moment, every man for his own life, on the day of your fall."

11 For thus says the Lord GOD, The sword of the king of Babylon will come upon you.

12 By the swords of the mighty ones I will cause your hordes to fall; all of them are tyrants of the nations, And they will devastate the pride of Egypt, And all its hordes will be destroyed.

13 I will also destroy all its cattle from beside many waters; And the foot of man will not muddy them anymore And the hoofs of beasts will not muddy them.

14 Then I will make their waters settle And will cause their rivers to run like oil," Declares the Lord GOD.

15 When I make the land of Egypt a desolation, And the land is destitute of that which filled it, When I smite all those who live in it, Then they shall know that I am the LORD.

16 This is a lamentation and they shall chant it. The daughters of the nations shall chant it. Over Egypt and over all her hordes they shall chant it," declares the Lord GOD.

17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth of the month, the word of the LORD came to me saying,

18 Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and bring it down, her and the daughters of the powerful nations, to the nether world, with those who go down to the pit;

19 Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down and make your bed with the uncircumcised.'

20 They shall fall in the midst of those who are slain by the sword. She is given over to the sword; they have drawn her and all her hordes away.

21 The strong among the mighty ones shall speak of him and his helpers from the midst of Sheol, `They have gone down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.'

22 Assyria is there and all her company; her graves are round about her. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword,

23 whose graves are set in the remotest parts of the pit and her company is round about her grave. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword, who spread terror in the land of the living.

24 Elam is there and all her hordes around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, who instilled their terror in the land of the living and bore their disgrace with those who went down to the pit.

25 They have made a bed for her among the slain with all her hordes. Her graves are around it, they are all uncircumcised, slain by the sword (although their terror was instilled in the land of the living), and they bore their disgrace with those who go down to the pit; they were put in the midst of the slain.

26 Meshech, Tubal and all their hordes are there; their graves surround them. All of them were slain by the sword uncircumcised, though they instilled their terror in the land of the living.

27 Nor do they lie beside the fallen heroes of the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war and whose swords were laid under their heads; but the punishment for their iniquity rested on their bones, though the terror of these heroes was once in the land of the living.

28 But in the midst of the uncircumcised you will be broken and lie with those slain by the sword.

29 There also is Edom, its kings and all its princes, who for all their might are laid with those slain by the sword; they will lie with the uncircumcised and with those who go down to the pit.

30 There also are the chiefs of the north, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who in spite of the terror resulting from their might, in shame went down with the slain. So they lay down uncircumcised with those slain by the sword and bore their disgrace with those who go down to the pit.

31 These Pharaoh will see, and he will be comforted for all his hordes slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his army," declares the Lord GOD.

32 Though I instilled a terror of him in the land of the living, yet he will be made to lie down among the uncircumcised along with those slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his hordes," declares the Lord GOD.

1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

2 Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, `If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,

3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,

4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.

6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand.'

7 Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.

8 When I say to the wicked, `O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.

9 But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

10 Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, `Thus you have spoken, saying, Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?"'

11 Say to them, `As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, `I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'

12 And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, `The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.'

13 When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die.

14 But when I say to the wicked, `You will surely die,' and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness,

15 if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.

17 Yet your fellow citizens say, `The way of the Lord is not right,' when it is their own way that is not right.

18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it.

19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them.

20 Yet you say, `The way of the Lord is not right.' O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways."

21 Now in the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth of the tenth month, the refugees from Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city has been taken."

22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me in the evening, before the refugees came. And He opened my mouth at the time they came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened and I was no longer speechless.

23 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,

24 Son of man, they who live in these waste places in the land of Israel are saying, `Abraham was only one, yet he possessed the land; so to us who are many the land has been given as a possession.'

25 Therefore say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD, You eat meat with the blood in it, lift up your eyes to your idols as you shed blood. Should you then possess the land?

26 You rely on your sword, you commit abominations and each of you defiles his neighbor's wife. Should you then possess the land?"'

27 Thus you shall say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD, As I live, surely those who are in the waste places will fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves will die of pestilence.

28 I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that no one will pass through.

29 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I make the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations which they have committed."'

30 But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, `Come now and hear what the message is which comes forth from the LORD.'

31 They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain.

32 Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them.

33 So when it comes to pass--as surely it will--then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst."

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Publish Date August 18, 2019
The Patience of God

Though God is just, He is also patient, giving us time to repent and turn toward Him.

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