The Victor’s Crown

[441 words]

God has promised us many wonderful blessings in His word. The grandest blessings are reserved for those who are faithful to Him unto the very end. One of these grand blessings is the crown of life. This was the promise to the church at Smyrna who was suffering and would suffer even greater things in the future. To them the word of exhortation is given, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: and behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). God’s people cannot be defeated. We may be persecuted, troubled on every side, tormented, and sometimes disheartened, but if we remain faithful, we are set for victory! “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Athletic games were held near Corinth in the first century that were the predecessor to our modem Olympics. Paul compared the crown of life that we will receive to the victor’s wreath that the winner received in these games. It is amazing that men will discipline themselves, go through all sorts of pain, and make tremendous sacrifices for a garland crown of flowers and momentary glory. Paul said, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25). Christians, instead of striving for earthly glory, make sacrifices for the eternal “crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4). What a delight it is to see those who have overcome all the trials and temptations of life welcome death because of the eternal rewards that lay just beyond the passage. When Paul was at that juncture, he declared, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

James 1:12 declares, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those that love him.” Are you striving to win the victor’s crown that the Lord will give those who overcome?

Mark Day
Flatwoods church of Christ
Flatwoods, KY

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