By Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise: And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1st Peter 5:4
2Timothy 4:7-8 (KJV) : 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.
In several passages of Scriptures, the Christian life is compared to being engaged in a sporting activity, particularly the analogy of running a race. In other to finish strong like Apostle Paul did, we need to pay close attention to these analogies and apply their lessons to our Christian life. 1st Corinthians 9:24-26 makes it clear that everyone that participates in a race does so for the purpose of winning. It also says that winning requires serious training and perseverance.
Furthermore, this passage states that of the many participants in the race, only one person emerges as winner. 2nd Timothy 2:5 reveals that you must play according to the rules and regulations of the game to be declared the winner. From Hebrews 12:1-3, we understand that we must have our minds set on the reward in order to endure the rigours and pains of training. 2nd Timothy 2:4 says athletes must observe a discipline, controlled, and regimented lifestyle like soldiers while preparing for a competition. You need to measure your Christian life by these analogies to know how well you are fairing in the race to Heaven. You should not be satisfied with just being a Christian who enjoys the support and encouragement of the spectators only; your ultimate goal should be to make it to Heaven and receive the crown of righteousness. You should be prepared for rigorous training in the word of God, and persevere through the process of sanctification. Like the eagle, you should take the flight towards Heaven as a personal endeavour and ignore the multitude. You must strictly obey every detail in the word of God without reservation. Your mind must be fixed on the crown of righteousness and the glory that awaits the saints in Heaven, so that you can finish your course in this world with joy. Furthermore, you must submit yourself to the discipline, control and regimented lifestyle described in the word of God and as directed from time to time by your divinely appointed coach: the Holy Spirit.
The crown of righteousness is something of value promised to every Christian that would serve God faithfully in this world and endure the persecutions and tests of faith that comes with following Jesus Christ. This crown is meant for those who would joyfully accept discipline and training in righteousness, those who will remain obedient to the word of God regardless of the dictates of popular culture, and soul winners determined to sacrifice everything in order to make Heaven. I hereby pray for everyone who is earnestly looking forward to eternal life, that you will not lose your crown in Jesus’ Name.
Prayer Point : Father, please help me to pay the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and help me make it to Heaven in Jesus’ Name.
OPEN HEAVENS, Friday 18,August 2017