Crowns of Life


Crowns of Life. What are your goals in this life? More importantly, what are your goals for the next life? Is there a next life--indeed there is!



12 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, ESV



Crowns of Life. What are your goals in this life? More importantly, what are your goals for the next life? Is there a next life--indeed there is! 



Crowns of Life - Blessed is the Man


James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who endures temptation.  


For the believer in James' day, temptation was a common occurrence. If one took that step to become a believer, they immediately faced trouble and persecution. The temptation, then, was to forget being a believer and go back to the standards of the culture in which they lived. 


Is this true of believers today? When I was a child, in the 1950's, one could hardly tell the difference between believers in Christ and non-believers. The moral ethics of the day were very close to Biblical standards. Oh, that did not mean that sin was not just as rampant as it is today--but, rather, sin happened mostly behind closed doors.


Is that still true of our 21st century culture? Absolutely not! Rather, the reverse is true. Marriage is no longer held sacred. A couple can choose to just live together or marriage can be between those of the same sex. Babies can be aborted at will, and the focus for life is on amassing as much fame and fortune as one can. That is assumed to be the path toward happiness!


The believers who choose to guide their lives by Biblical standards soon find themselves at odds with their culture. They may be mocked or even worse, fined or arrested for holding to their Christian standards as given in the Bible.


How do believers respond to this? Some choose to just go along with the flow so as to not receive any negative retribution. Others choose to defy the cultural norm and endure the temptation to give in. Rather, they set their eyes on Christ and seek to live in a manner which is pleasing to God in accordance with Biblical truths even if doing so might result in negative consequences.



Crowns of Life - Approved!


According to James 1:12, those who endure temptation are approved. In other words, God is actively involved in our lives, whether we love Him or not. God sees into our heart of hearts. Those who love Him and follow Him in spite of the culture in which we live are stamped, "Approved."


What matters the most to us? Are we willing to let these few years of life dictate our lives in such a way that we will spend eternity apart from God?


There is more to being a believer than just assenting to the existence of God. When we truly come to Christ, our new Master is the Lord Jesus Christ. Things which we once cherished no longer have the same meaning to us. In our heart of hearts, our chief desire is to follow God even if it puts us at odds with the current cultural norm.



Crowns of Life - The Reward!

The crowns of life are promised by the Lord to those who love Him. When all life is past, we will all stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ, who spent His own blood to purchase a people for Himself, will be our Judge, Jury, and, if needed, our Executioner!


Is this really true? Is there really Heaven or Hell after this life? Indeed, it is true! Are you willing to really take a chance by following the pleasures of this life for the few years you are granted to live and then miss the glories of Heaven forever?


Those who are truly believers, when receiving the crown of life from the Lord Jesus Christ, will cast those crowns at His feet in thanksgiving for what He gave for them.


One last thought - what about this life? What if we are tasked to endure great affliction, imprisonment, or even death? As threatening as that may be, the true believer in this life experiences true joy and peace, even in the middle of adversity.


It is not wealth, fame, beauty, or health that brings happiness to us. True happiness and peace only come from the Lord Jesus Christ. That happiness and peace is not for this life only, but will last for all eternity! How amazing is that!


What about you? Where do you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ? Go to Him today. Confess your sin and ask for His forgiveness. Ask Him to change your heart of stone into a heart of flesh. 


In spite of the possibility of persecution, I have never met a true believer who was sorry for the choice he or she made! I know that there are many who have left this earth and have instantly regretted their unbelieving state.


It is a very sobering thought, is it not?


God Bless You,

Linda




James 1 Devotionals

Peace, Love, and Joy - Verses 2-4

Wisdom from God - Verses 5-6

Rich and Poor - Verses 9-11

Crown of Life - Verse 12

Sin Brings Death - Verses 12-15

God is Good - Verses 16-17

Regeneration - Verse 18

Quick to Hear - Verses 19-21

Be Doers of the Word - Verses 22-25

Pure Religion is This - Verses 26-27



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Book of James

James 1

James 2

Daily Bible Devotions

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