Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Have you ever dreamed to be a prince or a king, just to have the privilege to put a crown on your head? To say honestly, I have never had such dreams. I do not like to use a hat during the chilly days, so why to have a crown. It’s heavy!
However, we have a promised crown. And what a special crown! It has different names in the Bible. Once it is called ”the crown of glory”, another time ”the crown of righteousness”. And this is the crown that apostle Paul was sure of. But I dare to say that before we can take this crown, we have to use the other crown that apostle Paul has written about and is adorned with eight different jewels with the greatest diamond in the middle.
Romans 5:1-5 (NIV) — Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
I underlined those jewels in the text and made them bold. Just try to imagine such a crown that shows the characteristics of our new personality given to us by Jesus as a result of our fellowship with Him. The old proverb says that by spending time with somebody we become like this person. So if we are in connection with Christ, we receive or accept His personality traits.
Usually jewels are not a subject of my great interest, though I know and agree that they are beautiful. But we may have them in our crown today:
the first one — is the peace in our hearts. How much we need it today!
the second one — is our faith that gives us an access to His grace. There is no need to talk about the essential role of grace in our life.
the third one — is the hope of the glory of God. As Adventists we talk about hope quite a lot and
we dream about benefits of this in the future.
the fourth one — is sufferings and difficulties we often face, sometimes because of following Jesus.
the fifth one — is perseverance. But isn’t it the characteristic of the remnant church, characteristic of the saints, for this is what the Scripture says about us in the end time.
the sixth one — is character, changed because of the work of Christ in us. It made us willing to serve the others and forget about ourselves.
the seventh one — is again hope, maybe hope for the end of sufferings, maybe for being more patient? But surely for being part of the glory of God.
the eighth one — is the biggest, for it is God’s love that embraces us if only we invited Jesus into our hearts and He made such crowns of jewels for everyone.
We cannot dream about the crown of righteousness if we are not going to use the crown of peace, faith, hope, suffering, perseverance, character and God’s love. And do not worry about how we’ll manage to wear the crown of righteousness. For anyhow we’ll put it back to Jesus as the only One who is worthy to have it. He gave us all what we needed and equipped us with characters represented by these jewels. Let’s praise Him for all of this.
Everyday we pray for you all. Stay faithful and healthy.
Pastor Roman Chalupka