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May 9, 1999

The Crown of Life

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Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life. JAMES 1:12
An athlete rises a little earlier than other people so he can condition and train. He puts himself on a strict diet for months, denying himself sweets and snacks. Finally, the day of the race comes and all the runners line up. The gun sounds and the athletes take off. For what? They are competing for a medal, perhaps even for a crown.
Throughout history, the crown is a symbol of royalty, victory, and reward. In the New Testament, five crowns have special meaning. All five are worthy of our attention and desire.
The imperishable crown is for the man or woman who runs the race of life and exercises self-control in all things (1 Corinthians 9:24—25).
The crown of joy is for those who have declared the gospel to nonbelievers (Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).
The crown of righteousness is reserved for men and women who have lived for Christ’s return. They have stayed focused, kept the faith, and finished the course of life (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
The crown of life is for those who have persevered under the trials and pressures of life James 1:12).
The crown of glory is dedicated to leaders who shepherd God’s flock willingly, sacrificially, and with integrity (1 Peter 5:1-4).
In a very real sense, every man or woman in the twenty-first-century marketplace should see him- or herself as a competitor for the crown of life. After all, the concept of reward is both biblical and effective.
Do you have your eye on the crown? Striving for the crown of life can motivate any of us on any given day at work.

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