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chick crown

I watched the news for a brief moment this morning and then, as is typical with me, grew weary of the pomp and circumstance of their viewpoints and political correctness. My heart breaks for victims of our societal woes and then ten second later you’re drawn into all the hoopla of Hollywood. We’re a messed up nation! The Oscar awards have certainly taken precedence over all media outlets with the award winners using their night of fame to further their cause or agenda. I guess it’s their party, but if it were mine I’d want to tweet something that had the tenacity to last. #OnlyHisAwardsMatter

There’s going to come a day when political correctness and the personal agendas come to a screeching halt. When the arrogance of man stands in humility before an Awesome God.  When those who are wreaking havoc on the world in the name of any other god will come face to face with the One and only God, Creator and Lord, Jesus Christ. Whew! That’ll preach won’t it. Tweet that Twitter!

We’ll have our own awards ceremony someday, but I doubt any of us will be touting our own agenda. No, we’ll just be so glad to be on that platform we’ll likely utter nothing more than “Oh God…I’m so glad I made it.” There will be no accolades as to how we made unless it’s made it through the fire.

If we want our award day, here’s what’s available:

THE SOUL-WINNER’S CROWN – Have you led another to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? If you have, you’ll have the Crown of Rejoicing!  2:19: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?.” I had the privilege of posting a picture of a very well loved retired Pastor in our area on Facebook the other day and immediately people whose lives he had touched began to post and share what his work in the gospel had meant in their lives, That will be a fraction of what he’ll experience when Christ crowns his head with the soul-winners crown! Glory to God, that’s exciting.

THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – Do you look forward to Christ’s return? I know people who dread it. They’re not ready and their families are not ready and they know it. And yet they continue to live their lives as if they’re promised another day, week, year to be prepared.  2 Timothy 4:8 says “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.” Don’t lose out on this crown, strive to see your friends and family saved so that Jesus’ return will be a Red Letter day on your Calendar.

THE CROWN OF GLORY – Have you been a teacher or preacher of the Word of God? All the investments of time and money into making the gospel come to life and some days feeling as if it was for naught and that you’d like to crown somebody (but not in a good way). Well, your reward will come. Nothing done for Christ returns void and nothing done for Christ will go un-noticed. Your crown is waiting! 1 Peter 5:4: “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN – Have you ran a good race? Life is full of competition where we’ve been beat down and  beat out for that award, job, position in life, etc.; but there is one race that everyone who runs well will receive the prize regardless of position. In this dog eat dog world that makes my heart smile this morning! 1 Corinthians 9:25: “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.”

THE CROWN OF LIFE – People who endure suffering, knowing there is a better life in the world to come. The Oscars, Grammies, Emmys and Tony awards will never make it through the fires of God’s testing. But our temptations and trials will become a trophy of grace through the crown of life  we’ll receive in Glory. James 1:12 says  “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

 It’s a Promise!

Matthew Henry was quoted to say “We only bear the cross for a while, but we shall wear the crown to eternity.”

Tweet that Twitter. #Hashtag that World.

Weary child of God… your crowns await.

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But now… I get it God

chick winner

I wish I could say that quicker. Meaning that I wish that I got “it” (the understanding of God’s plan) earlier. I wish that when I was facing a struggle in my life back here, I could see “waaaay” out there and understand why I must go through what I’m going through. If I’d be honest with myself I usually know why; it’s because I’m stupid. I sin, I don’t wait on God, I design my life and then ask for God’s stamp of approval. That’s not how God works. God allows me to go ahead and play house with my life and then He comes in, moves all my furniture out and leaves me sitting with nothing and starting from scratch.

That wasn’t really the case with Job. He was a good man, he trusted God, he prayed and sacrificed, went to church three times a week, gave to the widows fund and bought Girl Scout cookies every time they came to the door. He did not deserve this treatment! I don’t’ want to make light of Job’s issues of life, lest I might face even one of them and crumble to my knees crying for mercy. What Job went through I can’t fathom, nor do I want to. But it still didn’t change the fact that you never assume you’re without sin.

In the final “but now” of Job’s life he gets it. He now understands that he was a part of a bigger plan, one that would still have us talking 4,000 years later. Is that not amazing!

Job 42:5

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

I get it God. Not only did Job get it, he gave it.

He gave the repentance necessary to heal his relationship with the Lord. Job was a righteous man, but he was not a sin free man. During his days of despair in the worst of it all, as his wife forsook him, his friends ridiculed him and his body was racked with misery, he questioned God. I would have too and likely worse than that. But in the end Job tells God, I’m sorry. And at God’s urging so did the three Awful Amigos.

And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Job had spoken what was right? Complaining doesn’t surprise God, and He’s up to it. But self-righteousness, nope… He’ll have no part of it. Job’s sin wasn’t the complaining, it was that he didn’t think he’d sinned, and he had. The bible is clear that there is “None Righteous.” But we can get in that mode can’t we? We know we’re sinners, but we’re not as bad as “they” are. We’re quick to say when a sinner falls that “we seen it coming.” But when we fall… “why on earth did that happen!”

Maybe because of sin, or maybe because it’s a part of a plan “waaaay out there” that will have us standing in awe of the great things God has done.

I don’t like trouble, aches, pains or heartaches. But it is those very things that usually draw us to God and drive us to our knees acknowledging Who it is that’s in charge of the universe. Just as the abrasive sanding down of a piece of wood brings out the grain of artistic beauty, so does the troubles in our life. Everything we go through now has us in a position to encourage a brother or sister in Christ to hang on, they’ll make it too!

Job’s friends repented, but not until God called them out on it. Learn from Job, go first… God’s first place rewards are way better!!!