Receiving the crown of righteousness – Part 2
The King said: “I am sorry to see you here, but the people will force me to keep you here unless you recant.”
Palissy, who was 90 years old, said he was ashamed to hear a king speak of being compelled. So he said: “Sir, they who can compel you cannot compel me! I can die!” And he remained in prison until he died. To keep the faith, we must steadfastly maintain the faith of the gospel; living a life of fidelity to our Master. The expression here signifies that we faithfully observe our vows and engagements, faithful to our glorious Master. Hold on with integrity and constancy in His service. Those who are truly kept by faith must keep faith. Without keeping the faith, our good fight and running of the race shall be in vain.
There is, indeed, the need for harmony between righteousness and the crown of righteousness. This crown cannot be laid on any other head, but that of a righteous man. This crown can never fit the head of the indolent, the lover of ease or the self-indulgent, who shuns the trouble of inquiry and sacrifice. We must be contended, strive, and fight to conquer, even as the conqueror alone can win the crown. It is the crown of righteousness and righteousness is the perfection of all moral character and virtue, following after the example of Jesus Christ.
A lady in a dream wandered around heaven, beholding its glories, and came at last to the crown-room. Among the crowns, she saw one that was exceedingly beautiful. “Who is this for?” “It was intended for you,” said the angel, “but you did not labour for it, and now another will wear it.” May that not be our portion. To finish our course well, we must run the Christian race, casting off every weight; depend upon Christ and run with patience, courage and resolution. We must be watchful and diligent. We must be on our guard, keep pressing forward and persevering to the end, so that no one will take our crown. (Rev. 3:11). The good news is that everyone that fights the good fight, finishes his course and keeps the faith shall surely receive the prize.
A young boy in a secondary school fell during the first leg of an 800-metre race and was only able to find his feet, when his colleagues were running the final leg. But this boy kept running and ensured he concluded the race, even when others have finished. At the end of the race, newsmen asked him why he continued, knowing fully well that others had concluded the race. His reply was, “my coach told me that if I do not come first in the race, I must ensure I finish it. So, I ensured I finished the race.” The crown of righteousness is still available for those who could fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.
Above all, we must love His appearance. May your crown not be given to another. Amen! Shalom!
• Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos. WhatsApp: 2348033052590.