An Imperishable Crown
I have already spoken to you about this world and how everything that people think is so important will be lost, forgotten, and have no eternal value. For those who love Me, I have five crowns. These are rewards that signify what you have done for Me, while on earth, that will last forever.
The Imperishable Crown is given to everyone who finishes their race—trusting and serving Me faithfully to the end. This victory comes by a steadfast endurance and determination to never quit. It comes by fighting against temptation, and repentance when you fail.
Finishing your race on earth will require you to bring your old nature under the control and authority of the Holy Spirit. If you live as directed by the desires of your flesh, you will remain in a continual state of defeat. If you live your life as directed by My Spirit, then you cannot fail.
Your old nature loves to sin. The new nature I created in you, when you first believed in Me, loves to obey and longs to live a righteous life. Follow the Spirit; bring your body under the control of the Spirit, and I will call you before Me and give you the Imperishable crown.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. ~1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~Galatians 5:24-25 (NLT)
So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. ~1 Peter 1:14-15 (NLT)
How I thank You, Lord, for making it possible to obtain rewards. I can see that this is very important to You, and so I will make it very important to me.
I know what it is like to give someone a gift and watch their face light up when they see what I have prepared for them. I understand that You want to do the same for each one of us. Help me to remember that how I live is important, because it will determine how much I enjoy eternity once You come again for us.
Help me to gain victory over my flesh. My mouth wants to say words that it should not. My feet want to go places that are not proper for one who loves You. My hands long to handle things that are unclean and not fit for a citizen of heaven. My eyes often look at things that turn my heart and thoughts away from You.
I have the power to control what I do and say in my life, by Your Spirit. Help me to make good decisions and obtain victory over sin, and find the rewards You planned for me.