“The Crown Of Life”
October 26, 2012
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“The Crown Of Life”
It’s that time of year again when Brooksyne, Ester and I went to have our teeth cleaned and examined at the dentist’s office this past week. Thankfully none of us had new cavities, although I had one filled that was detected in a previous exam. Good dental care is a blessing, and having a good dentist is a double blessing. Dr. Dinse is our family dentist (his name rhymes with rinse). Our initial association with him is due to our previous pastor’s wife, Wendy Gambini, who is the office manager.
My first dental memory takes me back nearly 50 years ago to November 22, 1963. I was sitting in the waiting room when an announcement came over the television that President Kennedy had been assassinated. Every generation has special moments when a national event is permanently etched in one’s memory such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, the Challenger explosion and 9/11. I was telling the hygienist of this memory and she asked me if I still kept the appointment, which I did. The photo to the right may bring back some dental memories for those my age especially the ceramic bowl “spittoon”!
The most extensive dental procedure I experienced was having a crown installed several years ago. That brings to mind a humorous list of hymn titles with double meanings such as the dentist’s hymn, “Crown Him With Many Crowns”. Humor aside, this hymn is actually an allusion to a powerful verse in Revelation 19:12, “…and on His head were many crowns.”
My parents named me after the only Stephen in the Bible. Of course he is one of my favorite Bible characters, although his ministry was cut short after just one power-packed sermon. Stephen comes from the Greek name Stephanos, which means “crowned one”.
The New Testament uses the illustration of a crown seven times in regard to a future promise and today I want to examine just one of them, the “crown of life” as mentioned in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
The crown we will receive as believers is not one of fading leaves. It is called a “crown of life”, because it is an everlasting crown; it is a crown of glory that never fades and is incorruptible. The corruptible crown given to the victors in the Olympic games were made of fading herbs and leaves of trees.
The Crown of Life will be placed upon the heads of those who bear up under multiple afflictions, who hold out unto the end. The believer shall receive it not because he has earned it, nor by his works or sufferings, but as the free gift of God, as it will be given to him by the righteous Judge, as a reward of grace, and not of debt. This wonderful future reward gives us hope and sustains us when circumstances are most trying.
“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10)
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, You forewarned us that we would undergo persecution if we choose to follow You. But we’re also promised that we will receive the crown of life as we hold firmly to the faith. Ours is not a journey for the faint of heart, but a journey where we endure more than just a moment, more than just for a day. We endure to the end so that we who withstand the test will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. Keep us trusting and faithful until that day. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Brooksyne’s first dental memory: When I was 16 I went for my first dental appointment (raised in a family of seven my parents didn’t have the money for dentistry unless there was an emergency which I never had in those years.). I was very, very nervous and didn’t feel any better when I learned at my appointment that my dentist’s name was Dr. Hammer. A few years later I went for my second dental appointment and learned his name wasn’t much better; Dr. Tremble. He was way up in years and he did, in fact, tremble as he worked on my teeth. Thankfully Dr. Hammer did not hammer. I like the teeth friendly name, Dinse. Rinse for Dinse – that’s what I tell myself when remembering to use mouthwash to help fight gingivitis.
* Some of you may be interested in what these seven crowns are:
1. The crown for those who love His appearance. “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
2. The crown for those who compete according to the rules. “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5).
3. The crown for enduring trials. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
4. The crown for those willing to feed the flock. “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).
5. The crown for those who are faithful unto death. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
6. The crown for those who minister to others. “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
7. The crown for those who master the old nature. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24,25).
Here’s the hymn list:
The Dentist’s Hymn………….Crown Him With Many Crowns
The Weatherman’s Hymn……….There Shall Be Showers of Blessing
The Contractor’s Hymn……….The Church’s One Foundation
The Tailor’s Hymn…………..Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer’s Hymn…………..There is A Green Hill Far Away
The Politician’s Hymn……….Standing on the Promises
The Optometrist’s Hymn………Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent’s Hymn………..I Surrender All
The Gossip’s Hymn…………..Pass It On
The Electrician’s Hymn………Send the Light
The Shopper’s Hymn………….Sweet By and By
The Realtor’s Hymn………I’ve Got A Mansion Just Over the Hilltop
The Pilot’s Hymn……………I’ll Fly Away
The Paramedic’s Hymn………..Revive Us Again
The Judge’s Hymn……………Almost Persuaded
The Psychiatrist’s Hymn……..Just a Little Talk With Jesus
The Architect’s Hymn………..How Firm A Foundation
The Credit Card Telemarketer’s Hymn…..A Charge To Keep I Have
The Zookeeper’s Hymn………..All Creatures of Our God & King
The Postal Worker’s Hymn…….So Send I You
The Waiter’s Hymn…………..Fill My Cup, Lord
The Gardener’s Hymn…………Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming
The Lifeguard’s Hymn………..Rescue the Perishing
The Criminal’s Hymn…………Search Me, O God
The Baker’s Hymn……………When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder
The Shoe Repairer’s Hymn…….It Is Well With My Soul
The Travel Agent’s Hymn……..Anywhere With Jesus
The Geologist’s Hymn………..Rock of Ages
The Hematologist’s Hymn……..Are You Washed in the Blood?
The Mens’ Wear Clerk’s Hymn….Blest Be the Tie
The Umpire’s Hymn…………..I Need No Other Argument
The Librarian’s Hymn………..Whispering Hope
From the same source I found this list: Now, for those who speed on the highway, a few hymns for you:
45 mph………………….God Will Take Care of You
55 mph………………….Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
65 mph………………….Nearer My God to Thee
75 mph………………….Nearer Still Nearer
85 mph………………….This World Is Not My Home
95 mph………………….Lord, I’m Coming Home
Over 100 mph…………….Precious Memories
Yesterday I pulled up beside a brilliant red fire bush and merely rolled my window down for a brilliant display of red!
Earlier this week we shared how Nigel and Laifong were the first recipients of the first daily encouragement. She wrote that the photo we posted was outdated since her son is five years older. We’ve included her updated photo and the note Laifong writes, “I can’t believe it’s been 16 years since you started the Daily Encouragement ministry! Praise God for His faithfulness in sustaining the ministry and for your faithfulness and perseverance. Yes, godly encouragement is vital to a Christian’s life but not as easy to come by as we would hope!”
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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