Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 5 May 2018
Page 6

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

Servants Do Not Wear Crowns

Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeEvery song that we sing in worship to our God that speaks of us wearing an eternal crown is in the future tense. Can we become worthy to wear that crown now? From where would it come, and more to the point, who would be adequately worthy to give it to us?

The only one who had the right to wear a crown while on earth, but never did, was the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave up the glory and honor that was due Him to come to this sin-cursed, fallen, broken world to be our Redeemer (Philippians 2:5-8). It pleased God to crush Him and put Him to grief (Isaiah 53:10). Does that single thought cut us to the core of our spiritual understanding? He left the indescribable glories and riches of Heaven and became the servant of all. Isaiah wrote, “He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). Acknowledging God’s statement, referring to His Son as His righteous Servant, should bring us to our knees in remorseful submissiveness.

Jesus speaking of Himself in Mark 10:45 said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” The only crown He got was the twisted crown of thorns! Three of the Gospel writers gave the accounts of this outrageous brutality. Matthew 27:29 records, “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” Mark 15:17-18 says, “And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” John 19:1-3 reads, “So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands.” Isaiah 53:7 says, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” Jesus was the personification of turning the other cheek and speaking no vile words.

There is a sense in which wives and children are biblically defined as crowns. Proverbs 12:4a declares, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.” Proverbs 17:6 notes, “Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.”

Psalm 103:1-5 states forthrightly that God is the Benefactor of all our physical, material and spiritual blessings. Five of these priceless blessings are listed, one of which is designated as a crown. “Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” This is another one of those “it doesn’t get any better than that” passages of Scripture.

In the realm of nature, God’s reign is sovereign over all. Psalm 119:90-91 states directly, “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. They continue to this day according to Your ordinances, for all are Your servants.” As one preacher said it, “all” in the Greek and English means just that—all!

God has called us to be servants to Him and others for His glory, honor, distinction and adoration. Our crown is on the other side. Paul made that known to us in a way that we would need help to misunderstand. As he was nearing the end of his life, he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

It is noteworthy that Paul said his crown of righteousness had been laid up for him. Paul also said he was the chief among sinners, but he was a chief servant from the day of his conversion. While he was here, Paul was not wearing his crown; and neither shall we wear our respective crowns in this life.

I Shall Not Be Moved

Maxie Fortner

I shall not be moved. From what will we not be moved?

We will not be moved from faith in God, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Just as a child, we hold dear the same knowledge that the world was planned by God, made for Him and created by Him. Telling a child about God making the world and declaring each day’s creation as “Good” is a time of joy and amazement. Explaining the true account of how the world began and who God is to an adult who was deprived of this information as a child actually is as exciting to the teacher as it is to the student hearing the truth for the first time. Colossians 1:16 reads, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (NKJV).

We will not be moved from the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the One who, with the Father, created all things. The proof of His Deity is revealed to us by the words of God Himself who claimed such with audible words. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17).

We know Jesus is the Son because He fits every prediction uttered by prophets for hundreds of years. The miracles He performed demonstrated perfect teamwork with God. The song, “I Believe in the One They Call Jesus,” sounds forth our Christian confidence. He walked on the water, stilled storms, healed the sick, gave hearing to the deaf, gave speech to the mute and put back on severed ears. Demons obeyed His command to come out, and He restored sanity to others.

We will not be moved from the knowledge that Jesus willingly took our sins on the cross and paid our debt! How can we ever thank Him enough? To be relieved of the guilt of our sins is so priceless that we should happily live a lifetime of gratitude and service to our Lord. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,” one hymn resounds. Jesus ransomed the saved from their sins (Mark 10:44).

Joy and peace come from knowing that God will remember our sins no more after we meet Jesus’ blood in baptism. “Oh, what a Savior” we declare in song, but our behavior should demonstrate our gratitude. Jesus called upon mankind to become like children who want to come to Him.

Christians will not be moved from the hope given by the promises in the Bible. Our home in Heaven was planned by Him, made for Him and His family, and is being created by Him. “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). He promised that Heaven has no death or decay, no pain, no tears, no darkness and no sin. These promises are for everyone who seeks Him, and that is what makes this life worth living. Heaven is a wonderful place, full of God’s glory and grace.

As a member of His family we will not be moved from the principles of Christian living given in the Bible. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Go to a public place and notice children who are in a loving relationship with all sorts of people—giving no thought to wrinkled or smooth skin, young and old, red, yellow, black or white, men and women, educated and uneducated, wealthy or not, model thin or not, dressed in latest style or not, but clinging to the One who cares for them. Jesus is our caretaker and we, as family, will not move from His care. The apostle Peter wrote, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Let each child of God resolve, “I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8; 62:6). Is that your resolve now?

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