This is part two of a four part series. Catch part one, What's Heaven Going to Be Like.
How often do you think about rewards in heaven? How often do you process how you're spending your time according to the rewards that will be given in heaven? I think for most of us it feels a little weird. After all, we love God and live for Him not for the rewards right? Well, over and over in Scripture the Lord tells us to fix our attention on the hope to come for that is what is going to enable us to persevere. He's the One that tells us to be intentional in storing up treasure, rewards if you will, in heaven. It's His idea, so we don't need to feel weird about it. Just like the parable in Matthew 25, the Master was disappointed with the steward who didn't think about how to invest what they were given.
Our eternal life to come is going to be very real, very tangible and the Lord is serious when He tells us to lay up treasure there rather than here. He intends for the realization that we will be rewarded for our stewardship to motivates us to not waste our time, resources, pain or anything else He has given us or allowed.
Have you heard of the Bema Seat Judgement? Charlie Schaller does a super great drama of it. It brings me to joyful tears every time I see it. (It's totally worth getting a group of people together to watch it, it's very inspiring.)
Matthew 6:20 says, “Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.” So really, practically how can we do this? Well, it helps knowing the rewards, so we know what to shoot for. Then it's easier to process how your specific gift mix can see be used to store up these treasures in heaven.
5 Crowns Rewarded in Heaven
Just like all of heaven, these rewards will be real, tangible things. Picture that for a moment. A giant reward ceremony. And after the ceremony of getting to hear (perhaps even see) how the Lord used these willing people we will get to play a part in the ultimate worship night of laying our rewards at Jesus feet.
1. Crown of Righteousness. This crown is for those Believer's who were ready & waiting for the Return of Jesus. those who have longed for His appearing. 2 Tim 4:8 describes it, "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. Crown of Victory is for those who disciplined themselves to share the gospel. 1 Cor 9:25-27 describes it, "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. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
3. Crown of Life is for those who persevere through trials. Rev 2:10 says, "Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of Life." And James 1:12 says, "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."
4. Crown of Glory. 1 Peter 5:2-4 describes this as a crown given to believers who cared for the spiritual well-being of other believers. "Be shepherds over the flock God has entrusted to you. Watch over it as God does: Don't do this because you have to, but because you want to. Don't do it out of greed, but out of a desire to serve. Don't be rulers over the people entrusted to you, but be examples for the flock to follow. Then, when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."
5. Crown of Rejoicing And the finally the crown of rejoicing is described in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" It's a little unclear if this is an actual crown, but it is clear there will be a reward for those who lived out the Great Commission.
Will you have any crowns to offer Jesus? He was very clear that we are responsible as stewards to invest what He's given us. And that takes effort on our part. It's not too late to invest your time, talent and treasure to store up treasure in heaven. So why not put a date with the Lord in your schedule to think through how you can best invest your life in eternity.
Here's a video and free printable worksheet to help lead you in that time. To print the worksheet, just click the link titled Life Direction Circles with INVEST acronym and hit the print button on the right.
So dear friends, lets not hold back. Lets invest every ounce of what we have in the future promised to those who trust in Jesus.
Till your date with the Lord, why not take a few minutes and write down everything the Lord has entrusted to you at this point in life. (Good and hard). And think through the maximum ways you are, or can use it for His glory (aka making His character known).
And come back next week to check out part three of this four part series on Heaven.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks 10-20 times a year. Laura is an award winning author of a 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, recently released Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest and youtube.
Sharing this article over at these awesome blogs.