"In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only me, but also to all who have loved His appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8
This week I was reading the history and lyrics to a beloved, old classic hymn, "Crown Him With Many Crowns." Even though I have sung it many times growing up and throughout my life, I had never fully realized I am going to receive a crown of righteousness! As I read the lyrics and how beautifully this old hymn glorifies our Savior it seemed so unfitting that we will receive a crown of righteousness. But when I pondered this I realized Jesus is the One who paid the price for our crown. None of us can earn righteousness, or produce it on our own. Isaiah 64:6 tells us:
"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."
Nonetheless, in Isaiah 61:10, Isaiah is prophesying:
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
How glorious is the whole counsel of God’s Word! When Jesus returns with His bride the second time we will be wrapped in a robe of His righteousness! We will be like Him no longer battling our sinful nature. It isn’t about us; it is all about Him. We must humble ourselves and realize this truth. As I continued in His Word I was shown what I am to do with my crown of righteousness in Revelation 4:9-11:
"And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne saying,
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
This puts it all in perspective for us. Our beautiful crown and robe of righteousness we shall be adorned in was purchased by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. In Revelation chapter 5 we find a book in the hand of God sitting on the throne, and no one is found worthy to open it in heaven or on earth. John begins to weep greatly, and one of the twenty four elders says to him,
"Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and it’s seven seals." Then we read in Revelation 8-10:
When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song saying,
"Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a king and a priest to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."
As we take in this incredible revelation of all our Lord and Savior has done for us we see why we are compelled to cast our righteous crowns at His feet! He alone is truly worthy of all glory, honor, power, and praises as we acknowledge all our righteousness comes from Him who is holy, holy, holy!
As we approach this Christmas season let us focus on what Christmas is truly about, and not cheapen such a holy holiday with the futile, senseless things of this world. Let us be intentional when we come together with our families this Christmas to truly lift up Christ to His rightful place which is to be exalted above all things. That is the greatest gift we can possibly give one another.
I look forward to this Christmas as never before as I watch our nation struggle in the darkest time I have ever known in my lifetime. I am decorating early and focusing on the Light of the World. How glorious it is to magnify His first coming and the wonder of it all! But this Christmas more than ever an awareness of His second coming is overshadowing the first as I anxiously await my Bridegroom! This time He returns in all His glory and power as the Righteous Judge He is. Join me in loving His appearing as Timothy wrote, and know that we will receive our crown of righteousness, and in perfect adoration and submission lay them at His feet.
In His love.
Christmas decor from my home to yours as we celebrate the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ watching expectantly for the future that is laid up for us!