THE CROWN OF LIFE
In Revelation 2:10, Jesus said, “…Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” And the apostle Paul, in 1 Cor.9:24, said, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” From these scriptures, it is obvious that heaven is for those who strive for the mastery. We are not going to stumble into heaven accidentally, and we will not make the grade if we give it only our half-hearted efforts. We must put forth our best efforts at all times. If we do this, we will soon notice the difference. Let us strive to be known as the friendliest congregation around. However, let us never be satisfied just to be known as a friendly congregation. We want to also be known as one of the most diligent, hard working congregations in the brotherhood. Heaven is a wonderful home; yet, you would be lonesome if you were there by yourself. Therefore, strive to take someone with you. It is the gospel of Christ that brings salvation (Rom.1:16); but for the gospel to save one’s soul, he must believe it, and as the apostle Paul said in Romans 10, “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” No doubt, you know those who do not know the real truth of the gospel of Christ. Why not take it to them. And then, a very important part of teaching the gospel is to set the proper example of faithfulness before them. First of all, make the church of our Lord the center of your life, and secondly, let your friends and neighbors know that it is.
How do you make the church the center of your life? Prayer is an important factor. There is power in prayer. James tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (Jas.5:16). Therefore, let us pray without ceasing. However, prayer alone, like faith alone, is not sufficient. We must study God’s word, know his will, and then put it into practice. Jesus said, “Not everyone that sayeth unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt.7:21). A life lived in service to God attracts attention. The opposite is also true. We will never bring very many people to Christ if we indicate to them that the world is more appealing to us than Christ is. Let us determine as a congregation of God’s people, to grow spiritually and numerically.