Tag: crown of life

Escaping the Fire!

Scripture reading for November 30th: Daniel 1-3, Revelation 2

Key Scriptures: Revelation 2:9-11 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.'”

John was taking dictation from Jesus Christ for the churches he had been assigned to oversee.  Smyrna was a church undergoing persecution from Jews under Satan’s deception and Jesus told them that they would have a short time of imprisonment and possible martyrdom.  They were to be faithful and the reward was a crown of life eternal–never to be hurt by the second death.  The second death is the lake of fire made for the devil and his angels and followers.

Daniel 3:27 “And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men.  The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had com upon them.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promises to those who suffer persecution in the last days and example from Daniel.  Help me to stay faithful and reap the reward–a crown of eternal life!  Amen.

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The Crown of Life

Scripture reading for October 31st:  Jeremiah 27-29, James 1

Key Scriptures:  James 1:12-13  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  

James was the pastor of the church of Jesus in Jerusalem.  Most of his congregation were of Jewish background.  He encouraged them to maintain their faith during trials.  The trails may have included family members enticing them to come back to Judaism.  Paul warned them that God tempted no man, but desires come from within and sin is acting on the desires.  Sin would lead to death, contrary to God’s good plan of salvation through faith.

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”    

Prayer:  Thank You Lord for Your good plans and encouragement from Your Word and promise of eternal reward.  Deliver me from evil, for Yours is the Kingdom, power and glory forever!  Amen.

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Temptations, trials, and faith!

Scripture reading for November 17th: James 1:1-18

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to count it joy when a trial of my faith comes my way.  There is something in each person that would prefer good times, pleasure, and the easy life.  But inside of us, there is also a desire for adventure and excitement that comes from entering into the unknown.  I am learning how to embrace God’s plan for my own life and to ‘consider it pure joy’ when I face the inevitable trials.  Well, maybe my joy isn’t too pure yet!

“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.  When tempted, now should say “God is tempting me.”  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death.” (James 1:12-15)  James tells us it is a blessing to stand firm in a trial.  God will reward those who stay true to Him through these testings with a crown of eternal life.

One of the temptations in a trial or test is to blame God for it.  James reassures us that God is holy and is not capable of evil or of tempting anyone.  The source of temptation is found in our own flesh and it’s desires.  We are first enticed by the lusts of our eyes or flesh and then when we yield, we are dragged away by sin.  It is likened to a pregnancy that comes from an act of passion.  Conception takes place, and when the sin-baby is full grown, it is birthed to bring us death.  (Romans 6:23)

But we shouldn’t allow our flesh to entice us!  The good gifts we desire really come from God in the promises of His word.  He has good plans for His children.  His gifts are all good and he has chosen to give us birth through His word.  If we will put our faith in Him, He will bring us through all trials and tests.  He is the ‘Father of Lights’ who is faithful to shine His love into our lives through every trial.

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