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Saturday, April 16, 2016

I Thessalonians 2:19

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

For further study - I Thessalonians 2:1-20

As we read the second chapter of I Thessalonians today, I am reminded that Paul is writing this letter to brand new Christians who at the time of the writing of the letter were only three weeks old in the Lord.

One thing I love about Paul in all of his letters is the straightforward approach of helping those he led to the Lord to grow in the Lord.

Paul's message was not one geared to please men but instead to lift up and to honor Jesus Christ, verse 4. Even though Paul was straightforward, he was also gentle even as a nurse that cherished her children, verse 7.

Paul expected these new young converts to "walk worthy of the Lord". Throughout all of Paul's writings we see time and time again that we are to walk right and to walk worthy of the Lord.

He exhorted them and us also to walk right, but he also teaches us in his letters how to "walk right". Paul, the "father figure" to these Thessalonians, was responsible before the Lord to train them up to serve the Lord.

There is a great thought found in our key verse for today. It is the truth of the "crown" each of us can receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ if we are involved in the ministry that Paul had. Paul’s ministry was "soul-winning". Verse 19 declares that the "crown" that we can receive for being a soul-winner is the "Crown of Rejoicing".

This "crown" is one of 5 crowns we can receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul who also wrote II Corinthians 5, verse 9, which says that he was ambitious to receive all the crowns he could get. The reason for getting these crowns is not to be able to brag about them but to be able to lay them at the feet of Jesus Christ, Who shall sit on His throne, Revelation 4:10.

We return the crowns received from Christ at the Judgment Seat back to Him in thanksgiving for what He has done for us. Each of us can receive that "crown of Rejoicing" as we lead needy people to Jesus Christ and see them trust Him for eternal salvation.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to be in the business of soul-winning for the sake of those who need a Savior today.