The saints of old used to inquire, “how many stars are in your crown?” We don’t ask this question much any more. Paul thought a lot about it and so should you… if you believe in the rewards of the afterlife.
For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? I Thessalonians 2:19
For the believer, a “soul winner’s crown” is available for those who lead others to Jesus. In return, the believer will cast his or her crown at Jesus’ feet. What an honor! This is why Paul wanted to fill his crown with jewels or stars. Each jewel represented a person he led to the Lord.
Sometimes we can get caught up in counting nickels and noses at church. In the end, these types of numbers will not be remembered… but, jewels will never be forgotten.
Think about it for a moment. Someone received a jewel for leading you to the Lord. It can never be taken away from them. You may also have received a jewel or star in your crown if you have led someone to the Lord. This can never be taken away from you.
I realize not everyone is an evangelist or even skilled at sharing the Good News. But, we all can sow in these fields and ministries. I believe God keeps accurate records of such things. He knows every seed we have planted and every dollar we have given to help the poor, support missions and evangelistic ministries. These records are not kept in order to condemn you or judge you… no … they are kept in order to reward you for a job well done. The Lord wants to say… “Well done my good and faithful servant… enter into the joy or your master!” (Matthew 25:21)
When we get excited about such things, we will be passionate just like Paul and those traveling the road with him. There is nothing wrong with planning ahead. There is nothing wrong with winning the prize, receiving your crown, and being able to cast your rewards at the feet of Jesus. Get busy today so your crown will be full of stars!
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,
1 Thessalonians 2:17-18, breakthrough is close, Can Satan stop us, dealing with crisis, discovering a more perfect path, God's tool, Henry Ward Beecher quote, hindered, overcoming evil, Paul, Thessolonica, troubles
all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered (stopped) us. 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18
Paul was run out of town just three weeks into ministry at Thessolonica. The Jewish leadership had their sights on making sure his tenure was brief. But God blessed Paul’s efforts and a thriving church was born in those few short weeks.
My question is …. can Satan completely stop someone from doing God’s will? According to Paul he can. In fact Satan did it more than once and possibly on numerous occasions! In this case Satan kept people, mainly Jews, so riled up… they physically beat believers and prevented Paul from moving certain directions.
So has Satan ever prevented you from doing something, you knew God wanted you to do? If so… what did you do about it? How did you respond?
I have to admit… I haven’t always detected Satan’s aggressions in my life. As I look back, there have been many times when the first signs of opposition came my way, I just folded.
The word “hindered” means Satan broke up the road and put obstacles in the path. This is Satan’s modus operandi.
Have you ever wondered why when you are about to go out the door to church or to fellowship with other believers a crisis suddenly arises? At the times when important and needful fellowship is about to take place something inevitably comes and blocks the way.
But wait there is more… have obstacles ever been placed in your path to prevent you from spending quality time with God? How about when you needed talk with someone else about the Lord? I believe Satan knows when breakthrough is near for each of us. This is when he attempts to break up the road and place obstacles in your path.
The point is … although Paul couldn’t physically return to Thessolonica, he chose another path… he starting writing letters. What Satan meant for evil, God used for good. It was far better for us that Satan stopped Paul. The letters meant for this church and others became a large part of the New Testament.
Listen, if your path is blocked and difficulties arise… don’t stop! It could be God has a better…. more perfect path for you. Difficulties for the believer are merely miracles yet to be birthed.
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,
Abraham, choose our obedience, Genesis 20:13, God changes our name, indentity, King Abimelech, Neil Anderson quote, prophet and prayer, Sarah, what God makes us go through, what you do determines who you are
Sometimes our identity becomes what we think or believe God “makes” us go through in life. Have you ever thought or told someone else that God is making you do something? Abraham sure did. Listen to his words to King Abimelech.
and it came about, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house… Genesis 20:13
Abraham had drifted out of the Promise Land, lied about his wife being his wife, and allowed Sarah to be taken into Abimelech’s household… now he had some explaining to do. In his explanation, Abraham accused and blamed God for his troubles. The truth was… God didn’t “make” him do anything … he chose to be obedient the day he left Ur for God’s promise. God didn’t make him “wander“.
When we go through stuff in life (stuff being difficulties, hardships, and trials) it is easy to blame God. The truth is, like Abraham, we also choose our obedience. Stuff always happens because the devil will be given the opportunity to test our words and obedience. Unless we are dead to self and our desires, it can become easy to fall back into old patterns and blame God.
This is one of the reasons God changed Abraham’s name. It is why God calls us by different names. If we do not know who we are, how are we going to convince anyone else we serve the Lord. Like Abraham, God is not making us do anything, we choose our obedience. Calling our obedience anything else is an insult.
We choose our obedience. In other words, we must own our spiritual decisions. Our identity is not what we believe God makes us do, but it’s found in knowing who we are in Him. We are who He says we are. God called Abraham a prophet and told him to pray for Abimelech and his family in this chapter. This is the first mention of the word “prophet” and “prayer” in the Bible. Abraham found out a lot about himself and his mission after he was confronted with his disobedience. We will find our purpose and destiny too – once we repent, choose obedience and find our identity in the Lord.
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,