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Devotional - week of July 11, 2010


our crown of rejoicing, our glory

 

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.  1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

 

The return of Jesus seems always to have been on the mind of the Apostle Paul. Throughout his writing of 1 Thessalonians, he refers to it. In these two verses, he introduces a new thought about what the Lord’s return can mean to believers.

 

When Jesus returns, the believers at Thessalonica will be Paul’s crown of rejoicing and glory. They had wonderfully responded to his ministry with them as he had taught them to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and how to walk with Him.

 

This revelation of the return of Christ is a powerful motivation to all believers to make their lives available to the Lord. When we do that, He will use us to touch effectively the lives of others who will be our crown of rejoicing and glory when Jesus returns.

 

Our most certain way of being used of God in this manner is vividly revealed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:4 where he writes:

 

Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

 

We experience our death to the law by experiencing the crucifixion of our flesh. We can be married to the resurrected Jesus when we also experience our spiritual resurrection. Marriage to Jesus illustrates the intimacy we can have with Him.

 

In this intimate spiritual relationship with Jesus, we “bear fruit to God” that will be our crown of rejoicing and glory when Jesus comes again.