‘Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown…… ’ (II Tim 4:8).
Can you remember the feeling you had when you were called up to receive certificate of excellence, university degree and you heard the words, “Congratulations on your excellent performance,” You did it! All your hard work paid off and your tireless effort had finally been acknowledged. You can extrapolate that feeling a million times over and picture yourself appearing majestically in the presence of the Ancient of days who will award you the crown of righteousness while heavenly saints look on.
Apostle Paul was finishing his earthly race gloriously (II Tim 4:7-8) and left us with the following charge:
-Live a selfless life. Don’t let it be all about you all the time. Ego and self – promotion can pollute the soul and destroy relationships. Hear what Paul said about this evil vice: ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, ……(Gal 2:20).
This new life in Christ brought a change of values as Paul was once the chief persecutor of Christians but now he said: ‘ for to me to live is Christ…’ (Phil 1:21). The new life also heralded a change of ambition. Initially Paul’s goal was to be a frontline religionist but ended an ardent follower of Christ (Phil 3:7). And this new life brought a change of mind as the erudite law Professor renounced his self-seeking ambition and wrote, ‘let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 2:5).
Will you also think on these virtues that gave Apostle Paul the best hope of finishing the race with glorious rewards in the kingdom of God? Will you like to surrender all your struggle to the Lord and receive a new heart that is void of evil? Jesus said: ‘I stand at the door and knock….’ (Rev 3:20).