The racecar was not the most creative or what some would call beautifully designed. But the owner and his father worked for weeks on that little wooden block to turn it into something the ten-year-old boy could be proud to race. A previous race showed what needed to be done for a car to make it in the top five. After careful designing, sanding, painting, and graphite the car was finished.
The day of the race, many were oohing and aahing over expertly designed and decorated cars. Picking out the cars a father or grandfather created without the interference of a child was easy. The little boy who carefully designed and painted his car was up against several professional looking cars. He was nervous and his Dad and Momma were nervous. The buzzer sounded, the gate dropped, and the cars took off down the track. All of them slowed down or stopped half way to the finish line except for the little yellow and black car. This happened every time the boy’s car raced. His Momma’s heart swelled with pride because she knew he would not win for creativity or perfect painting and design.
Several fathers came over with questions being asked. The first thing out of my husband’s mouth was “This is his race, his car; he did most of the work himself with some graphite for speed. I wanted him to have a car he built and could be proud of whether he won anything or not.” That little car did two things that day, it finished each race and made a 10-year-old boy proud, and in the end, he took home 1st place in speed.
The Righteous Judge
When I think back to the judging of the cars that day, one particular judge pointed out a mishap in the painting of the car. While there was only a little dribble of paint that had marked the bottom of the car, this judge saw it and pointed it out to the others. That one little spot caused points to be taken away. As a momma, I felt the mark should have been ignored, after all, it was on the bottom of the car. Since I am not a judge, I did not know all he was looking for on the car.
In Paul’s encouraging letter to Timothy, he is telling him to continue in his work no matter what.(2 Timothy 4:1-4) Timothy had a ministry he was called to do, and he was responsible to fulfill it. (2 Timothy 4:5) He needed to be faithful until the end. Timothy would need to fight a good fight, finish his course, and keep the faith, just as Paul did to receive the promised crown.(2 Timothy 4:7)
When we live a life faithful to God and the second coming we will receive the crown of righteousness. The Lord, the Righteous Judge will give this crown in heaven. His discernment in distributing the crown will be given without prejudice. When we are standing before Him, we are going to either be ashamed because we didn’t stay faithful to the Lord, or we will stand there with a smile on our face, with our hands out to take the crown so we can give it back to Him.
While it is easy to know Paul deserves this crown, doubts comes when we think about ourselves and the people around us. It’s a good thing, our opinions don't matter and our judging isn't worth anything in the end. But if we are watching for, waiting and longing for His appearance, then one day, we too will receive this crown. We don’t have to be perfect, just faithful to God.
We don't have to be perfect, just faithful.
There are many crowns waiting for Christians. While Salvation is a gift, crowns are for those who live in obedience to the Bible. Jesus’ shed blood should be a plea to us, to lay down our lives for Him.
Lord, give us an increasing desire to see You and be with You. Give us the strength to be faithful to You and the ministry you have called us.