Time For God: May 28

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: 2 Timothy 4:8
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
I love collecting old English teacups with matching saucers. I buy them individually. In my collection no two teacups are identical. They come in different styles, shapes and colors. On their reverse some boast the royal crown. It shows that the teacup maker is approved to supply products to the Royal Family. Firms like Paragon, Royal Grafton, and Aynsley, make charming cups to grace a Royal Palace—and my home.

A teacup may be the nearest I come to owning a Royal crown. Purchasing a cup does not buy me entry into the Royal Household. Their belongings, however, sometimes reach others. The Royals have long passed down used clothing to charities like the one my father-in-law worked for in London. Their clothes have sewn-in nametags to identify their owner. Tags are carefully removed before the clothing is passed down.

One day, a bag of clothing reached my wife’s childhood home. Excitedly, their children sorted clothes to give to London’s neediest. Two gingham dresses, made for 10-year olds, fell from the bag. Upon inspection, name-tags could be seen: Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. They were quickly removed and the dresses were returned to the bag ready for distribution. Soon, two young London girls would unknowingly wear royal attire even if they never joined or even saw the Family.  

The Apostle speaks of a crown that is real—not simply a symbol on a saucer. He will wear a robe of righteousness, not a hand-me-down with a missing name-tag. He will be welcomed by the Royal Family of King Jesus of whom, by faith, he is already a son and heir. The grace he enjoys is more than a charming design on a Palace table—it is a legacy won by Christ through iron nails, a crown of thorns, and a rugged cross.

With his own death in prospect, Paul focuses on the sure and certain future that awaits him: there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness. But he is careful to include others who will also receive their crown: and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. When Christ comes—or calls you home—a crown will await you and all who trust Jesus as Lord and Savior. Oh what a party that will be!

As you consider what God has for you hereafter, what keeps you going you now?
Loving Lord, Bless this house and those within/Bless our giving and receiving/Bless our words and conversation/Bless our hands and recreation/Bless our sowing and our growing/Bless our coming and our going/Bless all who enter and depart/Bless this house, your peace impart. In the Savior’s Name. Amen. [John Birch, adapted]
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