The Crown of Life (James 1:12)

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
Through the church, we are people who are called to be ambassadors, ministers, and saints within the church–we are called to be stewards of the church, and believers must give an account for their stewardship. From the moment the believer accepts Jesus Christ, there are new adventures each day where you never stop learning or growing–unless you choose to do so.
There are all kinds of trials within the learning process. There are inner trials, where you are wrestling from within over the Spirit and your own desires, and there are outer trials you must endure, where you have no control over what happens, but how you respond is very important.The trials are a way to test our faith and our character. They help to build within us the ability to learn more about Jesus Christ. They are rooted in how we remain obedient to God’s Word. Your hope is in God that He will defend you and give you victory. We must earn the prize as expressed in Matthew 25:21: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
The Crown of Life (James 1:12)
Please note this very important statement…all who accept Christ as their personal Savior will have eternal life, but not everyone who knows Christ will receive a reward. Rewards are based upon an account of service for God.
1 Corinthians 3:14-15
14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.God will give rewards for what you do as a believer, but this world requires a heart that must endure. There is often the temptation to relax because it does not seem like doing what is good is paying off because of all of the hardship. Don’t believe that. You must endure it, for there is a reward that will come with your endurance.

Revelation 3:11
I am coming quickly. Hold on to what you have, so that no one takes your crown.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.

Hebrews 11:6
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

Our best example is in Jesus Christ, who gave of Himself for each and every one of us. God gives us the trials and endurance to continue to grow and give an account. You are learning to live for Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:21
For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

Galatians 2:20
…and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5
1 A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. 2 In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. 3 It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. 4 For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. 5 Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.

James 1:12
A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

James 1:2-4
2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

A man that endures trials is blessed and happy because He is aware of God’s fellowship with him. He is able to endure because he is agreement with God and is obedient to Him and His Word. He rejoices in His choice to trust Him and to endure and persevere under any trial that presents itself. It’s because he lives for the Lord and loves the Lord.

God is the one that opens the doors that no one else can open.

Deuteronomy 8:1-6
1 “You must carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase, and may enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to your fathers. 2 Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. 3 He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out, and your feet did not swell these 40 years. 5 Keep in mind that the Lord your God has been disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6 So keep the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him.

God already knows how you will respond in these trials…He wants you to find out for yourself and make corrections when it is necessary.

Hebrews 11:17-19
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and he was offering his unique son, 18 the one it had been said about, Your seed will be traced through Isaac. 19 He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration, he received him back.

God will amazingly use trials even through illness to minister to others through testimonies of His love and grace for each of us. It is more than just providing lip service. In people seeing that your faith is genuine, it draws people nearer to you, and also draws them nearer to Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

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