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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Real Prize

The Bible speaks of the crown of righteousness, the crown of life, the crown of glory, the crown of joy, and of course, there’s the incorruptible crown — all mentioned in scripture as facets of the believer’s life in Christ.

Have you ever given much thought to a crown? I have, for the simple reason it’s what my name represents. Daphne means laurel and is from the Greek mythology story of a young girl who was unwillingly chased by Apollo and turned into a tree to avoid his advances. As the story goes, Apollo became fond of the laurel tree and used the leaves to create a wreath crown to be placed on the heads of generals, athletes, poets, and musicians.

The laurel crown has its foundation in mythology but transcended down the ages as a symbol of victory. And this is why the crown that catches my attention the most are the ones mentioned in Revelation 4:9-11,

“Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

Although you might first think of a crown as something placed on the head of a king, the Greek definition of the word crown in Revelation actually describes something given in victory at games, or of civic worth, military value, and nuptial joy. In other words, these crowns are placed on the heads of men and women for accomplishments — much like the laurel wreath.

John said he saw the twenty-four elders take off their crowns and by impulse, throw them at the feet of the Worthy One in worship. Revelation only mentions these twenty-four, but I like to think their actions will be an explosive tidal wave of worship prompting all of God’s people to do the same!

We should all be striving for a crown. The Apostle Paul admonished us with these words:

“Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run to be victorious. A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, TPT).

The crown we’re striving for isn’t for our own accolades. It’s for the glory of the One who saved us and gave us new life. I’ve often thought, if we all get the opportunity to cast our crown at the feet of Jesus, I want mine to be as bling-bling as possible! I don’t say that haughty, as if it’s about me. I simply mean, I want it bedazzled in great gratitude to the One I am giving it to — a plain crown just doesn’t seem to be enough.

But whatever may happen on that day, when the King of Kings is honored, any accolades we may be wearing on our head will naturally fall as we bow to worship Him. And I’m happy about that.

I pray we live daily running hard for the finish line — to receive the real prize. I’m not after a crown that tarnishes and fades, or withers after the victory. The real prize is the honor of being called His child.

Copyright © 2019 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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