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The Crown of Life

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2023 7:00 pm

The Crown of Life

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 28, 2023 7:00 pm

A twelve-year-old named LeeAdianez Rodriguez-Espada was worried that she’d be late for a 5K run (just over 3 miles). Her anxiousness led her to take off with a group of runners fifteen minutes earlier than her start time with participants of the half marathon (more than 13 miles!). LeeAdianez fell in pace with other runners and put one foot in front of the other. At mile four, with the finish line nowhere in sight, she realized that she was in a longer and more difficult race. Instead of dropping out, she simply kept running. The accidental half-marathoner completed her 13.1-mile race and placed 1,885th out of 2,111 finishers. Now that’s perseverance!

While undergoing persecution, many first-century believers in Jesus wanted to drop out of the race for Christ, but James encouraged them to keep running. If they patiently endured testing, God promised a double reward (James 1:1, 12). First, “perseverance [would] finish its work” so they could be “mature and complete, not lacking anything” (v. 4). Second, God would give them the “crown of life”—life in Jesus on earth and the promise of being in His presence in the life to come (v. 12). 

Some days the Christian race feels like it’s not the one we signed up for—it’s something longer and more difficult than we expected. But as God provides what we need, we can persevere and keep on running.

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Hey, welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. The reading for today titled The Crown of Life was written by Marvin Williams. Twelve-year-old Lee Adeanez Rodriguez Espada was worried that she'd be late for a 5K run. Her anxiousness led her to take off with a group of runners 15 minutes earlier than her start time with participants of the half marathon more than 13 miles. Lee Adeanez fell in place with other runners and put one foot in front of the other. At mile four, with the finish line nowhere in sight, she realized she was in a longer and more difficult race. Instead of dropping out, she simply kept running.

The accidental half marathoner completed her 13.1 mile race and placed 1,885th out of 2,111 finishers. Now that's perseverance. While undergoing persecution, many first century believers in Jesus wanted to drop out of their race for Christ, but James encouraged them to keep running. If they patiently endured testing, God promised a double reward. First, perseverance would finish its work so that they could be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Second, God would give them the crown of life, life in Jesus on earth and the promise of being in his presence in the life to come. Some days the Christian race feels like it's not the one we signed up for.

It's something longer and more difficult than we expected. But as God provides what we need, we can persevere and keep on running. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from James chapter 1 verses 1 through 12. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ to the 12 tribes scattered among the nations.

Greetings. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position, but the rich should take pride in their humiliation, since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant, its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.

In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. Let's pray. Dear Lord, our lives can feel much like an endurance race at times. There are hills to climb and unexpected obstacles in our path that really discourage us and make us want to give up. Would you help us when our legs are tired and we feel like we can't go on, to give us strength and endurance to not only finish the race, but to finish it well. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name that we run this race. Amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Wes Ward and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-28 21:48:24 / 2023-12-28 21:50:14 / 2

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