I have heard many sermons about the joys and rewards promised to those who serve Yahweh faithfully. I read about the crowns that await us, and remember that beautiful, old hymn which declares, “Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea” [Reginald Heber]. Although we read of the 24 elders around Yahweh’s throne casting their golden crowns down before Him [Revelation 4:10] there is no reference to the saints doing the same! The apostles wrote about a crown of glory [Peter], a crown of life [James], and an incorruptible crown [Paul]. Whether these will be made of gold we are not told, but we do know they speak of reward for service.
Growing up, I was not too impressed with the thought of crowns and rewards. Yahshua was my Friend and had been for as long as I could remember. I started praying when I was 4 years old, and soon discovered I could depend on Him to help and support me. I prayed ‘baby’ prayers, because I had ‘baby’ concerns, but I still remember some of His answers. He made Himself real to me and I learned to ‘chat’ to Him, since I was, apparently, a chatterbox. I didn’t understand why I would get a crown for being His friend.
The older I became, the more the relationship developed. Yahshua became the Love of my life, and an interest in crowns never developed. However, I did become captivated by His story of reward, and in it, the master’s uplifting, “Well done, good and faithful servant” [Matthew 25:21]! One day as I read these words, my heart quivered and I whispered, “Oh, Yahshua, will You one day say that to me?” I realised the commendation would include recognition and I tried to imagine the warmth of His smile as He acknowledged me and how it would feel if He were to say, “Well done, Valerie!” It felt utterly overwhelming, and from that moment became the dearest longing of my heart. “Let us go on to know Him and to love Him more dearly,” writes A.W. Tozer; “not for His gifts and benefits but for the pure joy of His presence.”