The other day, a family member, in an effort to persuade me to do something, said that by doing it, I would add jewels to my crown in heaven. I am not certain where he got that idea, but the way I understand it, not only are the crowns given to us by the grace of God, they are complete without need of my adding "bling."
The five crowns a believer can be given are discussed in a previous post dated May 13. Of the five, the most important one is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8; it says, "Because we long for the return of Christ, we will wear the Crown of Righteousness." It is the faith we have been given by God which longs for Him to return (Eph. 2:8-9).
The other four are also the work of God, and yet He "rewards us." If we are filled with the Spirit, He shares the Gospel with the lost through us, and we are given the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thes. 2:19). The Holy Spirit works in our lives to bring honor to God, and we are given the Crown of Victory (1 Cor. 9:25-27). If we are fortunate enough to have been given the gift of teaching (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11), we will be given the Crown of Glory (1 Pet. 5:1, 4). And should God's choice for us a martyr's death to bring Himself glory, we will be given the Crown of Life (Jam. 1:12; Rev. 2:10).
The righteous described as a garment is clearly and totally the work of God, as can be seen by these verses:
Philippians 3:9 - "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Hebrews 11:7 - "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
Revelation 19:8 - "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
When we realize that the only good in us is a gift from Him, and that it is God Who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13), it is impossible to be anything but humble.
The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom's face.
We will not gaze at glory, but on our King of Grace;
Not at the crown He giveth, but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land. (Anonymous)