Seeking Jesus First - July 31, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - July 31, 2023
Photo by Joshua Earle / Unsplash

Did you know that there is more than one kind of blessing?

Just as there are promises that are conditional and promises that are unconditional, there are blessings that are conditional.

At least, the Bible says so.

Here is a good one.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12, NKJV)

Endures - patient perseverance

Temptation - temptation, test, experiment, trial

Approved - tested and approved, passes the test

Blessed is the man who patiently perseveres in faith, hope and love when he is tempted, tested and tried, for when he has successfully made it through the trial, test or temptation, he will receive the crown of life.

The New Covenant is about keeping faith with Jesus Christ. It is not about becoming sinless. Because of our faith in Jesus, the consciousness of sin is removed. We no longer live our lives in fear of the death that sin brings. The way this Scripture is written shows us that it is not about sin. We do not receive the crown of life because we don’t sin. We receive it through faith in Christ Jesus.

“The LORD has promised the crown of life to those who love Him.”

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12, NKJV)

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:39, NKJV)

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13, NKJV)

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13–14, NKJV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7, NKJV)

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”” (Romans 1:17, NKJV)

But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”” (Galatians 3:11, NKJV)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV)

Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.” (2 Corinthians 1:24, NKJV)

that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5, NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8–9, NKJV)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4–5, NKJV)

The Bible makes reference to the need to live, walk and stand by faith in the face of the opposition that will come against us. When we stay in faith and overcome, we are approved and receive the crown of life. The fact that “The LORD made this promise to those who love Him” reminds us that faith works by love. His love came first. We believed and received it. Now we love Him in return and our faith grows and is strengthened even more.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20–21, NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24–25, NKJV)

According to this Scripture, receiving the crown of life is a conditional blessing. It is given to those who love The LORD and remain in faith with Jesus.