Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8 ESV
What a bold statement from Paul! But as he stated in the previous verse, he had fought the fight, he had finished the race. And he would testify that it was by God’s grace that he stood.
It’s not just Paul as an apostle that can look forward to receiving a crown on the day of the Lord. Everyone who’s looking forward to Christ’s return will receive one. Note that the crown of righteousness is a gift of God, it’s not earned.
The Lord is a righteous judge. That’s a scary truth because we are naturally unrighteous. But thankfully we can receive the righteousness of Christ, through faith in Him.
Elsewhere in Scripture, saints are described as casting down our crowns before the Lord, giving back to Him what we couldn’t earn. When we’re adopted into God’s family through faith in His Son, we become spiritual royalty, a kingdom of priests, interceding for the world to God.
“Lord, may we have a similar testimony to Paul, a faithful confidence in You and in Your righteous generosity towards us, in Christ Jesus Your Son, in whose name we pray, amen”