If we were a decathlete planning on competing in 6 months in the Olympics we would make every decision in our life, 24 hours a day, based on the desire to win the gold medal. That goal would dictate what we ate, how much we slept, how much and how hard we practiced. As choices came up in our life we would take the hard way, not the easy way because the hard way will prepare us more to win the gold medal. Our desire to win the gold medal would be so all consuming that choosing the hard way in every choice we made would not seem oppressive or hard, but exciting, fulfilling, and rewarding. I think everyday about the time I will stand before Jesus at “Judgment Seat of Christ” and receive from Jesus the “Crown of Glory”, the “Crown of Righteousness”, and the “Crown of Life”.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
These rewards are not eternal life with God, that is a gift not earned or deserved, but given to us on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
These are rewards given to us by Jesus because in this life we ran the race set before us to win, we consistently chose the narrow, hard way, instead of the broad and easy way, we didn’t run the race without aim, we didn’t box as beating the air, we exercised self-control in every detail of our life to win a prize that will last forever.
Romans 14:10-12. For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God. So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.