Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Nearer My God To Thee"1 (Lyrics)
James 1:12 – Happy is the man who doesn't give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him. (TLB)
My friend attended a gospel convention in the United States and stood in line afterwards to have a word with one of the speakers. As she waited, she noticed a young man approaching her. He was a stranger to her, but he was making eye contact and smiling directly at her. As he came closer, he said, "I see you have a crown of red emeralds."
My friend's first thought was that everyone knows that emeralds are green, not red. She asked, "Do you mean I'm covered by the blood of Jesus?" He didn't reply. He just kept smiling and looking into her eyes, and passed on by. She couldn't get his vision out of her mind.
When she returned from her trip, my friend and I did a little research into red emeralds. They are very rare gemstones found in only one place in the world: Utah, USA. They are so rare that there is only one red emerald for every 150,000 diamonds. Today, they're known as bixbite or red beryl. Revelation 21:18-20 (TLB) tells us that the wall of the new city of Jerusalem will be "built on twelve layers of foundation stones inlaid with gems" and the eighth layer is beryl. Diamonds, which we consider so precious, aren't mentioned at all.
Thinking of the crown of red emeralds, we're royalty. We are children of the King of kings, the Ruler Supreme. When we think of the incredible crown jewels that belong to the Queen of England, we can ask ourselves why God would give us anything so ordinary as a plain gold crown — or even one with diamonds. Our crown has red emeralds — that's how valued and highly regarded that we are in God's eyes. His love for us is completely over the top!
Yet here we are, slouching around the world, when we should be standing tall and proud and acting like the royal family that we are. Think about that today. We are different; we don't belong to this world. The best is yet to come. Meantime, God has provided all kinds of beauty and rarities to show us His glory. Praise Him! Stand up for Him! Get excited! Let's lavish Him with praise and make God proud of His children today!
Prayer: God, You are good; You are great; You are awesome; You are the Lord of lords, King of kings. You are beautiful, and You are our Creator! What a precious world that You made for us to live in! And still, we cannot even imagine what the new world will be like! We don't have the words to praise You, Father. "Thank You" is just not enough. You love us so much. All that we can do is give our hearts to You this day, every day, and submit to Your will. In the name of Your glorious Son Jesus, we pray. Amen.