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This post is the conclusion of a series about Paul, read posts one, two, three, and four of the series before this post. By now you know that the “prize” Paul sought so fervently was not eternal life. That’s God’s gift to everyone. No, Paul sought the rewards that come with a life of bold, action-filled faith. The kind of faith that bears fruit.

When we stand before Christ at the Judgment Seat, we will recognize whether we lived as “carnal Christians” or as the kind of believer that Paul was—faithful,  bold, loving, and joyful.

We don’t know on this side of heaven what that reward will be for each of us, but there are a few illustrations of those who lived “all in” and received their rewards in Revelation 2 and 3, which is where we will look today.

In Revelation 2 and 3, the Apostle John talks about each church and the believers there. And Jesus speaks to each of these churches.

He starts each address with this statement, “I know your deeds,” emphasizing that what we do and how we do it is important to Him.

Remember, Jesus is speaking to believers—those who make up the Church. And in Revelation 2 and 3, these believers are rewarded with honor and acknowledgement for their deeds. Christ gives them the prize of running the race of life well.

Let’s take a look at some of the rewards that our Lord specifically mentions in this passage … rewards He longs to give all faithful followers and that should ravish your heart with joyful surrender to His purposes.

The Church in Ephesus … “Those who overcome, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the power of God.”

The Church is Smyrna … “Those who overcome, I will give the crown of life and he will not be hurt by the second death.”

The Church in Pergamum … “Those who overcome, I will give a white stone with a new name written on it.”

The Church in Thyatira … “To him who overcomes, I will give authority over the nations. I will also give him the morning star.”

The Church in Sardis … “To him who overcomes, I will acknowledge his name before my Father and His angels.”

The Church in Philadelphia … “To him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God … I will also write on him my new name.”

The Church in Laodicea … “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcome and sit down on my Father’s throne.”

So my brothers and sisters, let us respond in determined obedience to our Lord’s call on our lives.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." –1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Let’s run together.