As Paul neared the end of his life he wrote in 2 Tim. 4:8, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
All who desire to wear the "Crown of Righteousness," must strive to obey God, by following His will. "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully" (2 Tim. 2:5).
The Bible is God’s word, and in it we find the instructions on how to be pleasing to God. We learn today we are living in the "last days" or the Christian age. To be pleasing to God we do not have to offer the blood sacrifices as did the children of Israel. We are to present ourselves as sacrifices. We give ourselves to God. First, in obeying the gospel, by having faith that Jesus is the Son of God, turning from our sins, confessing Jesus as God’s Son before men, and being baptized for the remission of our sins. Secondly we must continue to give ourselves.
Paul wrote, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1, 2).
Paul wrote that the gospel is the "power of God unto salvation." The gospel message is the "key" to man’s salvation. When Jesus was speaking to Peter near the coast of Caesarea Philippi, He told Peter He would give to him the "keys" to the kingdom of heaven. On the day of Pentecost Peter used the keys; he preached the gospel of Christ. He told of how Joel had prophesied of the day that had arrived, of how David spoke of the savior, telling of the resurrection of Christ. He told them how Jesus had performed miracles, signs and wonders which they knew about, and declaring that, "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:14 - 36).
They stopped his sermon and asked what they needed to do, Peter’s response was, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:38, 39).
Is your desire for this "crown" strong enough for you to seek it? If so study and obey God’s word and you can be victorious!