A Cardboard Crown for Jesus

In my last post, I told you that Isaiah has been talking more about Heaven.  Last week he wanted to know if he could take his toys there.  I did my best to explain “storing up treasures in Heaven” to a 3 year old (not an easy task).  We talked about the “stuff” here on earth that doesn’t really matter as opposed to the rewards in Heaven that are waiting for God’s children that love Him and serve Him now.  I told him that the Bible talks about us receiving crowns in Heaven…but that we’ll want to give them back to Jesus because of everything He’s done for us.  He was pretty excited about the crown part!

I never know if he’s really listening or understanding when we have conversations like that, so I was encouraged this morning when he brought it up again.  We had spent the weekend in Ohio visiting friends and stopped for fast food last night on our way home.  Isaiah got a cut-out cardboard crown which he promptly put back on this morning while eating his breakfast.  After referring to him as “King Isaiah”, he looked at me with excited eyes and said…

“Mama!  If Jesus really, really does like me, I’ll give my crown back to Jesus!”

I thought my heart might burst.  And, of course, I grabbed the first pen and piece of paper I could find to write it down.  I’ve been thinking of his words today ever since.

What treasures am I storing up today and what am I giving back to Jesus?

While in Ohio we stayed with our dear friends, Drew and Steph (see “Traffic Jams and Rainbows” for more of their story).  They love Jesus passionately and I’m always so encouraged by how that’s played out in their day to day lives.  Drew is about to celebrate his 30th birthday, so his sweet wife planned a creative 30 day giving challenge for him leading up to it. Each day Drew has a giving “assignment” to share with others based on this verse…

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE.’”  Acts 20:35

Not only have we been challenged by the giving hearts of our friends, but we’ve been recipients of them as well.  One of the ways that Drew chose to bless us while we were visiting was taking Isaiah to Walmart to buy him his first baseball glove.

As I watched them play baseball together in the front yard, I thought of one of Isaiah’s favorite book, “Ronnie Wilson’s Gift”, by Francis Chan (HIGHLY recommend it!). In the story, Ronnie Wilson wants to give Jesus a gift to say “thank you”, so he decides to give him his baseball glove.  On his quest to get his glove to Jesus, he comes across several people in need and shares with them…including giving away his beloved baseball glove to his friend Keith.  Beautifully illustrating Matthew 25:40, Ronnie finds out that when he gives a gift to someone in need, it’s the same as giving a gift to Jesus Himself.

“And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42

As a stay at home Mama of a preschooler and a 6-week old, I’m challenged to see even the simple selfless giving to my children as a way to serve my Father…regardless of the possible lack of appreciation now nor the reward that I’m promised later…simply because I love Him and want to say “thank you”.

I look forward to laying my crown at Jesus’ feet someday…but until then, will you join me in looking for ways to give to Him TODAY?

“And the King will answer them,

‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”

Matthew 25:40

To read more about Drew’s birthday giving challenge, check out his blog at http://drewflamm.com.

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