Summary: Message takes apart James 1:12 into a pretty strong lesson on perseverance, it explains the giving of the crowns up in heaven.


James Series 4: Perseverance

INTRO: A clip from Chariots of Fire off of youtube (we will have to explain the movie to the youth).


“Chariots of Fire Explained” (the first 4 minutes of this clip)

“Vangelis-Chariots of Fire”

“He who honors God”

CHARIOTS OF FIRE EXPLANATION: True story of 2 runners, one who ran for his glory, the other ran for the glory of God. One said to the other, “I hate losing.” The other responded, “I don’t know, I’ve never lost.” The non-Christian won, but it was a downer even though because he had reached the climax of his life and was still not satisfied. On the other hand, the Christian runner who had trained all his life actually skipped out of his best event because it was run on a Sunday and against his convictions. And when the Christian man looked over at his sister, he said, “God has made me for a purpose, but He has also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”


BIBLE VERSE: James 1:12

12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

DAN JANSEN: Resident of suburban Milwaukee, Jansen finished 4th place in the 1984 Olympics in the 500 Meters Speed Skating. But four years later, he came rearing back and had proved himself to be the fastest skater in the world having won the World Sprint Cup just one week earlier.

But as he was gearing up for the 500 meters, he had to do so with the heartache of knowing his best friend and sister Jane had just died of leukemia that morning. What happened during the race? For the first time in his history of skating in competition, he fell. And lost

A few days later, while leading the 1000 meters and racing at a world record speed, he did the unthinkable, and fell a 2nd time. In anguish, he picked himself up in disbelief and came home in tears. Believe it or not, 4 years later, despite being again the fastest skater in the world, he finished 4th again in the 500 meters.

But James 1:12 says to persevere! And persevere he did.

Finally, in the 1994 winter Olympics, Jansen won gold in the 1000 meters, his last chance for success. And for his victory lap, he skated slowly around the rink clutching his hands not around the gold medal, but around his…newborn baby girl…named Jane.

Youtube: “Don’t Give Up!” (Dan Jansen)

“visa dan jansen spot”

THE CROWN: There is an amazing song out there, one of my favorite praise songs, it has the refrain:

We fall down

We lay our crowns

At the feet of Jesus

The greatness of his mercy and love

At the feet of Jesus

We cry holy, holy, holy

We cry holy, holy, holy

We cry holy, holy, holy

Is the lamb



Then explain: I will stand before Christ one day to give an account of how I lived according to 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. Things that I did for Christ, but for the wrong reasons will be burned up when tested for it’s quality. I need to constantly examine my heart and ask myself “Why am I doing this?” For those of quality, crowns may be given back for me for the chance to present them to the Lord.

TECHNICAL CROWNS (this may be technical, it depends on the study, but here it is if you want it):

CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (2 Timothy 4:8): To all who have kept the faith and longed and loved for his return.

CROWN OF REJOICING (1 Thes 2:19): To all who have helped bring others to Christ.

CROWN OF LIFE (James 1:12): To all who endure temptation & are faithful through trials and to those that love Him.

CROW OF GLORY (1 Peter 5:1-4): To all that serve and shepherd God’s people.

THE IMPERISHABLE OR ETERNAL CROWN (1 Cor 9:25): To those who have had self-control in all things and subdued the old sinful nature.


BIBLE VERSE: Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.

THE GOAL IS TO WIN: Now this may seem obvious, but why do something? Why does an athlete compete? Is it to do their best? Yes to an extent. But the real reason they compete is to win! And we must never forget that.

COACH AT A TRACK MEET: True story, I was at a track meet, talking with some coaches prior to the meet’s beginning. As I, another coach, and a coach from Maplewoods were talking about the top throwers there, another coach walked into the conversation from a school not far from here. “All you guys to is talk about winning, I am here just to get my kids some good marks, that’s it. I am sick of you guys talking about winning all the stinking time,” is what he said.

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