My grandson Peyton is playing T-ball. Several weeks ago, I went to one of his games. At that time, he wasn’t quite sure if he liked t-ball yet :). But when the game was over, he came running out to see us and his Nona, Sharon Devore, he held up a little bag and said, “I got a snack bag!” He was more excited about the bag than the game! That bag was his reward for playing.
Well, the apostle Paul said that he was looking forward to receiving a crown of righteousness. In II Timothy 4:8, “And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return.”
What did Paul mean by crown of righteousness? It probably meant that Paul was receiving a crown for righteousness. Now, Paul had not been a Christian all his life. He had persecuted Christians before becoming a Christian. But, when he received Christ on the road to Damascus Paul’s sins were forgiven. His past was forgiven.
Now, was Paul righteous? No, he wasn’t. Paul was human just like you and me. But when Christ came into his heart, he received the righteousness of Christ and that’s why we will receive a crown of righteousness. Jesus made us righteous when He came into our hearts.
That is why we worship and serve Him.