Posts Tagged ‘reward’

  

As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.” (Genesis‬ ‭43‬:‭14‬ NIV)

Ronald Heifetz, professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, likes to say that if you make one real decision in your life, that’s more than most people. Taking a real risk? Well, that’s just a rarity. And that’s the point about faith: If there wasn’t a mix of fear and failure, it would be called security!

Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora Radio, describes his leap of faith this way:

“In the winter of 2001, Pandora was out of money. We had a choice: cut our losses and throw in the towel or find a way to keep going. We decided to keep the company alive and start deferring salaries. Ultimately, over 50 people deferred almost $1.5 million over the course of two years (a practice that is illegal in California). When we were finally rescued by an investment in 2004, I had maxed-out 11 credit cards.” Today, Pandora’s net worth is over $900 million!

Israel’s patriarch, Jacob, had to come to the end of himself and step out towards Egypt. The result? He found his lost son and saved his family. What would happen if you obediently stepped out in faith towards God, even if it meant giving up all you had? If God is behind it, you’ll find more than you were prepared to lose! You are loved today! Take the leap! 

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We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭2‬ NLT)

This past week, I sat on a church platform as a precious man was being eulogized and ushered into Glory. The world lost a valiant spiritual warrior. And yet in that service and the subsequent wintery cold graveside ceremony, no one was angry or bitter. We knew Rick was home, the place he longed to be. Not a single soul would have taken that from him!

As we grow older, our bodies get worn and can’t function like it used to. Our mind isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. A good appearance is still possible, we just have to get up earlier to accomplish it! But both the physical and mental tolls we pay begin to add up. That’s why it’s natural for a Christian to begin thinking more about the home to come and less about the one we presently occupy. Weariness longs for change. 

Coming to Church each week solidifies the thought in our heart that there is still a life to come! While we live, we are to do the works of a Disciple: Knowing God and making Him known. And God blesses us with beautiful experiences along the journey! Yet our hearts should always burn bright with the expectation of a better life yet to be! Come to church today and be reminded of your future home! You are loved!

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Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done…” (Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NLT)

Nick D’Aloisio learned programming off how-to videos on the Internet. He launched his first app at age 12, and would create a new one every summer break from school. After an initial success of one app, Nick worked hard to fine-tune his project, which is now called Summly, an app that Yahoo! paid $30 million for.

While hard work does pay off in the world, it doesn’t always spiritually. Christianity is based on God’s work in us, not just what we do for Him. In fact, if what we do or who we are is being credited instead of God, we are doing it wrong! Our discipline must be to allow ourselves to be hidden behind the Cross, so that only He is exalted.

Working hard is a lost art in today’s society, even in churches. But while we do need to serve, our focus is Christ’s gains, not our own. When He is lifted up, He blesses us for it! You are loved today for simply who you are!

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Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.” (Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭10‬ NLT)

In the Old Testament, Abraham did an unheard of thing that became an incredible testimony by leaving home to follow God in a blind fashion: “Abraham obeyed God…He went without knowing where he was going” (Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭8‬). We don’t know what his mental process was to step out like that, but we simply know that he did. And by his obedience, life as we know it changed forever.

The hardest part of living the Christ Life is living by faith. Believing for things that AREN’T there, trusting that it WILL get accomplished, and even praying to a God that you’ve NEVER seen is really quite difficult! But without faith, we miss God’s approval. It’s not that God is cruel and hopes we stumble, but knows that if we learn to trust Him completely, life works out in a more desirable fashion!

While Abraham journeyed this life in faith, his greatest faith was for something beyond this life; he believed for his heavenly home. The faith to overcome this life is simply preparation to embrace the life that is to come! Live faithfully! But always aim for the prize of the greatest faith, to see God face to face! You are loved today and forever!

We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” (Romans 8:23 NLT)

Forty-four years ago yesterday, on April 7, 1970, John Wayne won his only Academy Award for his role as Rooster Cogburn in the movie, True Grit. Tears rolled out of the eyes in an uncharacteristic fashion for such a manly man as he accepted the award. For an actor that drew people to the box office, he was often criticized as a B-grade actor, one whose skills didn’t match his success. By getting this award so late in life, after many disappointing chances, he could finally feel legitimized by his peers.

We all have longings in this life, things we wish to see or experience. But our greatest longing shouldn’t be fame, fortune, or family, but for the real life that follows this one. There is a very real Heaven and Hell that will be found by everyone, the destination to be decided by the lordship we did or did not give to Jesus. Regardless of the whims of our beliefs, Eternity is for real!

So live with the expectation of hearing God say “Welcome Home!” Let your greatest longing not be for what we gain here, but for what we stand to gain soon! Look forward to Heaven’s reward! You are loved by God for Eternity!

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But I, the Lord, give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10 NLT)

Martin Paulson served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946, with D Company, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. In 1945, he boarded the USS Cecil, and headed to Okinawa, Japan. While there, he was injured and was sent home for treatment.

Letters he wrote home at that time documented his days. Sixty years later, as relatives discovered these chronicles, they felt that Martin at least deserved a Purple Heart medal that he never got. But in the end, 68 years later, at the age of 95, he received something greater: the Bronze Star for heroism in battle.

Our God is a God that rewards us for simply living faithfully & obediently for Him. His reward is blessings that money cannot buy, nor can they be bargained for for. Don’t live to be honored, which is selfishness and pride, but that His eyes find favor with you for doing what is right at all times. Live an awardable life! You are loved today!

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