Tag Archive | eternal

Jesus, My Prize

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” 
I Cor. 9: 24-25

Wow, it’s been quite a work out, I am completely out of breath, and I need some serious recup time….from all the Olympics we’ve been watching!

Along with the sporting events, I really love the personal stories that chart the courageous journeys of various athletes:  each story is different, but the similarities are noteworthy—their road to the Olympics was not easy, filled with intense training, focus, sacrifices, hurdles (literal and figurative), races won and lost, aches, pains, and sheer exhaustion.

A little Citi commercial captures the discipline unseen to the cheering crowds:

“Take a day off? I can’t take a morning off.”

 “I haven’t ordered dessert in two years.”

 “I haven’t watched TV in months.”

And I wonder why I’m no Olympian 🙂

But I am in a race. And God’s Word reminds me that I’m pressing on for a prize much greater than a gold medal, of more value than huge commercial endorsements, and more enduring than world fame.

Jesus, my Redeemer and Saviour, is my Prize.

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12

His worth is beyond compare and His value, priceless.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16, 17

No fireworks, TV coverage, or anthems play as we press on to Him. But, hey, we do have a cheering squad!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

If we falter, stumble, or lose ground along the way, we have a loving Father who will pick us up and carry us across the finish line.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy….” Jude 24

 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

 My favourite part?  There are no losers! Everyone in Christ wins!

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

And finally, there is no room for pride in this race. Humility is the winning characteristic.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” I Peter 5:6

The journey of a Christian is not easy.  It is a lifelong,uphill climb; often met with more jeers than cheers.  And it requires as much diligence and discipline as we see demonstrated in the most inspiring of Olympians.

Please, join me, in the challenge, so we can encourage each other as we…

“….press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14

Eternal Hope and Change

“The hope which is laid up for you in heaven.” Colossians 1:5

Without going political here, suffice it to say I’m not feeling very hopeful with our nation’s change.  So I remind myself almost daily that one man’s promise of “hope and change” is temporary, ethereal, and like chaff in the wind.  My hope and change is eternal, weighty, and powerful.

A past devotional by C.H.Spurgeon calibrates my focus back to the Lord:

Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here.

It will animate our hearts to think often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there.  Here we are weary and toil-worn, but there is the land of rest where the sweat of labour will no more moisten the worker’s brow, and fatigue will be forever banished…

We have suffered bereavement after bereavement, but we are going to the land of the immortal, where graves are unknown things!  Here, sin is a constant grief to us, but there we will be perfectly holy…Oh, is it not joy, that you are not to be in banishment forever, that you are not to dwell in banishment forever, that you are not to dwell eternally in this wilderness, but will soon inherit Canaan?

Nevertheless, let it never be said of us that we are dreaming about the future and forgetting the present.  Let the future sanctify the present to its highest uses!

Through the Spirit of God, the hope of heaven is the most potent force for the product of virtue.  It is a fountain of joyous effort, it is the cornerstone of cheerful holiness. 

 The man who has this hope in him goes about his work with vigor, for the joy of the Lord is his strength.  He fights against temptation with ardor, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary.  He can labour without present reward for he looks for a reward in the world to come!”

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Rejoice in Hope

Right before our beautiful granddaughter, Eva, was born, I started a blog series on the “in what” we should rejoice.  Presently, I’m fully rejoicing in the birth of a beautiful baby girl, the happiness of my daughter, and the delight of holding a little miracle in my arms!

But….

What about those times, when we don’t see or feel anything tangible in our arms to rejoice in?  What about those seasons when the “fig tree does not blossom, the fields yield no fruit, and there’s no cattle in the stall”? (Habakkuk 3:17)  Or in other words, not much to be thankful for.  What about those times?

Hopefully, some of these posts will encourage you us towards enduring matters in which we can rejoice, apart from and in spite of, our daily circumstances. 

We can Rejoice in This–our names are written in God’s book of Life!

We can Rejoice in Him!

We can rejoice, because He Lives!

And we can rejoice in Hope!  The Hope of His appearing. The Hope laid up for us in heaven. The Hope of so much more beyond our present trials.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory!”  I Peter 1:6-8

 “…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised ages ago.”  Titus 1:2

“…that being justified by His grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life!”  Titus 3: 7

“…looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus.”   Titus 2:13

It’s not always easy to rejoice.  But it’s a habit we need to develop with everyday use, and pattern ourselves after the many–of whom the world was not worthy–who rejoiced in trials, rejoiced in suffering, and rejoiced in life, all because they had HOPE in a loving God, who keeps all His promises!

Remember the one who said…

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive fail, and the field shall yield no wheat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls…”

…concluded with this:

Yet,

 I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation!

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds feet and He will make me walk upon high places.”Habakkuk 3:17-19