I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8
In all of my Friday writings, I’ve felt convicted to celebrate what is to come in Heaven but to also rejoice in our ability to experience God’s promises now… Even in this fallen world. Today, though, I feel led to remove my voice from our devotion and ask you to focus strictly on His. (Feel free to look up each of these verses in your favorite translation. I am using The Message.)
Isaiah 40:10 – “Look! Your God! Look at Him! God, the Master, comes in power, ready to go into action. He is going to pay back his enemies and reward those who have loved him.”
Matthew 19: 27-30 – “Then Peter chimed in, ‘We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world when the Son of Many will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields – whatever- because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.’”
Colossians 3: 23-24 – “Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ.”
Philippians 3:14 – “By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
1 Peter 5:4 – “When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he’ll see that you’ve done it right and commend you lavishly.”
Revelation 22:12 – “Yes, I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon! I’m bringing my payroll with me. I’ll pay all people in full for their life’s work.”
James 1:12 – “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”
This world IS hard! The good life IS a fight! Most days, we feel like we’re taking a few steps forward only to be knocked several steps backward. Therefore, we NEED to take a minute to reassure our forgetful selves that we ARE fighting with purpose. There are treasures waiting in Heaven! So, press on. God has promised to eternally reward for the deeds done with a sincere heart on Earth. He will do it, because He said so.
Heavenly Father, please bless our work today. Give us hearts that serve others out of a sincere love for YOU. Remind us throughout the day of Your great love and sacrifice for us and let those reminders drive us to do all that we do for Your glory and honor. Help us to see everything through Your eternal lenses. Help us to see Your purpose more clearly, because then we will run the race of life with eyes on the true finish line…. Eternity with You. We live in anxious anticipation for that great day!