“Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.””
Mark 10:28-31 NKJV
I wanna hear You say the words to me, Well done
I wanna hear You say, Good and faithful servant
I wanna hear You say, I’ve prepared a place for you
Let all the treasures of this world fade away
Jesus, You are my reward
To hear Your voice on that day is all I’m living for
Jesus, You are my reward
To see Your face on that day is all I’m living for
-Paul Baloche – My Reward
I have seen the Lord narrow my focus, by taking away all the things that can draw my attention away from Him. I awoke this morning, dwelling on the reality that Jesus is all I have. There are no treasures, no earthly hopes, just Jesus. Even the blessings that He has given me have been but tools for my service to Him.
If I did not know the Lord, my life would be most pitiful, having been stripped of all things that mark the vanity of men. But as a servant of the Most High God, I dwell in peace, knowing that I am living according to the will of God for my life.
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:7-11 NKJV
In the beginning of this painful, tear filled journey, I had all the questions, especially the biggest one: “why God?” At a moment when I could easily have turned away from the Lord, I pressed in to Him, resting in His bosom, clinging to Him all the more. In that seeking, the Lord as honored me with His presence, and His provision.
Like Paul, the loss has become gain, and my only desire is to be found in Him, having glorified Jesus in the midst of all the work He has given me. I live as His ambassador in chains, not imprisoned as Paul was, but brought low by a body that cannot do as it once did, and made reliant upon the Lord, where I previously could provide for myself.
Jesus has become my reward.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
I John 2:15-16 NKJV
The loss of the ability to provide according to the flesh, has fostered in me a love for the things of God. It has also diminished my love for the world. As my perspective has been changed from the earthly, to the heavenly, I seek less of the vanity found in the world. The greatest earthly pleasures are empty, leaving those who are consumed with them, wanting and never finding satisfaction.
During the course of my day, my mind alternates between rejoicing in the blessings I have in Christ, and lamenting the things I must forgo in the world. I marvel at how the glory of God pushes aside my mourning over temporal things, and fills me with the hope of coming Glory.
In these last days, I am greatly encouraged, as I know that one day I will stand in glory, and hear my Lord say “well done good and faithful servant.” Those words spoken in that time, will mean more than any earthly accolades I my could ever receive in this life.
One day, my mourning will be turned to dancing, as I rejoice in the light of the Lord. I can’t wait!
“Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”
Psalms 30:10-12 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us turn our attention to the Lord, being reminded that all that we perceive in this world is passing away. It is far better to invest in eternity, giving our time, energy, and even money to the completion of the mission the Lord has given us.
May we eschew the rewards of this world, and consider the reward of Jesus and the great salvation He has provided when He went to cross to die for our sins. Let us be willing to suffer the loss of all things, that the Lord be glorified.
The Lord is coming soon and He will bring His reward. His criteria will not be like that of the world, for the last shall be first and the first last. May we be found faithful.
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