Wednesday, 12 April 2017

I Am Assured of Reward by Susan L.

  1 Corinthians 15:58. Rewards are something we learn about from a very early age. Crying is met with food. Good schoolwork earns an A. Having faith in Jesus Christ is different because there's no tests, no failures, nothing that can't be forgiven. I don't have to wait for death to reap the benefits of a relationship with the three most important people in my life: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  Daniel Defoe's classic book about shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe says it so well, "Now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it; it was all of no consideration, in comparison to this. And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction."
  When I moved away from the fresh air and open country of my marital home into town and a windowless, TV less, phoneless basement, a friend's kind words helped me cope with this one of many changes. She called it being set aside for special treatment. Robinson Crusoe could well relate to this idea. Maybe that's why I keep rereading this favorite story.
  Rewards are often talked about in Christian circles as something given to us after we die. Heaven is the great reward for followers of Jesus. I know the thought of one day having every tear wiped away has sustained me many a sorrowful night.
  Hopefully that day is a long way in the future because each day has blessed me with a richer understanding of God's, string free, gifts to His wayward children. There isn't a "do not open until..." sticker on them. This year's journey of exploring three hundred affirmations is really a discovery of three hundred rewards each and every one of us is entitled to receive. Right. Now!
  I've changed. Setting a writing goal has made me realize that tomorrow isn't something to be afraid of. No one is going to pull the rug out from under me. By doing this, I've been able to set another goal of weight loss and to stick to the plan (ten pounds so far). The reward of embracing change is confidence, fully rooted in faith, which makes the world a whole lot brighter.
  Joy, grace, forgiveness, this little taste of Heaven on earth, is a fraction of what lies ahead.
  "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Pet 3:8-9


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