Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Temporary Pleasures vs. Eternal Rewards

How many of you have ever pursued something that you were sure would bring you happiness? Maybe it was a vacation. Maybe it was a collection of comics that, if you had just one more, would make you complete. Was it the lottery? The same lottery that, if you had only exercised enough restraint, you wouldn’t feel the need to win in the first place?..... Even if you had won, the sudden surge of popularity, responsibility and the feeling of self sufficiency would ruin you. The comics kept coming, leaving you with another “just one more.”. The vacation wasn’t long enough. Even if it was, you eventually had to come back to “reality”.

Have you found yourself in the middle of a dilemma that you didn’t create? Maybe you’re a product of a shaky family life or woke up on skid row due to the loss of a job. Poor choices? Bad circumstances?

Matthew 19:16-30 The rich young ruler asked Jesus what must he do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responds by saying “Sell all you have.... and follow me.” The rich young man walked away saddened because he wasn’t prepared to put aside temporary pleasures. Luke 16:19-31 Another rich man is so consumed in his material stuff that he totally misses the opportunity to sow kingdom seeds by ministering to the needs of another who just happened to be laying at his gate. The result? A complete role reversal.

John 9:1 Jesus encountered a man who was blind from birth. A temporary setback. Jesus healed him both physically and spiritually FOREVER. John 8 Jesus encountered a woman of the streets who had been condemned to death at the hands of the religious leaders. Jesus stood in her defense. Pardoned... FOREVER. Job, the richest most righteous man of his time, lost everything..... temporarily. He chose to worship and was restored ETERNALLY. Luke 5 Levi, engrossed in his work as a tax collector, answers the call to be a disciple of Jesus and discovers PURPOSE. Lazarus was dead. Jesus gave him LIFE EVERLASTING.

Do you see what I’m getting at? There is only one I AM! Only one “BEGINNING AND END”, “ALPHA AND OMEGA”, “EVERLASTING”, “JEHOVAH JIREH” and what he asks is that we FOLLOW HIM. Seek Him. Know Him. The reward? A relationship with the Master. Freedom. Wisdom. Joy. Everlasting life. Will it be difficult? Yes. Will it be painful? Probably. Will His commands defy every ounce of logic that we know? Absolutely. However, He asks that we be wise and walk by faith. It’s when we follow our own fleshly desires that we find ourselves dissatisfied or spiritually disabled.

We all have our own stories and each one is a part of His plan. Don’t you want to be a part of His happy ending? Are you a product of your circumstance or of the Saviour?

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