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A Whole New World – Keep Your Eye On the Prize

November 7, 2012

In a race or a marathon, the runners focus on the finish line, not the pain in their shins, or the sweat on their brows or the humidity in the air.  I am not an athlete, by any means, but I recognize the power of endurance.  Enduring hardships can strengthen resolve, it is an honorable means of surviving and overcoming the many circumstances we find ourselves in.  Those who have endured rebuilding after storms, those who have endured chemo in the face of life-threatening cancer, those who have endured war in the desire for peace, these are great examples of how to get through rough times.

Matthew 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Survivors see that the prize at the end of their trial is greater than their struggles, and they push forward, with hope and faith that they will make it to the finish line.  Christians have a finish line to cross as well.  Each generation faces their own trials and difficulty.  My grandparents, for instance, faced being born into severe poverty.  The  Great Depression helped form their character and resolve.  I believe the strength of their faith is due in part to how much they relied on the Lord Jehovah Yah to see them through the hard times that they were brought into.  God provided their every need, just as He does for us today.

Hebrews 12:1  Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Our prize is not going to come upon us here, on this plane of existence, and we must go through the Refiner’s fire, in order to experience true peace and salvation.  Our prize is only fully recognized and received upon our Earthly, natural death.  We must tarry on, through the dark valleys, knowing that there is an enemy who will try to trip us, stop us and desires to destroy us.  But the ultimate truth is that we have a job to do here, and the Lord will protect us and carry us through the valleys if we do not fear and put our full trust in Him.

Matthew 28:20   Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of age.
We are blessed to be chosen to live during this time.  We should live up to that blessing!  We must not only be strong in our faith, but also share our faith, through love, with all of those around us who have yet to know Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ, as their personal Savior.  The Rock on which we stand, has room for all…or as my friend so eloquently shared this morning, “there is STILL room at the cross.”

Imagine discovering a land overflowing with milk and honey…would you keep this discovery to yourself?  I would hope that you would want to share such a discovery with all you knew!  Heaven is such a place.  A place where there will be no hunger, no pain, sorrow or tears.  A place filled with the most beautiful Light, the pure, unfiltered Light of the Lord God Almighty!  We are to be His Light in this world, like a lighthouse that guides those in the dark safely home.

Matthew 5:14  You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Philippians 2:15  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

But if you are caught up in the worries, fears and doubts of this world, your light is dim and flickering.   When we are concerned with the ways of the world, we are not focusing on the path Elohim has set before us.  If we conform to the ways of this world, we are of no use to the Lord.

Matthew 5:13  You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Mark 4:19  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

No matter what we face in this life, we must always keep our focus on our Creator and on the day we will be joined with Him in Heaven.

John 13:36  Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”

John 14:2  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

Just as people purchase stock and bonds and put their money into trust funds, we are to put our trust fully and solely in Christ!  No other investment will be as profitable as when one gives their life up for a life in Christ.  We must take up our cross daily and face the day knowing that our treasures are being stored in Heaven.   Ultimately, the wages of sin is death, but death is not permanent for the believer, instead, it is only a passageway to life everlasting with our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Beloved!

Psalm 56:3-4  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

2 Corinthians 3:4-6  Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Nahum 1:7  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 

Through out the Living Word of God, we see the attempts of the unfaithful to try and kill or destroy those of strong faith.  From the Hebrews, to Job, and from Daniel, to Paul, God reigns victorious!  Such testimonies offer us resolve in perilous times.  Be found in the word, dear friends; there will you find your strength.  Through trial and tribulation, the men were still found praising God and trusting in His Supernatural powers and protection.

This world will soon pass, but what is to come is more glorious than the most creative mind could imagine.  Even though it seems the enemy has the upper hand, we all know how his story will end.  Jesus will be crowned King of Kings and the old world will be no more.  His reign will be one of fairness and peace and love.

Focus on the finish line.  Don’t let your sorrows bring you down.  We may suffer, but we should do so with gladness in our hearts.  And in all things, remain in prayer and shine your light bright, so that others may find their way in the darkness.

1 Timothy 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

Until next time, Vaya con Dios!

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