"...and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified."
Thoughts for Today:Paul said to these men who he knew would go through many challenges, obstacles, and trials, "Keep your focus on the eternal -- on your inheritance."
Presently I am enrolled in a Men's Fitness Boot Camp that meets three days a week. To be honest with you it is physically quite difficult. In one of the drills last week, the instructors kept shouting, "Don't quit, remember the reasons you started this course and push yourself harder." At the time I was in too much pain to make much of a spiritual connection, but it did help to get my mind off of my leaden legs and on to the purpose of all the sweat -- why I was here on a rainy morning at6:45 working so hard. "Oh yeah" I remembered, "I need to lose fifteen pounds." As a result I intensified and re-energized my physical effort that day.
In our passage today, I think Paul is saying something somewhat similar. "If you stay focused on the goal, whatever pain you might experience will be minimal and far surpassed by the ultimate gain you receive." Simply put -- don't lose sight of your purpose.
Questions to Ponder:The last time you served coffee at church, taught Sunday school, or greeted a newcomer, was your focus on eternity? In the rain at the grocery store, as you observed an elderly woman struggling to get her groceries into the car, were you more concerned with getting out of the rain or how you could be of help to someone else? Sometimes a bit of pain or discomfort can go along with Christian service. Are you up to the challenge? Paul's point is whatever pain we might experience is minimized if we keep our focus on eternity. After all what's a few drops of rain or a couple of extra minutes when compared to an eternal reward? Where is your focus right now -- on the pain or the gain? How will your reward be defined?