“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” - Philippians 3:14 (NIV).
Sports day is one of the most exciting time in a typical school calendar. This is the day which most kids look forward to as one by one they all descend early on the field to showcase their talents. All over they compete in a series of exacting games: track and field, high jump, long jump, short put, javelin, volley ball and many others. Often so towards the end parents also join in one final race, to the screaming delight of children as they see their mothers and fathers suddenly pull out all their old tricks and sprint to the finishing line.
The climax of any Sports day is the awards ceremonies. Any child who excelled and beat his competitors receives a medal. In other cases there are group medals shared among members of winning teams. It is a joyous day for every child who wins at something and goes home proudly strapping around his neck a medal. Job well done!
Now, much like Sports Day, the Christian life also culminates with a reward. The first reward is one which comes quite effortless. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”! The Almighty God through His son Jesus Christ has already done it for us. Like the robber who was crucified with Jesus, this is a reward we receive not because of our individual effort but because we have believed. “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
But then there is also a reward that comes after our individual efforts, just like the medals won on Sports Day. Romans 2:6 says, “God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” For we all know that during Sports Day, it is not merely going to compete expecting a medal. There are diverse talents which competitors come along with. These talents had nothing to do with them but were a gift of their creator. But to excel, one needs to have invested time and training, so as to win.
We as believers God has given each one of us a worthy talent. God expects us not to sit on our talents like one man who decided to hide his and still expect a reward (Mathew 25: 14- 30). It is those who use these God given talents, that God has promised yet a huge reward!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I thank you for the reward of eternal life through faith in Jesus, and the reward that awaits me as I use the talents you have blessed me with for the extension of your kingdom, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.