We take care of our children. Sometimes we are sicker in an illness than they, but we do this because we know there is a future. The bookends of loving others, which the Master commanded us to do, are caring for them now and a future reward. Though we struggle now through all kinds of trials here on Earth, the most extreme reward is the promise of Heaven. The tougher the trial, the more faith it takes to stay focused on the future aspect of the timeline.
The early Christians shared their resources, even with fellow believers in other cities and in other countries. There was a unity of spirit because of their common beliefs in the importance and truth of who Christ was before and still is to this day. It was so important to them that they often lost the support of their family, their ability to buy and sell, and sometimes their lives. Their hope was in the promises which Jesus spoke.
The love of God for us caused Him to allow His Son to be sacrificed for our sin. We are not motivated by our successful love for others. No, it is with gratitude for the love that God has given to us. When we turn in on ourselves, like a rose that is drying out, we become self-centered. We want to stay in the cave and make the world go away. We become harder and less giving. It is only by turning away from ourselves and seeking to help others, that we become true to the general mission to which we have been assigned. That is the fullest expression of our gratitude.
If you don’t know what you should be doing, pray. There is much to be done. You will be given a mission if you ask. Because God is love, everything to which He turns our work, is designed for a future outcome. This we call His Will. He wants us. Let me repeat, He wants us, you and me, to be a part of His Will. That is to say His work. Stacked up against the evils of the world, we can triumph in God’s Will as we fight against the bad in the world. We do it for our children’s future and our own.
I love what C.S. Lewis said about combating evil, “My prayer is that when I die, all hell rejoices that I am out of the fight.” I love what Paul wrote to the Hebrews, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Our goal is in the future, and we move toward it by helping others to a brighter future for themselves. The hope we have about the future comes from Jesus’ promises. As powerfully as that future can draw us, the hope itself is a valuable possession. In a world that gives little sustaining hope and not one promise, our sharing both the promises and the hope can be a wonderful help to those who understand what they offer.
A new feature: Bob reading the article: https://youtu.be/IiWtLBqjdnc
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