Faith · Heaven · Hope · Treasure

living hope…

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called…

Ephesians 1:18 NLT

I saw some living hope yesterday… at a lower level professional sports event…

The things I saw and heard continue to linger in my thoughts today…

These were hope-full players… investing time… money… energy… emotion on the chance of beating the field to move up in the rankings… to get to a level where they can compete professionally without having to qualify…

They were from all over the world… thirty-two players competing for four qualifying spots in the tournament…

Those who succeed in qualifying… enter into a field of thirty-two… one of whom will be the winner…

And I wonder at how much effort… enthusiasm… and work is being invested for something unsure…

There are surely some spiritual lessons here… questions to consider…

How much effort… time… energy… resources… do I put into the call of a Believer…?

For Believers… the outcome is guaranteed…

He wins… and with Him the church… every Believer shares in His victory… and receives the crown of life…

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 ESV

Paul saw the same sort of effort among the athletes of his day… and made a connection to our spiritual lives…

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV

We are working toward an imperishable prize… storing up treasure in heaven… which will be ours eternally…

How much more should we be encouraged to run the race of faith…?

Another picture becomes clear as I continue to think about those athletes…

Even though I’m not there today… they are still competing…

Unseen to me… they are still expending energy… still playing with hope… still working for the prize…

The same is true of the unseen spiritual battle… the unseen race we run for the eternal treasure of heaven… bringing glory to God at the return of Jesus…

Run… strive… work… invest… in what lies ahead…

Live for your hope in Him…

It’s a guaranteed victory…!

It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.

2Corinthians 1:21-22 NLT

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