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Monday, June 23, 2014

Are You Focused on Your Eternal Reward?

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

What would you do if you won a large sum of money? Now if you are like me I am sure you dreamed about what you would do with millions of dollars.

Have you ever wondered what happened to those who did win the lottery? Here are a few examples as reported by *Richard O'Connor: Ken Proxmire was a machinist when he won $1 million in the Michigan lottery. He moved to California , went into the car business with his brothers and within five years, filed for bankruptcy. Willie Hurt of Lansing , Michigan won $3.1 million in 1989; two years later he was broke and charged with murder. Missourian Janite Lee won $18 million in 1993; eight years later she filed for bankruptcy and had $700 left to her name. William Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives totally on his Social Security ($450 a month). Evelyn Adams of New Jersey won the state lottery not once, but twice (’85, ’86). Her winnings totaled $5.4 million dollars. In 2004 the money was all gone and she was living in a trailer! Adams is quoted as saying, "I won the American dream, but I lost it, too." Post said, "I wish it never happened. It was a total nightmare." Another winner stated, "It was NOT the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."

As we see, winning – especially winning the lottery – isn’t everything!

Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your TREASURE is, there your HEART will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

Why not store up treasures on earth? Because Jesus warned us that earthly treasures are subject to rust, decay, and theft. In fact, this WORLD and ALL of its possessions will one day be GONE (2 Peter 3:10)!

But, again quoting Richard O’Connor: "if your HEART is in heaven, you’ll never be heart broken, because your TREASURES will never grow old, they’ll never fade away, and no thief can steal them from you" (see also 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 21).

An ETERNAL inheritance awaits the faithful child of God....

To become a child of God, one must: believe in Jesus, God’s Son (Acts 16:30-31), repent of sin (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Then, the child of God must continue to live faithfully to the Heavenly Father (1 John 1:7; Revelation 2:10).

Winning isn’t everything when it comes to the material things of this earth. Several lottery winners have proven that! Winning IS everything when it comes to the ETERNAL reward of Heaven! Christ WON the victory in His death, burial, and resurrection. WE must align ourselves with Him in order to enjoy His reward!

Dear Lord, thank You that You won the victory over death. Our prayer today is that we would focus on the eternal reward in heaven rather than the things of this Earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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