What is due to Jesus, because of what He has done for you? He died for you, for me, for all sinners alike. So – what should be our response to Him?
I am living “my eternal life” right now, in the sense that this world is not my home, “I’m just a passin’ through” (Song by Jim Reeves… “This World is Not My Home” 1962 with Lyrics). My treasures are safe in Heaven. How ’bout you?
There is this sense of urgency I feel, while yet on this earth — to be persistent and conscientious, to always be pleasing God with all that I am and all that I do. That requires I be cautious and active in faith daily. I want to be in on that Rapture when it comes (and the signs indicate it’s happenin’ soon!)
1 Timothy 4:16 “Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Corinthians 9:23-27 “…I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings along with you.”
24 [a]Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! 25 Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things.
They do it to win a [b]crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither].
26 Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. 27 But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].
I am not flailing around, as those who “beat the air” meaninglessly (v26).
I run so as to win the prize. Contrary to “PC Culture” thinking, there is nothing wrong with winning the prize, doing your best to win. The Apostle Paul was most definite about this:
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-16 “…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us stay true to what we have already attained.”
The prize is eternal life with Jesus
The foot race we are all running as human beings, with eternal values in view, is truly a battle to be won at all costs – with the prize being “eternal life with Jesus”. The “unsaved” may not have a clue as to the race they are in. But they are in it, whether they know it or not. (So it behooves believers to share the truth of what they are up against!)
We can all be winners in this race. But there will be definite losers. This 2nd place “runner-up” crowd (or “losers”) will be losing all that is good, because the source of all that is good — is God Himself. All losers will be ending his/her race at the feet of Judge Jesus, where He Himself will declare their fate.
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Nothing wrong with trying to win a prize. Jesus promised a huge prize – the most humongous prize in the entire universe! He promises “eternal life” to those who “persevere to the end”. Is that good enough for you?
Persevere to the end: 1 Timothy 4:16, James 1:12, Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13
- Do your due.
- Run to win.
- Fight to win. “Fight the good fight“
- Work at it with all you have – to win.
It matters, whether you win or lose, to always do your best. We “do our due” NOT to win salvation, or get better than anyone else — but to bless Savior Jesus. We don’t go for the “kudos” 1 – but rather to please God.
We “place no confidence [in what we have or who we are] in the flesh” (v3) [(v4)”that is, in his own efforts to achieve salvation“]. Paul emphasizes this, that no matter what riches you have, no matter who you have been blessed to “become” — that is all of no import when it comes to “getting saved“.
As did the gladiators entering the Roman stadium, we could say, “We who are about to die….”
We who are about to die
– salute Jesus,
profess our faith in Him,
and do our best to live for Him.
There is no greater love… than to live your life for Him. (John 15:13; Mark 12:31)
“Whatever you do
[no matter what it is]
in word or deed,
in the name of the Lord Jesus
[and in dependence on Him],
to God the Father through Him.”
The Good Fight – by J.C. Ryle
The message of God to us His creation is that Jesus came down to earth from His throne in heaven in order to satisfy God’s justice. Our sinful rebellion against His ways has put us under judgement by God. And only a sinless replacement could allow God to save us from His condemnation.
Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Only He can save. Are you one of these?
“…whoever believes and trusts in Him…“
Believing and trusting in Him involves total belief and total trust. It means giving all of you – for all of Him. Nothing less is good enough for our Holy Holy Holy God. Believe and trust in Him.
– Source: God’s message to the world
- Google: praise given for achievement – 1 : praise given for achievement. 2 : fame and renown resulting from an act or achievement : prestige.