Eyes on the prize!
By Lyn Wake | Wycliffe Today June 2020 |
What motivates and enables our members around the world to keep persevering through problems, pressures and yes, pandemics? The secret is out … they have their eyes on ‘the prize’! When the Apostle Paul wrote to the early believers about running for the ‘prize’, what did he have in mind?
- The prize is a place: Jesus promised to prepare a place for us in paradise. Then, after his return, he will create a whole new heaven and earth for us! (John 14:1-4; Luke 23:43 and Revelation 21:1)
- The prize is a party: Jesus’ wedding parable teaches us that everyone is invited to share in the Father’s friendship, feasting and festivities forever! (Matthew 22:1-4 & Revelation 19:6-9)
- The prize is a presence: the indwelling of the Holy Spirit now, and the not yet experienced promise of God dwelling in the midst of his people, is the glorious prize offered to all who believe! (John 14:15-17 & Revelation 21:3)
- The prize is eternal pleasure: I imagine the pleasure God will receive as he bestows the crown of life upon his beloved for their faithful perseverance. What great pleasure it will be for us when we are finally together as one family! (James 1:12 & Revelation 22:4)
- The prize is a person: Jesus Christ himself! There may be many ‘good’ prizes to aim for in this life, but he alone is worth it all! (Colossians 1)
We need more perseverance than we naturally possess to win the prize.
Perseverance is an essential quality of faith and a gift from God. Paul and the New Testament writers used the Greek word hupomeno to convey what faith requires: steadfastly remaining when others have departed, boldly bearing up under pressure, patiently enduring through suffering, and continuing on with vibrant hope.
Friends, if there ever was a time we needed a good dose of hupomeno, it is now! Through every painful predicament life can bring, Jesus provides the model, motivation and means for us to persevere. So until he comes, eyes on the prize!
How can we fix our eyes more firmly on Jesus and experience God-given perseverance by the gift of his Spirit?
Be transformed by the Word by engaging with:
Psalm 84 and Hebrews 12:1-12