Sunday, September 12, 2010

"The Reward Is The Fun Part"

On occasion I have heard people say that they like to exercise. I don't understand that. Who really LIKES to exercise? I like the results from exercising, but I do not like the actual exercise. It is hard work. It makes you sweat and hurt and it is no fun. There are other things in life that can be just as difficult. Yard work for example is a pain, but the end result is a gorgeous yard. Over the years I have learned that marriage is the same way. Marriage is a lot of work. It requires a lot of effort. It calls us to die to self, lay aside our own wants and desires at times and serve someone else. Sometimes biting our tongue, letting go of our rights and deferring to someone else is just plain hard. But, the reward of an incredible marriage is so worth the effort. The things in life that produce the greatest reward usually costs us the most effort, work and sacrifice. I was reminded this week that even Jesus had to go through work, effort and sacrifice as he hung on that cross. He didn't want to be there. He even ask His Father if this cup could pass from him to please do so. In other words, if there is any other way please spare me from this grief and yet scripture says in Hebrews 12:2 "for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross." The joy was not found in the moment, but for the joy that was set before Him. For the joy that was to come, He endured the cross. It says that He endured... What are you enduring today? Are you enduring a hardship, a rebellious child, a distant spouse, an estranged friend, a financial trial? For the joy set before you, endure this time. The reward is always the fun part. I have been watching what I eat and been on the elliptical for 3 weeks and I have lost 13 pounds. I will be honest, I hate it. It is hard. It is discipline. It is training my body and my mind to think and act differently. The same is true in other areas of our lives. We have to choose to NOT react in the way that comes natural to our flesh. We must choose to be obedient to scripture and live a life that is above reproach. Sometimes it is hard to bite our tongue with our spouse. Sometimes it is hard to serve when we feel like being selfish and doing for ourselves, but the reward of a loving marriage that honors Christ is far greater than the effort we have put forth. For the joy set before HIM... Choose today to give it all you have and watch and wait to see the reward that God has promised to those who obey Him.

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