Your Reward Is Great in Heaven

Good morning. It is Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Hump Day.

Today’s Word of the Day is oenologist/enologist. An oenologist is “an expert in or connoisseur of wines.” I am definitely not an oenologist.

Today is Hugging Day. Because everyone needs a good hug, now and then.

Yesterday was another frustrating day at work. I’m still not loving this new position, and would really like to be back what I was doing before. But I guess I’d better just suck it up until something better comes along.

We had a good Huddle group last night, praying for each other, and then sharing some instances of what we believe God is saying to us through events and circumstances in our lives. It was very interesting to hear the different perspectives of everyone. As we discuss, we try to come up with questions we can ask each other next week to keep accountability of how things are going. We are working through what is called the learning circle. It looks like this:
Learning Circle
The “X” on the line at the top is what designates a moment in time (Kairos) that sets us off of our normal path to examine what God is saying to us. What is not on this diagram is that the “repent” side has the question, “What is God saying?” below it, and the “believe” side has “What do I do about it?” below it.

Stephanie has won tickets to the Rangers annual Awards Dinner this Friday night. She’s very excited about that. I think I will be taking her, as she only won two. However, we are kind of trying to let her decide who she wants to go with her. At this point, I’m planning to work 7-3:30 on Friday, in order to be off work in time, because we have to get to the Omni Hotel in Dallas by 7:00 PM.

In other news, the New England Patriots may be in big trouble. It seems that some of their footballs were underinflated. Hmmm . . .

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.

Psalm 10:5-10

Today’s reading from Solid Joys is “The Anchor of Joy.”

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”
Matthew 5:11

There is a secret, which Jesus revealed, that “protects our happiness from the threat of suffering and the threat of success.” Here is the secret: “Great is your reward in heaven.” That reward will include the “fullness of the glory of Jesus Christ” (Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.~~John 17:24).

Matthew 5:11 (quoted above) shows us how our happiness is protected from suffering. Verse 12 continues with, Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. It is this great reward in heaven that “rescues our joy from the threat of persecution and reviling.”

But what about success? Do we ever consider that our joy/happiness is under attack from success? After all, most of us believe if we could just be a little more successful, we would be happy, right? Jesus tells us, in Luke 10:20, Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Do not rejoice in success; rather, rejoice that we have a great reward in heaven!

“Our joy is safe. Neither suffering nor success can destroy its anchor. Great is your reward in heaven. Your name is written there. It is secure.”

Father, I pray that you help me remember this. I am almost floored by how my daily readings seem, lately, to be personally tailored to what I am going through, what with all of these thoughts about reminding myself and directing my mind on what to think about, and then today, the reminder that my joy in you is secure against all things that would threaten it. Remind me, Father! Help me remind myself! And then use me to remind others! Our joy is secure, no matter what the circumstances surrounding me in the physical realm. My joy is secure, because great is my reward in heaven!

I pray for this day, that we would have safe passage to work and back. I pray for Christi’s work day, that it would be productive, yet free from hassle and anxiety. I pray for my work day, as well, that I would be able to keep up with everything and not get overwhelmed. I pray that Christi’s knee and other body parts would quit hurting. I pray for Stephanie, that she would be reminded today of your great love for her, and that she has a great reward in heaven as well.

I lift up my brother, Kevin, who has been experiencing some very serious anxiety attacks. May you give him peace, Lord, like never before. Grant him the peace that passes all understanding!

Your grace is sufficient.

No matter what happens today, remember that your joy is secure, because your reward is great in heaven. Rejoice not in any worldly success (not even any spiritual success)! Rejoice that your name is written in heaven.

Grace and peace, friends.

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