Reward

#fmf

When I was growing up, my first real memory of getting a reward involved making money. Tooth fairy, cleaning my room or making A’s on my report card. That is generally where we start teaching our children about reward. What can “I” do to get rewarded? Reward is financial.

Then as I aged, the reward seemed to move from just doing simple things that didn’t really take much effort to having to be the BEST at something. My reward was based on performance.

Sometime after that it moved to, who I married, how my children behaved, what I drove or where I lived. Appearance gave me the reward I was seeking.

But are the earthly rewards what my Lord is about? It seemed that the rewards became harder and harder to achieve. That the struggles became greater and the rewards disappeared. At least that was until I met Jesus on a more personal level. I had called myself “Christian” for many years at this point but I hadn’t allowed the gift, the reward, of the Holy Spirit to fill my soul. I had unknowingly shrugged my shoulders at His guidance in pursuit of the earthly rewards I found so valuable. Missing out on the true reward of God.

Philippians 1:19-24 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ,which is better by far;  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

So even though my time here on earth my come with pain and hardship, as long as I have the Holy Spirit living in me and guiding my steps, my reward will be eternal and not limited to things of this earth. And prayerfully my reward on earth will be showing others the rewards of Christ.

I have lived at least half my life on earth already. And I plan to spend what time I have finishing well for the glory of God.

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.

As a friend shared this verse below with me, I am reminded that through the struggles Jesus is there. He has given us a great reward of eternity as long as we ……..

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 Rejoice always,  pray continually,

And when it comes to the end of this earthly life, I know that I will be rejoicing and my reward will be for eternity. As CS Lewis says…. “Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

I have Tasted and it is Sweet


Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Peter 2:2-3

I love spring! This time during the season that God’s warmth bares down on the earth and His refreshment falls freely on us and growth happens.

It’s a beautiful sight to see. Pockets of green starts popping out of the soil and the anticipation of watching the rainbow of colors that will soon appear. To watch the new season’s growth come alive is a blessing to my eyes.

Same goes for the spiritual growth in others. As they seek the Lord and search out His words to allow Him to bare down and refresh their souls. This is a beautiful sight and a blessing to my eyes.

I can only imagine the excitement in my God’s heart when I too seek Him. Spending time in His presence and meditating on His goodness. Allowing my roots to multiply and strengthen my foundation of faith. Gaining stability in my walk. Trusting Him for my protection as the seasons to come blow over me. Asking Him to comfort me during the strong winds and frigid times. Shielding me from the schemes of evil. I have tasted the Lord’s goodness and it is sweet.

Place

#fmf

When my husband and I moved to Kentucky 6.5 years ago, I was moving from my home of 28 years and from our kids. I was heavily tied into a church family and had many people there that I loved. I was actively involved in church and our community. Then we moved to Winchester. New place, new job, new church and new people. For an introvert at 51 years old that is a hard place to be.

We had found a place to call home and after about 3 months, I had decided on a church and found a job. But the people, I hadn’t found my place with the people yet.

I dove in head first. I was looking for that place where I fit. That place where I was invited. That place that was comfortable.

Was I trying to hard to find my place? Probably! Was I trying to make this place the place that I came from? Maybe! Was I trying to create the “circle of people” that I so longed for? Yep!

I needed that place. I longed for that place. The place of belonging!

And then I found it! It didn’t look like what I was expecting. It wasn’t the place of a home, job, church or people. It was the place where God was. Right there with me. Inside me. Guiding me. Holding me. Comforting me.

The Lord settled my need for place by showing me my place was with Him. And if I am content in Him then I am content anywhere.

Psalm 37:23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
Matthew 22:37 “Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

My Love and Comfort comes from a place within.

More

#fmf

As a child we see the world as a big play ground. There is more and more to see and learn. We’re eager to do more. And as good parents should, we are encouraged. Our parents hold our hand, take each step with us and they spring with excitement when we do more.

As an adult, our eagerness for more grows intensely and our desires to do and have more is encouraged by the world. The world tells us more is expected. Pressures of providing more are strong. No one walks with us, we now have to step alone, dependent of self. We do more.

When is more enough? When will we allow our Lord to be our more? When will we let Him hold our hand, take each step with us and stop depending on self and start depending on Him?

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

When will be stop striving and start resting in HIS more?

Search

#fmf

To search is to find for self

To search is to strive to acheive

To search is to provide greatness in one’s life

To search is to obtain satisfaction that’s self serving

But that is not the search that I desire

Psalm 139:1-3 

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.

To search is to strive to give

To search is to provide hope to other’s life

To search is to obtain satisfaction in serving

And to search to to open one’s self up to HIM

Jeremiah 17:9-11 

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
    are those who gain riches by unjust means.
When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,
    and in the end they will prove to be fools.

To search is to be honest

To search is to be aware of one’s weaknesses

To search is to find gain only through the Lord

Revelation 2:22-24 

22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.