Getting the Prize

Precious gift of life greetings to you, precious kingdom family!!! Yesterday I wrote about how interesting it is going to be when we cross over the finish line into our Father’s heavenly paradise kingdom and see our Father face to Face!!! Today, I would like to further the intrigue of your imagination of what our King holds in store for us as His:

As we all run across the finish line into the face to Face encounter with our “Coach,” I can think of no greater words that He could speak to us than “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21) What a bonus on top of the gift of eternal life in heaven promised to all believers that thought is! As we think back on the time we spent running our own piece of the “cross” road, perhaps we will recall that it certainly had its fun, enjoyable and joyous times, as well as those experiences that brought grief, pain, sweat and tears – those times when we thought “I just don’t know if I can keep going.” At this point, God’s Words found in Luke 6:21 should come to mind “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” Hearing our “Coach’s” praise will suddenly make all that we endured well worth it and I can imagine that these memories of our long run will begin to fade to the past as we stand in awe of all that is around us on this, “the other side” of the finish line.   The words “Well done, my good and faithful servant” spoken by God will be a great reward to us by themselves, but just as a physical athlete finishing a marathon well receives a prize, so we as spiritual athletes will receive the prize that God has for each one of us individually according to what we have done well for Him!!! Only God knows what that prize or reward(s) will be, however, the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 that there is in store for not only him, but also to all who have longed for the appearance of the Lord, the crown of righteousness!!! In 1 Corinthians 9:25, he refers to it as a crown that will last forever!!! God knows how to give good gifts and what He chooses to gift us with will be considered very special and sacred to us, but it will not come even close to the special gift of being with Him!!! What a great time of celebration this will be, but it won’t stop here.   He has something else planned:

 We Are His Royalty

Your “coach” who has instructed you, trained you, experienced all your emotions, trials and struggles, and helped you to run successfully to the end has had His eyes on you from the very beginning and He has had “abounding love” for you from that time on. (It was love at first sight!)

eyes-of-jesus

Not only has He been teaching us how to run, but He has been working on building a love relationship with us guys and gals this whole time. He wants to spend forever with us! All along, He has had the intention of making us (the church) symbolic of His bride after we cross the finish line. It’s truth straight from His written Word, the Holy Bible!!! He wants to be our husband and He has been working all this time making preparations for a HUGE wedding celebration.

Jesus_meeting_bride-tiny

There is no need to worry. He knows the heart of His bride to be and He knows our heart is for Him, too. He knows how to bless us and each one of the other guests in the details. Oh, and if you are wondering about the guest list, it will be all nations – believers throughout the whole world will be a part of the wedding. No need to worry about the food as He is taking care of that and He has a reputation for doing superb work, including picking out the finest of wine (John 2:1-11)!

Wedding Feast Of Lamb

He is an expert when it comes to putting together plans and if you are finding yourself once again asking “Whatever shall I wear?” He has that figured out too. Revelation 19:6-8 says “Hallelujah!” For our Lord God Almighty reigns!!! Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!!! For when the wedding of the Lamb (Jesus) has come, His bride will have made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, will be given to her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Not to panic here for this means that He will have you covered with His clothes of righteousness on your wedding day! Your righteous act will be that of faith in what He did for you on the cross!   He has made His bride pure by washing her and making her clean – as white as snow (Psalm 51:7).

purple-robe

Revelation 19:9 goes on to say “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb! And the angel said to John who received this revelation “These are the true Words of God.”

Imagine the words that will be exchanged between you and your great perfect love. Perhaps your “coach” aka symbolic as a groom to His bride (us as the church) will choose the following words to say to us:

  • “You, my beloved, are who I have chosen to be mine forever.”
  • “You are who your Father has given to me out of the whole world.”
  • “You are the one I have been praying for!”
  • “Your love is what I have been jealous for all this time.”
  • “You are the one with whom I have wanted to share all my glory and riches.”
  • “It is for you whom I have prepared a place for in my Father’s kingdom, so that where I am you will be also.”
  • “It is to you that I have been faithful.”
  • “It is for you, that my love is everlasting.”
  • “It is for you that I have sacrificed for.”

Embraced in His love, I can imagine responding to Him:

  • “You are the One I have worshiped!”
  • “You are the One I have served all these days.”
  • “You are my great love – the One everlasting.”
  • “You are the One I have prayed to find and the One I have searched for with all my heart.”
  • “You are the One I have found – a gift from heaven.”
  • “You are the One who has been jealous for my love.”
  • “You are my shield and defender.”
  • “You are the One I have longed for.”
  • “You are the only One who can quench my thirst and satisfy my every need.”
  • “You complete me.”
  • “Your love is a perfect love.”
  • “You have searched my heart and You know me, understand me and love me as I am.”
  • “You are my Prince.”
  • “I am so thankful that You have chosen me.”

SIGH! As a woman, this symbolic picture of all the saints joining Christ for all eternity sounds so “divine” to me! However, I have often wondered how a man feels about being the bride to the bridegroom (Christ). A dear brother of mine who is a manly man helped to put that into perspective for me by sharing an experience that he had at a men’s Christian retreat. There was a man there who was a great mentor to him. At one point during the retreat, he hugged my brother. At first, my brother responded with a light brotherly hug back. But what happened next was unexpected – this mentor of his would not let go! He continued to hug my brother for so long that it began to anger my brother and still yet this man did not cease in his hugging. Finally, my brother realized that what he was experiencing was the love of Christ that was flowing through this man to him. In those moments, he caught a glimpse of the depth of God’s great love for him that pursues him and does not let him go. He felt so loved that he said he cried just like a baby. Now how sweet is that!!!

jesus-loving-brother

woman-with-gods-arma-around-her

When we encounter Christ’s perfect love face to Face, it will be a love that will cut beneath the superficial niceties directly into the core of our souls. How wonderful it will be to be with our great love for all eternity. It is hard waiting for that blessed day!!! I look forward to living in the presence of God, basking in His perfect love and acceptance and being free from the affects of a sinful nature and a sinful world. It will be heaven – the presence of Jesus is heaven in our lives, even now as this song says here.

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