Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Begin with the End in Mind – Part II
Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:1-10 NLT
Key Verse: Galatians 6:8 NLT
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
Jesus, when describing rewards for the faithfulness of His followers, indicated that the rewards are one hundred times better than anything this world can offer (Matthew 19:29).
Think for a moment about Jesus’s statement, would he exaggerate? Even in hyperbole, Jesus would not say anything less than the complete truth.
We can count on a reward that far exceeds any sacrifices we make here on earth. Keeping this in mind can guide us in how we live our lives. For those who do, they are being proactive and highly effective Christ-followers because they are doing now to get what they want in the end.
Take a moment to visualize something that you like in this life and imagine it 100% better than it is now. Wouldn’t you agree that 100% better is fantastic? Would it be worth a lot of effort to achieve 100% more?
Well, an increase of 100% is only twice as good. Starting with 10, an increase of 100% is 20.
Now think about what Jesus said about our lives being one hundred times better by putting Him and His Kingdom above all other things. Starting with 10, an increase of 100 times is 1000. That is an increase of nearly 10,000%!
It is hard to imagine that much improvement. How can anything be one hundred times better than something that is good to start with?
Yet, Jesus teaches His disciples that by putting Him above all else results in receiving one hundred times more. Surely all of us would vote to have this life and our eternal life one hundred times better than the one we are living now, even as Christ-followers.
The challenge we all face is learning to be okay with sacrifices in the present to achieve what we all really want in the end.
There is a story of twin brothers in the Old Testament that illustrates this idea of living for the moment rather than thinking of the future (Genisis 25). Their names were Esau and Jacob, Esau being the oldest by a few minutes would get a double portion of their father Isaac’s wealth; this is referred to as his “birthright”. However, one day Esau came in from hunting famished and desperate for food. His brother Jacob was cooking stew and offered it to his brother in exchange for his birthright. Esau quickly agreed, putting his present physical needs ahead of his God-given blessings. We read in Hebrews how Esau regretted this decision:
You know that afterward, when He wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. (Hebrews 12:17 NLT)
May God help us all to live life with the end in mind, knowing that Jesus Himself has prepared a place for us. If Jesus prepared it, we know it is wonderful!
Father, remind me to live my life with the end in mind. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.