Tuesday, December 6, 2011
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Oh, the frequent flyer bonus. That's one of the smartest ideas the airlines ever had I think. You know, you don't usually have to think twice about what airline you're going to book with. If they've got a flight going to the city that I'm going to anywhere near the time I need to go, you know I'm going to try and stick with that one company. Oh, I'm just a loyal kind of guy! No. See, the airline credits me with mileage awards that convert ultimately into discounts, and upgrades, and even free trips. They're getting a little harder to get, but you know, it's still a pretty good deal. Now, that bonus incentive sure has worked in getting me to stay with one carrier. And I understand it's worked on millions of other flyers too. The golden principle here is pretty simple: the biggest rewards are for those who stick with the same carrier.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Rewards of Not Moving."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 10:35. "So do not throw away your confidence." Okay, hang in there, okay? Now, in other words, stay where you've been. "It will be..." (here is the bonus) "...richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised." Well, the message here is pretty simple. Stay with what you've been committed to, and the rewards will be rich. Persevere so you'll receive.
Now, this is addressed to people, if you look at the context, whose commitment to Christ is being tested by very hard times. You can almost imagine in modern terms we might say to them, "Well, you know, it might be tempting to change carriers right now, but the bonuses, the rewards, are for those who stay put, who stay with the same carrier." That's a principle that covers a lot of living. Those who stay put get the biggest rewards.
It's true of marriage. Oh, people get restless in a marriage; the grass...it looks a little greener somewhere else. Or it gets tough and it's hard to work through this really stormy time. But the best of married love and the best intimacy earth has to offer isn't in the passionate days of courtship and the honeymoon. It comes from the long years of weathering storms and facing problems and refusing to run when it's hard. One day the sun rises on a trust, a belonging, a safety that you can only know by staying with the same partner. It's a joy that the "bailer-outers" will never know.
I've seen it in ministry; people who jump from place to place. They never know the tremendous payoff of sticking it out in one place. They're never there for the harvest; they sow the seed and they leave before the harvest. See, a harvest comes only by patient, persevering work. So often the jumpers leave just before the results start to come. It's like we get to the Red Sea and leave before it parts. They put in the work, but they never see the bonuses. They just keep changing carriers.
It's just true in so many areas of life; sticking with a friend instead of changing friends all the time because it got a little rocky, committing yourself to a cause and sticking with it, or seeing a job through when you feel like quitting. Most importantly, follow Christ patiently, doggedly, stubbornly every day for a lifetime. Even when you can't feel anything, when you can't hear His voice, it is the loyal followers of Christ who see Him as nobody else does.
There's a song that says, "The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows." That is so true. Stay with the same company, and you'll really enjoy the rewards of not moving.