The beloved John wrote: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev 2:10). Is the Lord included in your plans every day? Are you making preparations to grow spiritually? Are your dreams and aspirations concerned solely with “this life” and the things therein? Revelation 2:10 speaks to Christians who were being persecuted because of their faith in the Lord (2 Tim 3:12 f; 1 Pet 4:16). In a very real way, being faithful unto death meant unto the point of death. Even if they were asked to lay their life on the line, they should do so willingly. Are we asked to serve the Lord to such an extreme degree? No, but what would be our reaction if that time came? Actually, you can determine your willingness to serve the Lord in difficult times by how you are serving the Lord now. When the times are favorable for spreading the gospel and worshiping the Father above, do you use every opportunity to put the Lord first? Why do you think that you would give up your life for the Lord, when you will not even put him first now? Jesus plainly says to put Him first (Matt. 6:33).
There will be disappointments in life. Family trouble, a financial crisis, or even trouble on the job will surely come to some. Will we continue to faithfully do the Lord’s will in spite of these problems? Undoubtedly Jesus was disappointed when his followers turned away (Jn. 6:66-69). Paul experienced heartache as his once faithful co-workers turned away in his time of need. Christians are not immune from troubles (Job 14:1). Let us resolve not to let anything or anyone turn us away from the Lord.
Satan will be seeking to gain an advantage of you at any opportune time. He seeks your spiritual destruction (1 Pet. 5:8). The Lord provides the way of escape; make sure you look for it and use it (1 Cor. 10:13).
Do your possessions possess you or do you possess them? Many say they have to work all the time. Other say they have to make ends meet. However, is your soul worth all that you are working for? Do you give God any of your time to do His work? The things of this life have a way of choking out the true riches that should be in our hearts (Lk. 8:14). Are you working for a good retirement in this life or in the one to come (Lk. 12:15-21)? Remember, a Christian has no retirement in this life. Faithful stewardship means that we willingly give back to the Lord what is His already (1 Cor. 4:2). The rich fall into a trap that is hard to get out of (1 Tim. 6:6-8).
A Christian’s resolve in this life should be to obtain an eternal heavenly reward and not an earthly short term gain. Let everything else in this life be secondary. Put the Lord first! Seek heaven first! When we do that, we have blessings now and in the world to come, eternal life!