Â Â Â Â Â Â Do you believe that your best is yet to come?
Â Â Â Â Â Â You may not feel good about what is happening to your life today.Â You may be beset by one disappointment after another.Â Disappointments in your family.Â Disappointments in your job.Â Disappointments about your health.
Â Â Â Â Â Â You’re reading my message not by some accident.
I believe God made you read this because He wants to tell you, “Don’t give up!”Â He wants to tell you that you’ve got an amazing, mindboggling, phenomenal Reward waiting for you.Â Words cannot describe, minds cannot fathom, and imaginations cannot fantasize this out-of-this-world Reward waiting for you…
Friend, God wants you to think of your rewards.Â When the going gets tough, think of your rewards.Â When you’re filled with disappointments, think of your rewards.Â When you feel like you can’t take another step, think of your rewards.Â
Because if you want to win in life,Â here’s what you do: Don’t focus on the pain; Focus on the prize!
We Love Rewards
Have you noticed?
We love rewards.Â
We love trophies, medals, plaques…
We love rewards so much, they have this powerful capacity to transport our minds from dwelling on the pain of today to the prize of tomorrow.
Let me give you an example.
I have this crazy friend–let’s call him James–who runs ultra-marathons.Â Just in case you don’t know, an ultra marathon is 100 kilometers long.Â How far is that?Â From Manila to Tarlac.Â
I asked James what was the reward for running an ultra marathon.Â His answer shocked me.Â He said, “A T-shirt.”
“A what?” I said.Â I couldn’t believe my ears.
“A T-shirt,” James said again.
“You’re running 100 kilometers to get a T-shirt.Â Is it a…uh… branded shirt?Â The one with a crocodile?Â Or the one with a guy riding a horse and carrying a stick?”
“Nope.Â It’s just an ordinary shirt, but it says, I’m an Ultra Marathon Finisher…”
I told James, “Look, you don’t have to run.Â I can make that T-shirt for you.Â Tell me what color, size, and shape.Â I’ll even put your name on it…”
But James said, “Nope, I don’t want your T-shirt.Â I want the T-shirt that they’ll give me if I finish the race.”
I don’t have plans to run an Ultra Marathon.Â But from what I hear, at a certain point of the race, each of your legs will weigh like a ton.Â Each of your legs will feel like they’re as heavy as tree trunks.Â
But at least for James, that simple reward was enough to lift his legs to take one more step.Â And another step.Â And another step.Â As he placed one aching foot in front of the other, all he thought about was, “I’ll get that T-shirt… I’ll get that T-shirt…”
And James finished the race.
It’s amazing how our brains are wired to respond to rewards.Â Rewards-as-stimuli are encoded in our DNA.Â It’s built into our mental architecture.
And Jesus knew human psychology so well.
He said,Â “Behold, I am coming soon!Â My reward is with me, and I will give to everyoneÂ according to what he has done.”Â Â (Revelation 22:11)
I’ve got an announcement to make: Life is not a sprint; Life is not a 100-meter dash; Life is not even a 400-meter dash; Life is an Ultra Marathon.Â
I urge you, don’t count in days, weeks, or months.Â Don’t even count in years.Â I urge you to start counting in decades.Â Because everything worthwhile takes time to grow.
It takes time to grow a marriage.
It takes time to grow children.
It takes time to grow a ministry.
It takes time to grow a business.
It takes time to grow a dream.
And I promise you, there will be days in your life when your legs will feel so heavy, they’ll be like tree trunks.Â There’ll be days when you don’t want to take another step.
But God says, “There’s a reward at the end of your journey.Â There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.Â There’s a T-shirt at the end of the marathon.Â Â But it’s no ordinary T-shirt.Â It’s the Garment of Worship.Â It’s the Robe of Heaven.Â It’s the Wardrobe of the Saints.Â It’s the Cloak of Glory.Â You will shine like the stars in the sky.Â You will sing with Angels.Â You will reign in the Heavenlies.
Until you realize that God is our ultimate Reward.
May your dreams come true,
PS. We were lifted up and swept away. Â I’m talking about the energy of the worship yesterday at the Feast PICC, it was over-the-top and explosive.Â We were totally lifted up and swept away!Â What an experience.Â What happened?Â We were led by the fantastic Emmanuel Worship team from Brisbane, Australia.Â Â They just gave us a “foretaste” of what they’ll be doing at the KerygmaConference 2012 this weekend. Â Yes, we invited them–and they flew all the way here to bless us.Â Do you want to experience being lifted up and swept away into God’s presence too?Â You have to join me on November 24 and 25 at the KerygmaConference 2012.Â Â For tickets, go to www.KerygmaConference.comÂ Or call 7259999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Â