Home » Thursday: Eyes on the Prize    


Thursday: Eyes on the Prize — 9 Comments

  1. Many of us worry about whether we have made some sort of mark on the world around us. Have we left a legacy to posterity? The truth of the matter is that we will be forgotten within a few generations.

    A few years ago I stood at the grave of Thomas Ashton who died in the 1800s and was buried in the churchyard of Rise in England. He was my great-great-grandfather. He was an illiterate farmhand, who signed his name with an X on my great-grandfather's apprenticeship papers. He had 8 children and my great-grandfather was the youngest. That is about all I know about Thomas Ashton. And I don't know all that much more about Sedman Ashton, my great-grandfather.

    Within a few generations, most of us will just be a name on an ancestry list.

    Paul was an outstanding exception to this. The fact that he wrote so prolifically and his writings were kept and treasured, means that we all know who he was and what he believed. For the rest of us, our contribution may be less prolific but no less important.

    This series of lessons has been about giving generously and while a fair bit of it has been about money, there is a constant reminder that Christianity is about giving generously of ourselves. That is a lot more than money.

    My great-grandmother, Harriet Ashton had this written on her grave; "She hath done what she could". I picture her as someone who lived her life of faith in such a way that many in her family learned the importance of faith in their own lives. Her life of faith was a reward in itself.

    • Thankfully The Lord does not forget us and it is in Him we have our true legacy. Even for those who have been in the grave for thousands of years the Lord will not forget them.

  2. I would say "eyes on the prize," ladies and gentlemen. Who is the prize? Jesus Christ. What is the prize? Eternal life with Jesus Christ and those who believe in Him. Where is the prize? Heaven for a thousand years. Then a ride on the Holy City as it is transported down to earth for its new home, earth. We will continue to live for eternity, no sin, no sorrow, no pain and no more tears. Also no wars, no one going off to war for 4 years. I do believe our Angel will stop in and say, “Go with me to visit a group of people on a planet on the other side of the Milky Way.” Yes, but let me pack my bags, oh no need to. Come on, let’s go. We will always come back home to family and friends. Never die. We will stay totally dependent on God for eternity. We now seek to finish the race, and also seek the Pearl of Great Price. Seek and ye shall find Me, Christ says.

  3. "Finally, prosperity is to be thankful for what you have in the Lord and trust in Him in all things." This phrase says it all! Am I happy with what I am, with what I think I have?

    We all come to this world only with what God granted us, and we will leave in the same manner!

    May I be content with what I have, today, and may my greatest effort simply be the fulfilment of God's will in my life, today.

  4. A human being's greatest success is not money, houses, big businesses, wide companies and everything you know out there, because all of that can perish in just a minute!!! Don't you remember what happened in Turkey?! Didn't you see those long and big houses, how they just came down in a minute as if they were not there?! Anyway, I don't say that it is bad to have them or to find them; what I want to say is this down here. 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

    Our greatest success is victory over sin, victory over temptation, the crown of righteousness, the kingdom of GOD and eternal life. This (victory over sin and the kingdom of GOD) is what we should struggle, looking for them!!! It's what should be our first and main focus.

    - And the last things is that, if we had food, clothes and a place to live (the basic needs that GOD promised to give us), those things are just enough for a Christian. We don't have to struggle to get what doesn't last! But instead to struggle to get what lasts! And that is nothing but the Kingdom of GOD.


  5. This was a good lesson to help with learning many essential aspects which are part and parcel of our faith in the Gospel of Christ, that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is His Son.

    All our efforts to remain in this ‘race of our faith’ and to finish it, is based on our understanding that we are on a journey of righteousness by faith. I greatly appreciate the Scripture 1 Tim. 6:6-12; it points out the markers which we ought to remember along this life-long journey of and by faith.

    Reading this passage, the first thing I learn is to keep in mind to couple godliness/righteousness with contentment. To pursue righteousness, the focus is on developing the character traits of godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness. It is not an easy race when confronted with all types of temptations which undermine the commitment to keep the faith; but we are encouraged to remain steadfast.

    I think the most important part for me to focus on is to develop a consistent, patient kindness. God made it easy by providing ready reminders. This area in my life is steadily improving, and talking and sharing with others the love of my Heavenly Father goes a long way in helping me stay on the straight and narrow road. 🙂

  6. Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Tim. 6:6

    If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:14

    If we are always content, why would we ask for anything?


    To explore this question, here is a little story...

    Thinking of two girlfriends, one who is a single mom in her 40s, homeschooling 2 young ones and who has been through several housing moves recently, and one who is in her early 20s and newly divorced. Both long to find partners. The other day my Sis was saying that if they had mates they would feel more settled and secure and life would be better for them. She was saying that even walking and talking with God in Eden was not enough for Adam's contentment, and she supported this idea with this passage from Patriarchs and Prophets...

    "Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful enjoyments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship." p. 46

    My understanding is that God knows what we need. He created a need for physical, tangible companionship and that is why He created Eve for Adam. Maybe Adam told God about his feelings before this special creation occurred. We can talk to God about our needs and wants, and then be satisfied that God will answer that prayer in His own way in His own time. If we don't have something right now, it is because God doesn't want us to have it right now, or because we are not ready to receive that gift. Contentment isn't over the next hill, it is a gift for the righteous right now. I was reading Deut. 8:16 this morning where Moses said that the Children of Israel were led through "that great and terrible wilderness" (v. 15) so that God "might humble you and might test you, to do you good in the end." I reminded my Sis of Is. 54:5-6 where God reveals that He understands the hurt of being "refused" and that He has promised "thy Maker is thine husband". We don't need to keep searching when we have found Christ.

    All through my 20s, 30s and 40s, I devoted a lot of my energy and time to finding a life partner. I was not an active Christian at that time and so I was working to get what I wanted and what I thought God wanted for me without making Him the priority in my life. I once read that a person can tell what our loves are by looking at 2 things: 1) our checkbook and 2) our calendar. My calendar was full of dates I'd set up from online dating sites. There was nothing wrong with putting myself where I might find someone, but I had not made Jesus my priority at that time. I did not do like Abraham's servant, sent on a mission to find a partner for Isaac, praying earnestly for God's kindness and success (Gen. 24:12-14) and limiting my search to the area of God's "will". God answered that man's prayer even before he had finished speaking! If we have a need, God knows about it before we do and is more eager than we are to fulfill it (Matt. 7:11). Contentment isn't giving up and saying, "Well, I guess this is my lot in life." Contentment is me saying, "I am so grateful for everything You have given me today, You've always provided for me in the past, and I know You are working to meet all my needs now. Make me ready to receive from Your Hand and to be eager to return all You give me back to You, for Your glory."

    So to conclude, I believe Adam was content in all circumstances (like Paul in Phil. 4:11-13) until he made a choice with Eve to side with Satan and believe that God was not enough, and so introduce the epidemic of discontent into this world. Our power to do good and have good is not something we can buy (Acts 8:18-23). Our happiness and stability is not based on situations and circumstances. It is based on our relationship with Christ. When Jesus said to ask anything in His name, He promised He would do it "so that the Father is glorified in the Son" John 14:13. Jesus never performed miracles for Himself and His prayers were always for us and for His Father's glory. When our time, talents, and energies are spent pursuing a deeper relationship with God, that is the reason we are happy. He is the only answer to all our needs and problems. Any persons or things that God gives us that are pleasing to us,... any rewards and gifts in the future that are meant to be a joy to look forward to, ...are a joy only once we are secure in what we have today...a relationship with Jesus. Jesus tells us, "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Cor. 12:9).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>