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Pursuing Greatness and Eternal Rewards

Mike Connell

Page 10 of 11
Now there are two things, and the Bible's very clear about them. So if you're going to do a trade with God, something that's of value to you is surrendered, in order to receive something of greater value. We can't buy things from God. We can't, but what we can do is, we can invest our life; and the consequence of it, is a return that comes to us, by the principle of sowing and reaping. You can't go to God and buy, and just trade: I give you this, you give me that. That's worldly thinking. No. What we need to do is, go to the Lord, and discover from Him what He wants us to do; and it will cost something. It costs you, often, your time. It costs you your energy. It sometimes costs you with disappointments, and difficulties with people. It costs you to serve and walk with God, and so there are two aspects of it. I'll just finish up with these right now.

In 1 John 2 He says: abide in Him, that you may have confidence when He comes and appears, and not be ashamed or naked before Him. Isn't that interesting? 1 John 2, He's saying: abide in Him; so the first thing we need to do in trading with God is, we need to value our relationship with Him, and invest in our relationship with God. Coming to church helps, that but it is not that. Your relationship with God is your personal connection. You can sit in a church, and not connect with God. You can sit, and come to a meeting, and be no different to a person who's in a religious situation anywhere. This is about connecting with God, so Jesus said: abide in me. That's a relationship, staying connected, keeping your heart free of wrong attitudes. Abide in me, let my words abide in you. You will bring forth fruit. So this is firstly intimacy with Him; secondly, Revelations 19 verse 8 says: to her was granted, that she would be arrayed in white arrayment, and the white garments are the righteous acts of the saints.

So there are two things I need to do. Number one, I need to invest in my relationship with God, learning how to remain connected with Him, abiding in Him, keeping my heart free from bitterness and inequity. I need to learn how to keep a passionate love for God alive. Number two, I need to passionately love people, because it says: for the fine linen, or the garments, are the righteous acts of the saints; and we saw last week that the righteous acts of the saints, are: acts of justice and generosity and mercy; on behalf of the poor, oppressed and needy. So the two things are summed up very clearly: love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and soul and mind and strength; and passionately love your neighbour, as yourself. If you do that, you'll not lack anything.

So a passionate love, ignited day by day, for the Lord; and a fervent love for people, that overcomes setbacks and disappointments, and expresses practically, practically, practically! How can you say you have love inside you, and you know God, if you see your brother with a practical need, and you don't reach out to help him? How can you say the love of God is living in you? It's incredibly practical, so the two things: developing a passionate, intimate relationship with God keeps me on track, and alive, and on fire; and I'm not wretched, and I'm not poor. Actually I'm very rich, and if I fill my life with flowing out from that relationship with God, with acts of kindness and mercy for the poor and the oppressed and the needy, then I'll be sure then that I have the garments that He wants from me.

And so the Bible says: there will be a day when you will enter into that kingdom, and may your entrance be glorious! May the entrance you have be glorious, because you worked on your life, and made yourself ready, and had a great life with God, and a great overflow of generosity! That is what this is all about, and the results will affect you for eternity. We all for a season of our lives are journeying together, but there is a day when we all give account and from that point on, we're in the realms God has appointed, wearing the garments He's appointed, associated with the honour of different realms.