Hope for Maturity
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Hope for Maturity

Perseverance, Endurance

Peter writes in his letter to the Hebrews, chapter 12, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." That word, "endure" in the Greek actually means "to obey, even when it leads to loss". Why bother? "For the [hope of the] joy" that was to be His later. He was investing in heavenly rewards.

Heavenly rewards? Yes, there are different levels of payoff in heaven.

Jesus taught, "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven." –Matthew 5:19 Evidently, we are not all equals in the kingdom of heaven! There are numerous passages that refer to different crowns given out in heaven.

God is absolute justice, just as He is absolute love. Only He could pull that off. What justice is not meted out on earth will be finished in heaven. The good that you do here that is not recompensed here will be recompensed in heaven. Jesus promised, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, ...." – Matthew 5:12

A prayer you might try is: "Father, please give me confirmation that heaven and its rewards are there, In Jesus’ name, Amen."

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses [of the brethren who have gone before us], let us throw off every sin and encumbrance [of the old nature] that clings so tightly and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." – Hebrews 12:1

Cleaning out the dead wood isn’t leaving much behind. What do I put in?