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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


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WORD FOR THE WEEK 08 August 2004
Christian Fellowship Centre,
40 Da Costa Square, Bangalore 560084, India


Zac Poonen

In just three words the Holy Spirit records the testimony
of Enoch's life: "He pleased God" (Heb. 11:5). There is
no mention of wealth amassed or of earthly honours
obtained. There is no record of sermons preached or
of good deeds done, nor even of the souls led to God
through his witness. Neither are we told how popular
or famous he became. No, instead of all this his life is
summed up in that one tense sentence, "He pleased
God." It is indeed the only thing that will have value in
eternity. The Bible tells us that God created all things
"for his pleasure" (Rev. 4:11). It follows therefore that
the measure in which we please God is the true
measure of the effectiveness of our lives. In no other
way is the cost of our redemption justified. Our very
existence on earth is meaningless if God is not thereby

How subtle is the self-life, how deceitful the human
heart! How readily does it lead us captive to this
world's treasures! "Oh," it exclaims, "such wealth and
pleasure are too precious by far to be given up for the
doubtful satisfaction of following the Lord utterly. Surely
this Christian race can be run on easier terms! Public
opinion is against extremes. Let us take it easy. Let us
live for God in moderation!" May God deliver us from
such faithless thinking. He would have us lay aside
every weight and go for the prize. He desires that we
should turn from the world's base standards and be
satisfied with nothing less than His highest. What
matters the honour of men to the man whom God
would honour? Of what value is this world's wealth
when heaven's wealth is at stake?

Do you seek earthly security for your life? Do you hope
somehow to insure it against the risks of faith? Then,
believe me, you will most certainly lose it. You will have
nothing to show at the end. Change you mind! Be
prepared to throw away your life for Jesus' sake. Suffer
hardship for His gospel. You will never regret the
decision. You will find there is no waste, no true loss at
all. On the contrary you will discover that eternal fruits
spring from the seed you have planted. The heavenly
rewards will far outweigh the offering you lay at His
feet. For "the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (1
John 2:17). In the day when Christ returns in glory and
the present order of things is no more, they who have
followed Him wholly will forget all the costliness in the
unspeakable joys before them.

I have often thought of a picture of the day that is
coming when we shall be caught up to the portals of
heaven's glory to stand before our Lord. Then, in the
presence of the highest dignitaries of heaven,
redeemed men and women who on earth have been
faithful to their trust will be rewarded by the King of
kings Himself. I can imagine, in that day, Enoch
walking forward when his name is called, and the
citation being read: "He pleased God." Yes, he may
have been mocked and ridiculed on earth for three
hundred years and more but now amidst deafening
angelic applause he is decorated with heaven's
highest award for gallantry in battle.

I see, too, the apostle Paul step forward when his turn
comes to receive a similar recognition. On earth he
was a considered a fanatic and a fool; here there is
laid up for him a crown of life. All the years of suffering
are forgotten in that moment of time. The joy that takes
its place springs from the knowledge that God has
been pleased, and this is a joy that abides for all

And then your turn will come, and mine. What will the
citation read, dear brother, dear sister? When we stand
there stripped of all the religious veneer, all the
outward sham and pretense that covered our lives on
earth, what will be left? Will you know only sorrow at
your emptiness in that day? Will you bitterly regret the
worthless choices made, the opportunities lightly
thrown away? Or will you take your place there
alongside Enoch and Paul? These are urgent
questions, for they relate not to something I have
imagined up, but to stark reality. Something like the
scene I have crudely depicted above will take place in
actuality when Christ Jesus returns, and many, we are
warned, will be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Let us, then, give earnest heed to His Word. Let us
take serious account of priorities of life, for eternal
values hang upon them. And let us determine from this
day to give the supreme place to our Lord Jesus in all
things. There is a life to be lived on earth, and a race to
be run, that will call for everything we have to give. But
the race has a goal, and the life has a prize, alongside
which all that earth has to offer will seem but the vilest
refuse. For when we enter the presence of the King, no
music will compare with His welcoming words: "Well
done, good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy
of thy Lord." "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is
with me, to give to every man according as his work
shall be." (Revelation 22:12)

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at the following e-mail address:
[email protected]
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