Sunday October 23, 2016 Tribute

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;  in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.  2 Timothy 7-8

St Paul knew that his reward would be in heaven.  There was awaiting him a crown of righteousness that the Lord would give to him when he died.  What an encouragement for me and for all who are still fighting the good fight.  So many times we look for recognition and thumbs up here on earth to give assurance that the life being lived is acceptable.  Problem is the acceptance and honors others often bestow are rarely the recognition that God will give in heaven.  Promotions at work and awards for selling are rarely given for righteousness of the type God would favor.  At the pearly gates the accounting ledgers are much more slanted to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked present company excluded…  Designer labels worn in the casket will not carry much weight with St Peter.

When someone dies, the Funeral Tributes are never about how much money they made or what a good golf game they shot.  Instead the living focus on the legacy created by the deceased: the lives that were changed, the good that was done to enhance others existence.  So why do I focus so much time on the stuff of this earth?  Maybe because it is easier to measure money in a bank account than it is to stack up the good feelings created by a smile or the grace that was earned by corporal works of mercy.  God is keeping that Savings Passbook and only He knows the balance.  Those who will testify to a life well lived rarely step to the microphone until the wake.  It is a sad commentary because by being like Paul who often recognized those who were doing good work (Luke, Timothy, Priscilla and Aquila) we could be encouraging those who are trying to live righteously.

Lord help me to recognize and praise those who are living a blessed life.  Give me the words to say that will encourage them and let them know that their example has spurred me on to do more myself to further Your kingdom.   

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