Saturday, February 29, 2020

“Short Term Sacrifice, Longterm Benefit”

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe….

"Short Term Sacrifice, Longterm Benefit"
     Many of the beneficial and enjoyable physical activities of our youth (or sometimes, our adulthood) may also result in discomfort in later years.  The strengthening and stretching of muscles may also impact bones, ligaments and tendons with injury that may not be manifest until decades later.  

    "But though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day" (II Corinthians 4:16).

   Short term benefit sometimes bodes of longterm harm.  Indeed, the star athlete of yesteryear may be the physically challenged unfortunate of today.  Moreover, a relatively short athletic career sometimes results in many years of pain.  By this, I do not mean to ignore or deny the benefits of physical and athletic activity, which are many.  I simply state a truth that many former athletes readily acknowledge.  The principle applies in many ways, and also infers its antithesis: short term sacrifice often ensures longterm benefit.

    "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

    The Christian life involves much sacrifice in time that leads to blessing in eternity.  This begins with our salvation, made possible by the Lord Jesus Christ suffering forsakenness and death on the cross of Calvary in order to make possible freely given salvation to all who believe.  "For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame" (Hebrews 12:2).  We are that joy known by our Savior (Luke 15:7).  He willingly gave Himself to loss in the short term that resulted in our benefit forever.  He also lives in believers by His Spirit to motivate and empower the same quality of a life lived self sacrificially in time for the blessing of others to benefit eternally: "eChrist in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).  As we exemplify and bear witness to the Lord Jesus by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we lead both others and ourselves into a tomorrow of joy, based on a today of sacrifice.  "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).

   I have long maintained that a primary function and responsibility of fathers involves teaching their children this principle of short term sacrifice resulting in longterm benefit.  This is tru of earthly parents, and far more true of our Heavenly Father.  As we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we more and more discover the blessedness of foregoing pleasure in the moment for the purpose of ensuring greater glories in the future.  Certainly this does not preclude present enjoyment of many blessings.  It does mean, however, that many opportunities arise wherein challenging responsibility must be fulfilled before pleasurable privileges can be relished.  This is presently our Father's way in our lives, and He greatly honors and benefits us to lead us along paths of sacrifice in the moment that result in blessedness both tomorrow and forevermore.

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
(Hebrews 12:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).


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