Thursday, September 17, 2009

God Will Reward Us Later for Our Choices Now

When God became human, He established the Church with the help of His Apostles. From the very beginning of His earthly ministry God never forced anyone to participate in His Church. “Come and see,” (John 1.39) and “Follow Me,” (Matthew 4.19) were the words Christ used to call His first Disciples, and they volunteered to go and live with Christ during His life on Earth. Because of their willingness to follow Christ, they were blessed to witness the miracle of Christ’s Passion and became coworkers with God in establishing His Church on Earth. God honored their voluntary commitment with eternal life spent with Him in His Kingdom and He will do the same for us.

God is calling us to voluntarily follow Him and trust that He will save us from eternal torment. The Apostles followed and were rewarded crowns in Heaven but not before they suffered on Earth. The invitation by Christ to follow Him is not a guarantee that life will be easy and without struggle. On the contrary He says, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8.34-35) We will suffer simply because we choose to follow Jesus Christ because the Devil will stop at nothing to convince us to forget about God. The more we suffer for Christ’s sake the more He will bless us. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8.36)

When we choose to follow Christ we are choosing to leave behind what the world thinks is important. The world thinks wealth, sexual freedom, a good career, and moral independence are the goals of life, yet we see every day in the news how much suffering the world is enduring because although these desires have consumed our society we have failed to achieve them. In the meantime, society has neglected to follow Jesus Christ and now is faced with neither wealth nor a relationship with God.

But we can change all that right here and now! We can choose to follow Jesus Christ and “save our souls.” We can choose to desire a relationship with God rather than a life spent chasing wealth. We can choose to desire a relationship with God rather than practice a life of sexual immorality. It’s our choice; God never forces us into anything. He just promises eternal rewards later for the right choices now.

If you desire a relationship with God rather than chasing the dreams of society, start today and make a change in your life. Allow the teachings of Christ and His Church to assist you in your life decisions. Attend Bible Study, fast, attending as many Church services as you can, help the needy and poor, attend Holy Confession; these are just some of the tools the Church has to help you follow Christ. And if you need help, call your Priest and he will find time to discuss your needs and how the Church can assist you in your desire to follow Christ.

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