“Reward” (suggested applications)

The following is related to an earlier devotional post on “reward”:  keep your eyes on the prize.  If you’re not familiar with this series, you may want to review some of the foundational articles and videos on W.A.I.T. training and specific posts on “reward.

There are 24 such subjects on this website.  You can use the search function to read the devotionals and related Scriptures, view training videos, and even watch contemporary Christian music videos on the same subjects.  Simply place your smartphone or tablet on the reading deck of your favorite cardio equipment in the gym, or prop it up in a safe place as you and a friend exercise at home, or even project it onto a smart TV through wifi or bluetooth for larger groups.

I offer the applications below and others only as examples of how you might physically express spiritual principles.   They are not magical formulas or guarantees.  Neither are they substitutes for God’s call to gather with other believers for worship in a local church, to study His Word and pray privately, to fellowship with other Christians throughout the week, or to serve the hurting and lost.

In the metaphor of physical fitness, consider this series as a “supplement” for your spiritual health.  I do believe, however, that these articles and related video which simultaneously feed our spiritual, physical, and relational health can be very practical.  After all, the Lord created each of us as a body with a spirit for relationships.  And remember, always consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program.

 

Suggested applications for meditation on “reward”:

All of us need an occasional ‘attaboy’ or tangible reward to remind us that we’re on the right track or that others appreciate what we’re doing.  But Jesus’ greatest reward is Himself:  His plan for us, promises to us, pleasure in us, presence with us, protection of us, provision for us, etc.  Please pardon all the alliteration – it’s a pastoral preference. J

While training together, share praises of what Christ has done in your life – including the difficult things of stressing your soul to seek rest in Him.  Tell them how these thing help you grow beyond your comfort zones, convict you of the need for spiritual hygiene in your life, give you a new instinct for God’s definition of maturity, and point to rest in His work.  Let them know God is rewarding you through them.

Share prayer requests of how you want to enjoy Jesus as your reward in relationships.  Ephesians 4:15-16 reminds us that Jesus is the Head of His Body, so we are to look to Him to guide and direct us.  His people are the parts of His Body, so we should each do our part as He has designed us.  But, just as joints and ligaments connect parts of our physical bodies, God has designed us for ‘connection’ with each other.

Where does your body hurt when you’re growing?  It’s where your muscle groups meet:  the areas you’ve neglected and are now stressing!  But the focus on the passage is that Jesus is our Head.  Praise Him for being your great reward!  Just as our physical head sends messages through our nervous system and circulatory system to heal and strengthen our physical body, so our spiritual Head will send His messengers (‘angel’ means ‘messenger’), His Holy Spirit, and even other Christians to heal and strengthen His Body!  Again, He is our great reward!

Pray to Him while you exercise.  “Lord, my legs are weak and my lungs are burning during this run.  But I praise You that You never tire.  Your Word encourages me that You don’t sleep (Psalm 121:4) but watch over me always.  Your Word tells me that Your might enables me to prosper (Deuteronomy 8:18).  You are my reward, Lord.  Increase my faith to rejoice in You and not complain about my weakness or put my hope in my ‘strengths’.  Thank You, Jesus!  Humble me!”

God can reward your group by bringing other encouraging Scriptures to your minds, too.  Through these, He will guide, comfort, and strengthen you.  But a sense of reward is not always automatic or satisfied in the ways that we initially want.  W.A.I.T. on Him.  Try some of the following to help your group focus on Jesus Christ as our reward in all things:

  • “From the readings in W.A.I.T. training, what sticks out most in your heart and mind about Jesus as our reward?”
  • “What will our workouts look like when we’re exercising to express that we’re living for Jesus and enjoying Him?”
  • (to an individual) “What do you most want from Jesus that you’re not experiencing in our time together and why?”
  • “I think we had a great time today. Can you describe some of the moments of exercise and fellowship that reminded you of specific ways that Jesus is our reward?”
  • “I found myself getting more excited about my physical fitness than my relationship with our Lord. Now I feel guilty and worse than before.  Can one of you help me refocus on Christ?”

 

If you’d like to receive more posts from the series, “Workout Wednesdays”, you can subscribe to the tools4trenches blog.
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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.

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