April 25th Devotion

Play the Long Game - Forward with Back to the Bible

Read Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV)
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Reflect
Have you ever grown weary of serving God faithfully? What keeps you going?

The richest man in my home state of Nebraska is Warren Buffett. It is well known here that Buffett acquired his wealth by playing the long game. In other words, he isn't a risky, high stakes investor just looking for a quick return. He has been a patient and wise investor who looks for low-risk opportunities to invest in and then waits for interest to compound. Sure, this strategy required delayed gratification, but it paid off. He made smart investments in his younger years and acquired the vast majority of his wealth in the later part of his life.

But today, we aren’t giving you financial investment advice. Instead, we are reading the apostle Paul’s spiritual investment advice. In today’s verses, he urged the Galatian church not to get discouraged and quit doing good. He said it will pay off in the end if we keep at it. Paul recommended that we play the spiritual long game.

Paul used an agricultural analogy to illustrate his point. Farmers and gardeners invest their money into the proper equipment, fertilizer, pesticides, etc. and they invest their time in preparing the soil, planting the seeds, irrigating, and cutting out the weeds. They also know they can’t harvest until it is the proper season. The crops have to be ready before they can reap what they sow. If they grow weary of the hard work involved and quit, they’ll miss out on the reward. But if they wait patiently and continue to nurture the crops until harvest, they will reap bountifully.

As believers in Christ, we have the privilege of participating in God’s work. It is good and holy work. But some days, it is easy to get discouraged because we can’t always see the fruit of our labor right away. Maybe you are a missionary who has put in years of service to a community of people, but you aren’t aware of even one convert yet. Maybe you are a pastor faithfully preaching the Word every Sunday, but you are still concerned with your congregations’ level of biblical literacy. Maybe you are a parent, trying to disciple your children and grow them up in the faith but family devotions and faith conversations are like a circus. It doesn’t seem like anyone is listening anyway. You consistently give generously to those in need but when you see others taking lavish vacations or always buying the latest and greatest gadgets, you are tempted to join them and start spending your money on yourself. Some days, we grow weary of doing good.

On those days remember this—the rewards for our investments are a sure thing but we have to wait for the harvest. Our reward for doing good is not a temporal, earthly return on our investment. In fact, we may or may not see the fruit of our labor here on earth. The promise was not a quick turnaround. The promise was a reward “in due season.” But it is worth the wait because the reward is eternal and far surpasses any earthly reward!

As believers in Jesus Christ, we patiently wait for our reward and while we wait, we work. Like the farmer, we keep sowing seeds. We keep watering the ground. We keep pulling out the weeds and we keep protecting the crops from pests. We trust God for the outcome of our labor, and we know that He sees and will reward our faithful obedience.

Friends, it might be tempting to play the short game. You might think you can actually get ahead at work if you are willing to compromise your personal integrity. You might be tempted to live it up and enjoy life now. You may want to blow your money on yourself and make selfish decisions with your time and energy. But while you may think there is a quick return on playing the short game in this life, the reality is that the rewards you are earning will be short-lived. You know what they say, “easy come, easy go.”

Instead, let’s play the long game. Let’s keep making investments in God’s kingdom by selflessly serving others and patiently waiting for the eternal blessings that God has promised for our faithfulness. It will be more than worth it! As the martyred missionary Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to earn what he cannot lose.” That’s just smart investing.
Posted in

No Comments


Recent

Archive

 2022

Categories

Tags

10 nations 5th bowl judgment 6th Bowl Anxiety Armageddon Attributes of God Autism Battles Battle Be on Guard Be still Bearing with one another Being Still Bible Blessing God Bowl Judgment #2 Bow Busyness Comfort Coming of Jesus Contentment Content Courage Crown of righteousness Directing our paths Disappointment Discipleship Earthquakes Easter Encouragement End times Eric Lidell Eternity Evil Exemplary prayer Faith over fear Faith wavers Faithful with Litlle Feeding the Fire Fellowship with God Free Generosity Giants Gideon Giving thanks God at work God in our midst God is working God's Help God's Holiness God's Involvment God's Timing God's Whispers God's call on your life God's delays God's direction God's pleasure God's will Grattitude Guarding our words Hearing from God Heart of Service Heart of the problem Hidden Blessings His Love Hope If Only Incomparable Word Jesus' Kingdom Jesus' return Jesus Lightning Listen for His voice Listening Little by little Living godly Love Loving God's word Moments More Need New Covenant Not Looking back Obstacles One world religion People Persistence in prayer Pour in spirit Power Praising God Pray without ceasing Prayer life Prayer Pray Progress Protection Proverbs Purpose Rainbows Reading the bible Reason Redemption Rejoicing Rock Self-Focus Serviing Setbacks Shepherd Singing Spiritual Vitamins Standing tall Stepping out Still on the throne Striving Thank God Thankfulness The Good News The Prize The Tongue The Word The gift Thunder Time with God Trumpet Two witnesses Vision Waiting patiently Waterfall Weak Weary Soul Wisdom Worry Worship You matter Your race all together antichrist assumptions balancing things best laid plans blessings coming of the Lord continuing in sin daily bible study darkness delight in the word of God delight distractions doubt drinking water endurance everyday faith family breakdown fear forest for the trees godlessness godliness godly life good times grace growing up grumbling hard times hearts towards heaven heat joy kings of the east knowledge lasting Covenant living for Jesus longing for God loving one another make a way mark of the beast miracles missing names of God needing Answers nothing goes right patience peace pleasing God prepared provision rapture relationships running searing seas turned to blood season set example setting out sing unto the Lord sin spend time with Jesus sunburn thanksgiving thanksgivi thought life trusting God two-witnesses unanswered prayers understanding unfulfilled desires waiting walk faithfully walk in the light walk with God walking with God want water to blood waver in prayers weapon white horse willingness word of God world chaos yes to God