Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
In Philippians 2:17-18, Paul talked about the reward for obedience. He said, “Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.” Paul was saying, “I am willing to die if I need to. I’m here in prison. I don’t know if I’m going to live or die. But I am willing to pour out my life as a drink offering on the earth. I’m willing to do that if I know it’s going to result in your obedience to Christ.”
Paul was saying, “I am willing to go through temporary discomfort because I believe there’s an eternal reward for doing so.” Now, understand this: there is a cost to living an obedient life. The Bible says, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). It’s going to cost you to live as a Christian. It may cost you that promotion at work. It may cost you harmony in your home. It may cost you a temporary satisfaction in some area of your life. It is going to cost you to live an obedient life. But Paul said, “I am willing to go through that temporary discomfort because I believe that God will more than compensate me for it in the life that is to come.”
I remember reading a story about a man who was trudging through the desert. He had gone three days without any water. Finally, right in the middle of the desert, he stumbled upon this well. And next to the well, there was a small plastic jug with just a few drops of water in it. Next to that jug was a sign that said, “Pour these drops of water into the pump to prime the pump. The well is deep enough to provide more water than you could ever want. And when you have finished drinking, fill the jug up for the next traveler.” The traveler was faced with a choice: “Do I take that little water, those few drops and partially satisfy my thirst? Or do I take a chance and obey what the sign says? Do I pour that water down the well, believing that there’s more water there than I could ever need or want?” As Christians, you and I are faced with the same choice. Do we go for partial satisfaction in this life? Doing what we want to do? Disobeying God? Or do we trust what the Word of God says–that if we are willing to suffer temporary discomfort, there will be eternal satisfaction?
There is a reward for obedience. Paul said it this way in 2 Timothy 2:11-12: “If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.” That is the reward for obedience to Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Godly Living in a Godless World” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.