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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Judgment and Rewards, #17
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)
If we do not apply ourselves each day to the challenges and blessings of the Spirit of God, choosing rather to occupy ourselves with the challenges and blessings of life in this present world, then it is possible we will attain privileges in the world. However, at the coming of the Lord we will not be prepared for a position of leadership in the Kingdom of God. Only those who have been made new creatures in Christ are qualified to rule in the Kingdom of God.
Let us consider the rewards to the overcomer set forth in the Book of Revelation. We will view them as present opportunities for growth in resurrection life, and present opportunities for attaining full union with the Father through Christ.
To eat of the tree of life that is in the midst of the Paradise of God (Revelation 2:7).
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life. He has spoken to us and we have passed from death to life. Now we are learning to live by eating His flesh and drinking His blood.
Each Christian either is living the ordinary flesh-and-blood, day-to-day life of the animal, deriving his strength solely from the eating of plants and animals; or else he is walking in Christ and learning to lay hold on eternal life, as Paul urged Timothy. He is living to himself in his flesh and soul, or he is feeding on the Life of Christ, and Christ in him is being built up and strengthened.
But many foes are contesting with us each day, attempting to prevent us from giving our attention to the Life that is in Christ. Satan, the spirit of the world, people, our own fleshly lusts, self-centeredness, self-seeking, and our desire for self-aggrandizement—all are pushing against us as we seek the Life of Christ.
If we overcome, that is, if through the Spirit of God we are successful in conquering the enemies that are determined to turn us away from cross-carrying obedience to Christ, we gain access to the tree of life. It is daily warfare, as every saint knows well.
If we do not overcome, if we do not successfully resist the forces of corruption and death, then we do not grow in Christ's eternal Life. Rather, eternal death is making inroads into our body, our soul, and our spirit.
When we are not walking and living in the Spirit of God we become increasingly feeble. Soon we are not living in Christ at all. The absence of Divine Life may be accompanied by bodily weakness, or even sickness and premature death (I Corinthians 11:30). (This is not to imply that all Christians who are sickly are walking in the flesh.)
All true believers pass from death to life at the moment of receiving Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. But some do not continue to eat of the tree of life. They live according to the dictates of their flesh and carnal minds. They do not put to death the deeds of their body. They are overcome by the lusts of their flesh and the enticements of the world.
They are sowing to the flesh. They will reap corruption, not eternal life, in the Day of the Lord.
To be continued.