Scratch and Sniff

Dear Friends, When we were little one of my most coveted possessions was a scratch and sniff sticker. Our teachers would often give them as rewards for good behavior and for “good” grades. They were included in a treasure chest full of things. In my opinion, they were supreme of all the stickers. My favorite ones released a smell similar to chocolate and bubble gum. I found myself almost daily trying my best to achieve one of these stickers as a reward. Unfortunately the sticker overtime would lose their smell, or become worn out because of my constant scratching. As I have gotten older I pause to think about all the other choices that I could have made that would have lasted longer and brought me more satisfaction than the stickers; pencils, little magnifying glasses, whistles etc. But for some reason I didn’t choose these. I chose a scratch and sniff. Why did I choose the scratch and sniff? I still can’t tell you that to this day. As I think about my life now, I have to ask myself what are the things that I desire or covet that seem to bring me joy? What do I desire that will eventually wear out or lose value? You know those little ways we look to reward ourselves when we feel we have done a “good” job. The Bible mentions rewards that await the believer who serves the Lord faithfully in this world (Matthew 10:41). A “great” reward is promised to those who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake. Various crowns are mentioned (in 2 Timothy 4:8, e.g.). Jesus says that He will bring rewards with Him when He returns (Revelation 22:12). But the greatest motivation we can have in the moment is Jesus. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23–24). When we live a life for Christ, through service, it all adds up, even the little things. These rewards will far outweigh how we can reward ourselves or the praise we would receive from each other. The eternal rewards bring us satisfaction here on earth as well as in heaven. We can serve God faithfully knowing His rewards are greater than anything we could ever imagine. Friends, let’s dig deeper in the treasure chest, and focus on the greater reward and not the temporary pleasure that comes from something like a scratch and sniff. Changing my priorities, LMJ