To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:…
I. THE IDEAL CHRISTIAN LIFE. "Patient continuance in well-doing."
1. The feverish ambition which must see its name in the newspaper and be congratulated in public meetings, is in great danger of exhausting its reward before the day of judgment (Matthew 6:2-5). Happier far is he who hears with glad surprise the Master's "Well done," and finds that the work which was unnoticed on earth was seen and remembered in heaven.
2. Spasmodic effort, brief fervour followed by long languor, wins no enduring honour either in this world or the next. Steady, brave, unremitted work is that which pays best, both here and hereafter. How many teachers have for years toiled on receiving scant recognition on earth, yet day by day preparing for that time when their pound shall have gained ten pounds! There was a teacher at East Grinstead who for fifty-seven years had been present at his post twice every Sunday with few exceptions. "He has in his class the grandchildren of those he once taught. He does not remember a single occasion on which he has been late." It would be hard to find a more apt illustration of patient continuance in well-doing.
3. Patient continuance means more than patience, perseverance, endurance. It is heroic patience, strong both to bear and to do, which, like love, "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" and "never faileth." There are many short cuts to success in Christian work, but this is the only true way. Let us seek it earnestly, and tread it consistently.
II. THE REWARD.
1. What they seek they win. Eternal glory, the honour that cometh from God, a life that knows no decay, these are the objects of Christian ambition, and they who patiently seek shall find them. God giveth to such eternal life — not simply unending life, but life in all its glorious fulness. This is the end of patient Christian toil.
2. There is way which to the natural man seemeth dull, hard, uninviting, unhonourable, "but the end thereof are the ways of" life (Proverbs 14:12). The loftiest end is reached by the lowliest path.
3. Eternal life, with all its unutterable joy and glory, awaits the faithful Christian worker in every field. It is not well to dwell exclusively upon the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him, but it is surely well ever and anon to glance upward for a moment to that crown which the man with the muck rake neither sought nor saw. These things are made known to us, not that we may become careless or boastful, but that we may be strengthened and heartened.
(A. E. Gregory.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: