In the 1990's, China's economy was growing at a healthy pace. A group of investors were eyeing the West and were hoping to create more success stories on their own soil. The Reignwood Group began construction on Wonderland, a 120 acre amusement park with rides, shows, and of course - a castle. Halfway through the construction phase, Asia experienced a massive economic downturn. In 1998, construction stopped on Wonderland. Though millions were poured into the infrastructure and buildings, the park never opened. In 2013, the remaining structures were demolished. Click here to see pictures of the park that was never saw a single guest.
Paul sensed the challenges of the church in Galatia. He knew the battles they were facing and the weight that they were carrying. The gospel of Jesus Christ was intended to bring freedom from the law and joy in righteousness. In chapter six, Paul encourages them, " Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up". (Galatians 6:9) They had come so far, but the reward still laid ahead. He tells them, if they are going to gain the reward, they would have to do the following:
- Restore people who have committed egregious sins.
- Carry the burdens of the weak.
- Examine their own lives.
- Learn the Word and care for the teacher.
The performative tasks given by pharisaical persons weighed heavy. It was difficult living in community with flawed humans. Though it would be easier to withdraw and take the path of self-centered living, Paul was calling them to more. He reminded them that there is a reward for those who do not grow weary of doing well - for those who don't give up.
We continue in a long line of faithfulness. Byne exists because God has blessed faithful people. For the past 112 years, amazing movements have come and gone. Many good deeds have been carried out and stories of redemption have been written - many, many stories. As you consider this season of life and all you have experienced, let me remind you, God is a rewarder. He has more in store for me and for you - more for us.
Do not become bitter or hardened against people who have made a mess of their lives (Verse 1). Carry the burdens of the weak (Verse 2). Humble yourself (Verse 4). Don't give up (Verse 9). The hardest battles are not fought with human hands, they are fought within each human heart. It is difficult to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is difficult to love your neighbor as yourself. It is difficult, but the reward is great!
As this year comes to an end, consider the following questions:
- Have I allowed bitterness a place in life?
- Have I pushed away needy people?
- Do I feel like withdrawing?
- What good works am I eager to do?
"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV)