Is The Prize Worth The Price ?

Remember The County Fair

I sat recently at my desk, kind of looking out of the open window in front of me at the bright sunshine with my physical eyes, yet more looking inside of my spiritual self. I began to see and thank God for being so good to me. I thanked God for how far He had brought me, and how He had taught me to stand on and trust His word. I thanked God for bringing me into right standing and right relationship with Him. I thanked God for deeming me worthy to speak in His name, and allowing me to speak His Holy word to His people.

Yet, my mind went back to the old man. To the person I was before God saved me and redeemed my life. To that evil, wicked, and self-centered person who was only concerned with the pleasures of the moment.

And as I reflected, I was reminded of the price I had paid for all of my foolishness, and all of the pain and grief I had caused, not only to myself, but to others as well.  I was reminded about how I had sold myself to do so much evil, and the prize I had reaped in the process. It was then that I heard a voice speaking to my spirit saying, " Remember The County Fair."

Growing up, every year around Mid-October, the county fair would roll into our little town with all of it's splendor and glory. There would be billboards and advertisements announcing it's arrival. The fair would come and set up on the parking lot of the football stadium, and remain in our town for two full weeks. Everyone would be excited to have the fair in our town, and people would come from miles around to spend an evening at the fair.

There were rides for people of all ages, there were the swings, cup and saucer, and merry-go-rounds for the young children. Then there were the thrill rides for the teens and grown-ups. Who could resist the Farris Wheel reaching to the stars, the Roller Coaters, The Bumper Cars, and The Scary Houses, just to name a few.

As young teens, we would stand in long lines and eagerly await our turn on those rides, while hearing the screams of joy, fear, and sheer excitement from those who were having their turn.

In my Senior year of high school the fair came, and I took my girlfriend on a date to the fair. It was on a Saturday evening, and I had played in a football game the night before. I was still pretty sore and beat up, so I wasn't much for getting on the thrill rides. Instead we enjoyed a few of the milder rides, and then walked along the boardwalk. The boardwalk had many little booths selling hot dogs, burgers, pizza slices, and many other treats, and the smell of cotton candy filled the air. There were also games of challenge on the boardwalk, and as we walked by one of the booths, the vendor challenged me to win a prize for my date.

I took the challenge, knowing that I could sink a few balls into the basket and win a little stuffed animal for her. But it wasn't a little stuffed animal that she had her eyes set on, it was one of those big over-stuffed bears kept way up on a shelf in the back of the booth. I figured, since that's the one she wants, I'll win it for her.

I began to shoot baskets, and every time I would make three in a row, the vendor would give her a little prize. Each time I would win a prize, the vendor would allow me to trade in my small prize to continue trying to win the big bear. I was winning some and losing some, but I kept shooting. After I don't know how long, I had worked my way up to the back shelf, and finally I shot three more baskets in a row and won the big bear. I was brought back to reality when the crowd that had gathered around, unbeknownst to me, began to shout and applaud, as my date took possession of that big bear.

When the evening was done, and I had taken my date home, I decided to stop on the way to my house and put gas in the car so that I wouldn't have to stop on my way to church the next morning. It was then that I realized I had spent all of my money to win that prize, and I only had a few dollars left. I know that my date was happy with that big bear, but now I was broke, down to just a few dollars, and I asked myself, " Is The Prize Worth The Price ?"

Now Is A Time To Give Account Of Yourself

How many of us really consider the price we pay for the prize we receive, until in many cases, it is too late?

Is the prize of owning a luxury car worth the price that we pay, considering that we sometimes have to cut corners somewhere else, maybe even on the necessities of life, in order to keep it?

Is the prize of wearing designer clothes worth the price that we pay, to have our egos stroked by those who really don't give a crap about us anyway?

Is the prize of eternal damnation, separated from God, worth the price we pay to enjoy life's temporary pleasures and fleeting fulfillment?

At what point do we become serious with ourselves, and begin to run for the prize that doesn't fade, tarnish, rust, or corrode?

At what point do we consider our eternal being, rather than gratifying the lusts of our flesh man?

My mother used to say, " If You Dance To The Music, You Have To Pay To The Piper."

Take at look into your own life, look at what you've gained, and weigh that by what you're about to lose, then ask yourself, " Is The Prize Worth The Price?"

Seek the Prize of Eternal Salvation, remembering, "Jesus Paid The Price."



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Comments 21 comments

christinecook profile image

christinecook 6 years ago

I know myself from my own experience that I often just want something only to forget all about it after a day.Did I need it no.Could I have made a better choice ,yes. Forgive me Lord,thank you for the reminder godpreacher.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Christine,

we should all ask forgiveness from God for some of the choices we have made, and for some of the things we have allowed in our lives.

Thanks for your comment

luv ya

God Bless


JetterV7 profile image

JetterV7 6 years ago from Angola, IN

I can definately relate to that godpreacher. Excellant hub as always. I do thank God each and every day for forgiveness of my "poor investments" so to speak. It is truly amazing what happens when you pause a moment to think, before you act. Keep 'em commin'godpreacher.

God Bless.


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

godpreacher, this is an amazingly human sermon. It hits everyone because everyone has been down that path before. We all have experiences in life and the best teachers/preachers get us to look at them from a different angle - from the Lord's perspective. The mirror says a great deal when we have the courage to look into it. Thanks for holding up that reflect glass. Peace.


loriamoore 6 years ago

I'm currently reading the Left Behind series of books and the good guys are at that point of paying the price (their lives) to win the price (of being with Jesus). Good topic!


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 6 years ago from Canada

Blessings my friend, i enjoy your heart. Too bad i'm not doing the work i used to do. i was in the Atlanta area numerous times, would be nice to sit down and chat with you. Later, L.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

JetterV7,

Thanks you for the comment.

It is amazing how much better we do when we pause before we act. It is in our acting, without thinking that we give so much more than we gain, spiritually, materially, and emotionally.

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

AM,

luv ya bro.

That mirror is the one place where we see, yet we don't see. But life has a way of making things plain for us. The stark reality is that no prize is worth being separated form God, eternally.

Thanks for coming by.

God Bless

P.S. Tell the family hello for me.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

loria,

I should have left this one up to you, or maybe have read the book first. It's great to know that, as Fiddler would say, "You Take My Meaning." Let me know how it all ends.

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Saint,

You can get back up again.

Go back and do what's in your heart.

I would consider it an honor to have a sit down with you, let me know when you're in town. Thanks for coming by.

God Bless


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

godpreacher,

This hub provoked my thinking about how much it honors God when we pause to consult with Him before making any decision.

I also thought of the thousands of people who have gladly sacrificed their lives for the ultimate prize, the kingdom of God.

Thank you for this prize among hubs.

Forever His,


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Great story, brother. Is it worth the prize. That is the question isn't it. And you illustrated it so well. Thank you.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

RevLady,

I honor and imitate those who have paid the price of their lives for the prize of the kingdom. I pray that all is well with you and yours. Thanks as always for coming by.

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Bro. James,

That truly is the question.

Thanks for coming by.

I have been in prayer for you and your wife, being lead by the Holy Spirit. God is about to show Himself strong on your behalf.

God Bless


Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

Great hub godpreacher. One great man of God put it this way, "There's a heaven to win and a hell to shun" Great thoughts, thanks for sharing.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Putz,

Thank you for coming by. I was about to read your hub on teaching the grandkids to save, but my own little diva(Granddaughter) wanted attention. I will get to it soon. I always enjoy your hubs.

God Bless


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

WOW!!!! This Hub Is GREAT!!!!!! Is the Prize worth the Price? YES! YES! AMEN!! PREACH! OH! I got a little excited! lol, lol, Blessings!


Unchained Grace profile image

Unchained Grace 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

It's a question I've asked myself many times and unfortunately, it's always after we did whatever we did to get that illustrious prize we coveted! Whether it be a financial, personal, emotional or spiritual cost, was it reeally worth it? In the end, did I forego God to satisfy the flesh?

I really enjoyed this Hub and yeah, just like you, I got pulled into more than a few of those vendor games at many a fair. The victory is almost always shortlived.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

godPreacher, Amen! & AMEN! Great thought provoking "Message!" I think that this is a question we can often ask ourselves, It will be helpful in keeping sight of whatever it is you are seeking...

The "Prize" of the Kingdom of God is Priceless! No doubt It is certainly well worth it!

Thank you for sharing this was wonderful, Blessings


Cedar Cove Farm profile image

Cedar Cove Farm 6 years ago from Southern Missouri

There are many applications here. In reality, self gratification is easy. The pain and suffering of spiritual growth is not. Thanks for the reminder.


www.lookseenow profile image

www.lookseenow 5 years ago

Your post reminds me of Stephen, a Bible character, and the first Christian martyr. As a good writer should Isaiah provided other references to show credibility to his accusations. They were honest in their writings, and in candor they provided records that Ezra compiled. Ezra reports how Jehovah kept sending against them by means of his messengers, not just once, twice, three times, but sending again and again. As Isaiah indicates why bother, would I not give up after seeing it as futile? No not our God, Jehovah, because he felt compassion for his people and for his dwelling.

(Isaiah 1:4-6)

How did they accept this long-suffering, kindness, did they appreciate his patience? NO Way! They were continually making jest at the messengers of the true God and despising his words and mocking his prophets.

(2 Ch 36:15-16)

Back then they offered sacrifices to atone for their shortcomings. At first they were acceptable, but after that foregoing scenario, the mocking, the sick condition, and the scabby heads Jehovah reproves:

“Of what benefit to me is the multitude of sacrifices? I have had enough of whole burnt offerings I have taken no delight in none of them. You keep coming with them though to my temple. Did I require this from your hand while you come trampling my courtyard? Stop bringing the sacrifices I no longer want, as it’s something detestable to me.(Isaiah 1:11-13)

“What’s this, you no longer require my sacrifices, what’s wrong with them?” “I’ll tell you what,” Jehovah responds:

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean. Stop doing bad things right in front of my eyes. Remove the badness of how you deal while learning to do good.”

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