Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God's "Well done!"
But if it produces weeds and thistles, it's more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.
I'm sure that won't happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you - salvation things!
God doesn't miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you've shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it.
And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish.
Don't drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line.
He said, "I promise that I'll bless you with everything I have - bless and bless and bless!"
Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him.
When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they'll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up.
When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee -
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)