The Pilgrim's Reward

Sunday, March 12, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Now Let The Vault Of Heaven Resound"1 (Lyrics)

When I was eleven years old, I attended children's Bible camp where I committed my life to Jesus Christ. At thirteen years of age, a friend of our family gave me a copy of John Bunyan's novel, The Pilgrim's Progress, written in 1678. I tried to read it, but it was far beyond my comprehension of language and understanding of the allegory. Mother recognized my struggle and bought me Little Pilgrim's Progress, written by Helen Taylor in 1947. The story was the same but written so that children could grasp it and understand.

Pilgrim is travelling through life, hoping to get to heaven at the end, but he is carrying a huge load on his shoulders. Pilgrim meets different people who try to encourage him to let go of his burden. He is getting worn out from trying to lighten the load but to no avail.

By the end of his journey, Pilgrim understands that his burden is sin. He comes to the cross of Christ and realizes that only Jesus can forgive, but he must ask Him to do that. In His mercy and grace, God sent His only Son to die for our sin on Calvary.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)

Scripture calls the believer a child of God. As we live life, we do wrong, but the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us to understand Scripture and to admit our sin. If we repent and confess, God forgives.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

Jesus not only died for our sins, but He also rose from the dead, defeating death, so that the believer need have no worry about life's end.

Hebrews 2:14-15 – Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (NIV)

We are secure in Jesus Christ. If you are still afraid of death, pray that God will release you from this slavery. If you are not afraid of death, thank God for your freedom!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help us to recognize when we do wrong and to ask for forgiveness. Help us to live free of the fear of death. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Ruth Rowe <>
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good word, Ruth.

    Thank you, Ruth, for this comforting devotional.

    Thank you, Ruth, for another of your very mindful writings. Blessings and have a a great day.

    Life is a journey – the Holy Spirit helps us make choices that bring comfort and hope, not fear and despair.

    Ruth, I knew of Pilgrim’s Progress and it’s story for many, many years. But at age 80 a couple years ago, I actually read it for the first time! It was such a great experience. Bunyan captured the truth of the Gospel and the journey of faith so very well. Thank you for reminding me of this.

    Hi Ruth,
    Thank you so much for this devotional. The fear of dying is something that I have been struggling with for quite some time lately even though I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I thought I had kicked it out of my life thanks be to God, but it flares up every once in awhile.

    Good morning, Ruth,
    Only in the last ten years did I read “The Pilgrim’s Progress”. It is good to know there is a children’s version. You did a great job of putting the message in a nutshell for others who might not have read the book.
    You used good passages from the Bible to cement home the important message. Even when we know the message, we need encouragement to follow through and accept the reward.
    Thanks for sharing more of your experience of growing in your faith. Blessings.

    Thanks for the encouragement.
    My beloved son was Promoted to Glory a few weeks ago. My head knows he is safe in the arms of Jesus, but my heart is broken because he is not with us.

    Dear Ruth,
    Thanks so very much for your clear explanation of the freedom we have in Christ! What a joy it is to know that when we pass from this life, we go to meet our Saviour!!
    I have appreciated your Devotionals. Keep up the good work.
    God bless you.

    Dear Ruth,
    Thank you for this encouraging devotional. The Gospel always challenges and blesses and wherever we are in our search or walk, we need our daily dose.
    Thanks again! Blessings,

    Thank you, Ruth, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.


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