We must make Christ our primary goal; for on those who choose Him He confers the kingdom of heaven. This means that in this present life we must rise spiritually above all things, subjecting them all to Him. We must rule not only over external things but also over the body, through our non-attachment to it, and over death, through the courage of our faith; then in the life to come we shall reign in our bodies eternally with Christ through the grace of the general resurrection. Death comes both to the righteous and to the sinner, but there is a great difference. As mortals both die, and there is nothing extraordinary in that. But the one dies without reward and possibly condemned; the other is blessed in this world and in the next.
The commandments of the Lord are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). Yet, abject as we are, we do not carry them out with any eagerness unless we are rewarded for it.
~St Peter of Damaskos