October 4, 2011

Eternal Rewards

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 4, 2011

He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. Hebrews 11:26

Eternal rewards are based on a disciple’s efforts on earth. A believer who ignores their spiritual opportunities and obligations will miss out on their Heavenly Father’s affirmation and remuneration. But those sober saints who take seriously their Savior’s expectations will enter into the joy of their Master. Christ rewards obedience to Him.

Rewards in heaven are meant to be a godly motivation. Yes, our first response is to serve Jesus out of love and our overflowing gratitude for His goodness and grace. And it is wise to fear the Lord and allow our holy awe of the Almighty to be foundational for our life of faith and works. But there is an end in mind that Jesus wants His children to be compelled by in their daily devotion and that’s anticipating His generous gifts.

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27).

It is a process of renewing your mind with an eternal decision-making filter that facilitates biblical thinking and doing. Perhaps you ask the Lord in prayer how He wants you to invest your life in others. How does God want you to use your experience, your assets, your time, your money and your influence for His purposes? In other words, how can you make eternal investments on earth that bear fruit for God’s glory?

What you do does not get you to heaven—this comes only by faith in Christ and God’s amazing grace. But what you do after becoming a follower of Jesus does determine the quality of your eternal experience. The persecuted and martyred in this life have a great reward waiting in the next life. Those who initiate resources and influence on behalf of the poor and needy brings such great satisfaction to Jesus that He expresses rewards in bountiful blessings. Indeed, He rewards those who diligently seek Him by faith.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Love your enemy and your reward will be great. Be a faithful witness who plants or waters the gospel of Jesus Christ and you will be rewarded by spending forever with eternally grateful souls. Send your money ahead to heaven, by aggressively giving it away on earth. Resist, even reject rewards from the culture, so that you are positioned to receive Christ’s rewards. Remain faithful to God’s call and look forward to His reward.

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12).

How can I live my life in a way that honors the Lord and looks forward to His rewards?

Related Readings: Amos 6:1-7; Isaiah 54:2; 2 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7-10

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