November 6, 2017

God’s Rewards for Faithful Love

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 6, 2017

Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12, AMP

Last month our six-year-old grandson had a hard day because he did not get his way. With limited success, I tried to explain to him, “In life, we don’t always get our way, and when we are disappointed we still need to have a grateful attitude”. Facing a downcast face, I changed tactics. “Hudson, we are going to play the gratitude game, every time you or your two brothers are grateful you earn a point and after 24 hours whoever has the most points receives a prize!”

“And Hudson, you are in charge of keeping score”. “Thank you Pop for putting me in charge”. “You just earned a point because you were grateful!” Wow, what a change in attitude, and over the next day our gratitude game gained more energy and interest as all three brothers: ages 2, 4, and 6 were rewarded with five dollars and a trip to the dollar store. Gratitude overcame grumpiness!

On a much, much larger life stage, James gives us the image of a crown of life, given to those who run well the race of life and finish faithful to the end. He encourages Jesus followers to endure trials by faith and to persevere in obedience when tempted to sin. Compellingly, he describes the Lord’s rewards given for our love and faithfulness: happy, spiritually prosperous, God’s favor! A life motivated by love and demonstrated by steadfastness enjoys Christ’s richly rewarding life.

“That is what is meant by the Scriptures which say that no mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord” (1 Corinthians 2:9, TLB).

How are you processing all the turmoil in the world? Natural disasters, political volatility, sexual harassment and economic uncertainty. In prayer, speak out loud these matters out of your control to the Lord Jesus who is in control. Process in silence and in discussions with other Christ followers your fearful feelings and your hurting heart. Remain steadfast when your faith is tested.

Perhaps you are the victim of another person’s abuse of their power—you’ve been abused and manipulated for their personal gain. Tough love is to tell someone who can get you help and punish your perpetrator. If you have witnessed wrongdoing and are tempted to turn a “blind eye”, you need to step up and speak out in love and concern for the injustice you observe. The temptation of passive acceptance empowers the sin of haughtiness. Love does not sit still but makes sure good people are protected from evil’s intentions. God rewards your faithful love!

“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).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, my heart’s desire is to love others well on Your behalf.

Application

Who is hurting who needs me to step up and stand up for their injustice?

Related Reading

Psalm 58:11; Isaiah 49:4; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:24

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A life motivated by love and demonstrated by steadfastness enjoys Christ's richly rewarding life.  #WisdomHunters #faithfullove

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