Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 8, 2019
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21
A few months after my father died, I had a dream about him. At first, I couldn’t believe it was him. When I saw him from the back many yards away, I thought, “That can’t be Dad because he died!” Then, as he walked closer, excitement engulfed me. “Oh my gosh! It’s him!” When he reached me, he smiled broadly and said, “Well, hi Shana!” I was surprised that he acted as if he hadn’t died and that no time had passed at all. I gazed at him in awe. I intuitively knew I would only have a short time to say what was most important to me, so I spoke quickly.
Because I wanted to thank him for his care I said, “Dad, I want you to know that I took the money you left, paid off my bills and invested the rest of it.” He stood, looked me straight in the eye and grinned, “Well Shana, I’m proud of you!” My heart melted. He said what I wanted to hear my entire life—he was proud. My chest ached with tears that wanted to come out but didn’t.
Then he shared something I needed to know about eternity, “You know what I’ve learned?” he quipped. “I’ve learned that it really does matter in heaven what you do on the earth.”
And then he was gone—quicker than he had come.
Before my dream, I had heard some sermons on how we will receive heavenly rewards for what we have done on the earth (Matthew 16:27). In Luke 6:20-22, Jesus shares the ways we will be blessed in heaven: We’ll get the kingdom for poverty, satisfaction for hunger, and laughter for tears. Then, in Luke 6:35, he specifically says that we’ll be rewarded in heaven, and in the prior verses, he tells exactly how we earn those rewards.
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (vs. 27).
Bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you (vs. 28).
Give freely to those who take from you (vs. 29-30).
Do to others as you would have them to do you (vs. 31).
Love people who don’t love you (vs. 32).
Do good to those who don’t do good to you (vs. 33).
Lend to your enemies without expecting anything in return (vs. 35).
Don’t judge (vs. 37).
Forgive (vs. 37).
Don’t condemn (vs. 38)
Give (vs. 38).
Isn’t it fascinating that every directive in this passage on how to receive rewards in heaven, which Jesus said will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over (vs. 35; 38) has to do with relationships? Certainly, we shouldn’t be surprised as Jesus said the two greatest commandments have to do with love (Mark 12:30-31). Earthly love is indeed the currency of heaven.
Like I have been challenged to do, I invite you today to examine your life in light of eternity. Determine to love intentionally as Jesus has commanded. Then, when you come into His kingdom, you will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Lord, thank you that you take note of how we serve you, not because we need to earn our salvation; salvation is by grace. But you do desire to reward us for doing your will—and that’s good news!
Take a moment to thank the Lord for the rewards and blessings that are coming in heaven.
Christ’s love in and through us is indeed the currency of heaven. #WisdomHunters #love
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