Sunday, October 3, 2010

Earnest Rewards

Earnest Rewards
Oct 4, 2010
Hebrews 11:6 "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."

Read this Scripture slowly: "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."

If you are reading this devotional, it is doubtful you disbelieve that God exists. We all know there is a God and He is at least somewhere "out there," probably up in Heaven. For many, this is the extent of their Christianity. They believe He exists but they don't believe what He says. This is true of you and me, more often than not. While you might argue your Christianity goes further than merely believing God exists, your actions probably do not prove otherwise. My actions don't prove otherwise; If I believed all of God's words, I would believe this scripture with all of my heart. You would, too. We would read this scripture, believe it, and achieve it. But we don't. For some reason, we don't want to please God, we don't want to earnestly seek Him, and we don't want a reward. Well, maybe. We at least want the reward part.

Everyone in our society wants a reward. We live in a place and time where we feel we deserve something, a prize, a present, a gift, a reward for simply being "me." It is the selfish dogma of electronic social networking, focusing on our own "tweets" or "blogs," believing we should get a prize. I tweet therefore I should be rewarded-- rewarded with friendship, notoriety, and the blessings that follow. No where is this found in Scripture. In fact, Scripture teaches the complete opposite of being selfish, which is opposite of how most of us live. We are not supposed to live to please ourselves but we are to live to please the Lord. That is kind of why He created us in the first place, to bring glory and honor to Him, to please Him. It takes faith to do that, faith to please Him. This is a bizarre concept; it doesn't take money or service to please God; it takes faith. It doesn't take tweets and blogs; it takes faith. Pleasing God is actually rather simple. But after we have faith, the kind of faith that pleases God, He gives a neat little formula for us to follow so we may go ahead and get a reward anyway.

The formula is actually a promise. If we do our part, He will do His. The formula, after we have pleasing faith, is to seek Him and believe. If we seek Him and believe, then He will reward us. So, we actually have to DO something to achieve a reward. We don't get rewarded for simply being "me," we get rewarded based on sincerity of actions, the sincerely of our "seek and believe." That reward, though, is not clearly defined in the Bible. If you interpret the Scripture correctly, the reward is based on what is being sought. If you dig for oil and are rewarded, you have found oil. If you pan for gold and are rewarded, you have found gold. If you earnestly seek God and are rewarded, you have found God.

Wow, to find God. We believe He exists and is somewhere "out there," at least up in Heaven. But to find God, wow. If I was walking down the street and I physically bumped into God, I would take out my cell phone, pull up my camera app, take His picture, and tweet to the world that I FOUND GOD, literally. But none of us do that because none of us has truly found God. We don't find Him on the street because we aren't earnestly, diligently seeking to find Him. We aren't digging for God as if for oil. We aren't panning for God as if for gold. We aren't daily on our knees in prayer, earnestly seeking to find His face, the face of the one true God, the face of the one who can set us free, the one who can heal our diseases, the one who can heal our land, the one who can make us whole. Because if we did this, we WOULD find Him. We would achieve the ultimate reward: the fulfillment of all that is lacking in our lives, because we would find God.

This is why the Scripture doesn't say what the reward is; when we seek God we will simply be rewarded. To name a specific reward in Scripture would be to limit what God could give us. Instead, He gives us EVERYTHING. When we find God, we have found the answers to ALL our problems. We will find ALL that we are missing in life. We search and work in this world in an effort to fulfill all that is empty within us, to make full all that is lacking, to satisfy the stomach of desire in our lives. But anything that is lacking in our lives could be had if we find God. You can have that reward; you get it by seeking for God with all your heart, mind, and soul.

We are all lacking in our lives, because we haven't TRULY found God.

1. What does "pleasing faith" mean to you?
2. How could you start earnestly seeking God?
3. What would it look like if you truly found God?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 2 Chron 7:14, Ps 14:2, Ps 53:2, Pr 28:5, Is 45:19, Is 51:1, Jer 29:13, Hosea 5:15, Amos 5:4, Acts 17:27

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