Sunday, October 30, 2011

Handsome Reward

Handsome Reward
Oct 31, 2011
Matthew 16:27 "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."

Who doesn't want a reward? Rewards are definitely a good thing, something desired by all. Rewards are different from earnings, however. Earnings or wages are clearly defined, something that is negotiated before the work is done. Those wages are earned when the work is performed and can be demanded by the worker, upon completion of his work. Rewards can also be earned for a service that is performed. You can't receive a reward by just sitting idly by the wayside. However, rewards are not necessarily clearly defined. Rewards are given by a generous benefactor who determines the value of the service earned. The worker cannot negotiate the value of the reward; he must be satisfied with what the benefactor determines as appropriate.

The word for "reward" appears over fifty times in the Bible, typically referencing something the Lord will be granting to His subjects for their service. In a few of the instances, the reward is defined as access granted into Heaven upon physical death. In a few more of the instances the Lord, Himself, is defined as the reward (as in a perfect relationship with the Lord in Heaven). But in most of the instances where the word for "reward" appears, it is very nebulous as to what the "getter" will get. It IS clear, though, that the Lord promises a reward for all the things done on this earth, some form of payment in exchange for our loyal service to Him and mankind. The reward will be a form of trophy or currency or status or honor. Some believe the reward will be jewels in a crown that can be worn (which we can then lay at the feet of the Lord as a gift). I have often wondered what He would do with a billion crowns; He can only wear but one.

I don't understand a reward at all, actually. Here on earth, where the human nature prevails, we are full of pride and selfishness. On earth, any form of trophy, currency, status, or honor is desirable because these things satisfy our sinful nature. We will not have a sinful nature in Heaven. If you take away the sinful nature, there would be no pride or selfishness. Then, no amount of trophies, currency, status, or honor will need to exist. Without a sinful nature in Heaven, a reward won't even matter. We won't care in Heaven if we have more fame or fortune than the next guy. It won't even be an issue. We cannot relate to this in our current state on Earth because each of us understands what it means to have more than someone else. Rewards satisfy our flesh.

If it won't matter to us in Heaven to have more "things" than someone else, then why does the Lord even suggest He will reward us? He has decided that all we do matters to Him, therefore He is willing to motivate our selfish nature here on earth if it means we accomplish His agenda. He speaks to us in terms we can understand, concepts that are familiar to us. The fact of the matter is, no mind can fathom what it will be like it Heaven. Our wildest imaginations cannot even compare to the Glory that will be revealed to us when we get there. Your reward, Christian, is promised to be great for all the things you have accomplished here on Earth for the Lord. You are to be motivated in service to Him, all the days of your life, in anticipation of what you will receive on the other side. The Generous Benefactor will determine your reward and He promises to reward you handsomely for all that you have done in His name. Only, don't try to guess what your reward will be; you are guaranteed to be pleasantly surprised.

Be motivated to do good here on Earth in anticipation of a future Heavenly reward. The Lord promises it will be worth it, no matter what the reward looks like.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Gen 15:1, Ps 62:12, Prov 13:21, Prov 14:14, Prov 19:17, Prov 25:22, Jer 17:10, Malachi 3:13-18, Matt 5:12, Matt 6:1, Mark 9:41, Eph 6:8, Col 3:24, 2 John 1:8

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