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Sunday: Reward for Faithfulness — 15 Comments

  1. I take my group of U3A bird observers and photographers out in the bush to find and photograph birds. We all have different experiences. Some people are keen to see and identify birds using binoculars; others have all-in-one cameras that produce passable photos that allow them to identify the birds when they put the photos on their computers; still others have high-end cameras with telephoto lenses that can take photos that we can make prints big enough to hang on the wall. The point is that we all have different equipment to pursue our hobby of finding and identifying birds. It is not a competition to see who has the best or most appropriate equipment. We are out there to find and identify birds. And if we find a bird that is hard to identify, we help one another until we have found the correct identity.

    I have what some people would regard as a high-end camera and lens, but I do not say to the binocular carriers or the all-in-one camera owners that their equipment is not as good as mine. In fact, some of them have patience and endurance that is much better than mine and that more than makes up for the difference in equipment. The difference in equipment value does not inhibit out love for birds, or our willingness to share that love.

    I use this illustration because we sometimes have the wrong idea about Rev 22:12

    And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

    I expect that the heavenly rewards are going to be different for each of us; not better for some than for others. Does that make sense?

    (59)
    • Yes, Maurice, it does make sense to me. I suppose that we might all be equally pleased with our rewards, had we all loved equally. Greater love = greater reward?

      (15)
      • Sounds dangerously close to saying some people will get better rewards: because they're better people?
        Because they ran an evangelism series and baptised thousands of people? God doesn't 'grade'sin, and he doesn't 'grade' salvation either.

        (11)
        • Hi, Tan. Clearly, there are no "better people." In Romans 7:18 (NKJV), Paul states that:

          "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells..."

          In Romans 3:10, he says:

          "There is none righteous, no, not one."

          There are only those who get closer to Jesus, give themselves to Him more unreservedly, and let Him love through them that much more effectively, as "John the Beloved" did especially well.

          (7)
  2. Dear Jesus, now, through today's Lesson, I understand what you mean when you told Abram these words 👇👇👇

    "Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward" (Genesis 15:1).

    What i wanted to say is 👉 "Jesus is our greatest reward! That's because, without Him, we can't even get all the promised rewards and even this life."

    Be blessed.

    (30)
  3. I am pleased that I am able to use faithfully my little experiences, my little qualifications, my little time, my very little understanding and my little resources to help others for Jesus and prepare myself for His coming. I will truly be proud and happy to recieve the little reward He will give when He comes the second time. Lord please keep on helping my littles....

    (16)
  4. But isn’t the reward eternal life and the same for everyone?
    Also, I hear many talk about the stars on our crowns in direct correlation to the number of people we’ve “saved”. But how does this idea align with the biblical teaching that only God is responsible for the increase? (1 Corinthians 3:7) —-and salvation.

    (6)
    • Thanks for the good thoughts, Sarah. My impression is that such talk could indeed quickly devolve into self-glory, when all the praise and all the glory belongs to God! On the other hand, if, in spite of ourselves, God manages to make us instrumental in helping someone find his or her way into the Kingdom, I imagine that just seeing this person there would be unreal! Whether or not that were reflected in a physical star in a physical crown would be pretty much incidental, as far as I'm concerned. Any such crown would immediately be cast at Jesus' feet.

      Be blessed!

      (9)
  5. The lesson raises what I find to be very valid points when it suggests that "The reward from God to His faithful children is unique and, like many spiritual things, may be beyond our finite understanding" and that "human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous."

    I would like to propose that it isn't just the reward itself per se that we have difficulty comprehending - it is also the nature of "rewarding" that we are at risk of misperceiving. When I consider the 4 references the lesson suggests, I note that Revelation 22:12, while consistent with the other references, is at the same time strikingly similar to Galatians 6:8. And I find Galatians 6:8 to be a summary statement of one of the core dynamics of how God's Kingdom operates.

    What does this mean? I propose that God's 'rewarding' (mishapodotes in Hebrews 11:6) is via His 'orchestration' of the Galatians 6:8 principle. As such, the reward is the inherent result/outcome of authentically embracing Kingdom living that, via focussing on other-benefiting and therefore self-renouncing, puts us in harmony with what is necessary to participate in abundant life*. And to participate in abundant life is to live to give - they are one-in-the-same thing. This is, I believe, why Jesus was able to say that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

    ------
    * Abundant life is not a solitary experience - a 'reward' to be enjoyed as an individual. It is inherently and inseparably a communal experience that is collectively experienced by all.

    (19)
  6. How is a reward different than a gift? To me the greatest gift or reward would be my ability to love and appreciate Jesus, The Father, and The Holy Spirit.

    (11)
  7. Rom.6:23 tells us that - “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life “IN” Christ Jesus; therefor I consider this to be our gift - to be “IN” Christ Jesus. What more do we expect?
    To be ‘in Christ Jesus’ is all that man can ever hope to be elevated to. This elevated place of ‘being’ allows for all that is meant to be included in our new identity and it’s related engagements to live our new life. And this is our reward.

    (8)
  8. The only thing Jesus could say to me that would be more beautiful than "your sins are forgiven" would be "Well done my good and faithful servant." Thankfully by His grace we can hear Him say both.

    (21)
  9. Salvation by grace is the gifts of God's forgiveness and heaven. Rewards according to works...

    Currently, some natural rewards of following God's Owner's Manual are functioning with a clean conscience, the fruit of the Spirit, communion with God, power to resist Satan....

    What about heavenly rewards for works (Matt. 16:27)?

    I'm resonating with my brothers and sisters here who are saying that Jesus Himself is our heavenly reward. We will finally see Him as He is! (1 Jn. 3:2) Psalm 16:11 tells us that in His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. We also have the promise of 1 Cor. 2:9 which ties our reward to loving God.

    Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith...so any rewards for faithfulness we receive actually belong to Jesus...we share His glory for what He has done in us (Rom 8:17).

    What has He done in us and through us? I think God will review with us scenes from Earth and show us ways we partnered with Him here to bring Him glory. We will see the rest of the story. For myself, I don't want anything but more intimacy with God,... and I can't think of what is more intimate than to see and understand how God's Spirit teamed me up with Himself all through my life...and has chosen me from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) to continue our union throughout eternity.

    (8)
  10. My feeling is that the reward we receive is not salvation. It can't be, since salvation has nothing to do with our acts, beyond accepting Jesus.

    My gut feeling, though I can't prove it, is that rewards are more natural consequences. If someone worked actively for the Lord, they will see those results in Heaven. And they will be satisfied and that will be a reward. I don't feel it's God arbitrarily deciding this one gets that reward etc. It's logical and the result of our choices. For those saved by escaping through the flames (see I Corinthians 3:15), there may be some level of regret that their efforts weren't more fruitful, even though the person was saved.

    And as someone said, whatever reward we get, we'll cast our crowns before Jesus, knowing He enabled us to do whatever we did. I don't think we'll be glorying in our rewards.

    (13)
  11. Sometimes I think about who chooses whom. Did I choose Him or He choose me? I guess there has got to be a little effort from my side. But one thing for sure I know is that He is always effortlessly looking out for me. And I don't deserve it!

    (4)

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