Work for Rewards

Let’s start with what Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-20; he said: “19 Lay not vp for your selues treasures vpon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where theeues breake thorow, and steale. 20 But lay vp for your selues treasures in heauen, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, & where theeues doe not breake thorow, nor steale.”

So one of the things Jesus said-there-was that we should lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven- that we should work for and lay up, save up, heavenly treasures, just like we would work for and save up treasures here on earth; we can use the same methodology of amassing and saving treasure, whether we’re talking about earthly or heavenly treasure.

Now our treasures in heaven are, of course, more valuable than our treasures on earth. In fact, you could say that our heavenly treasures are infinitely more valuable than the treasures that we have here on earth, because we’ll be using our heavenly treasures for an infinitely longer time than we’ll be using our earthly treasures.

But the overall mandate here is to lay up treasures in heaven. We should look to amass treasure in heaven, so that it’ll be waiting there for us, when we get there. Jesus’ exact words were: lay vp for your selues treasures in heauen, so that’s a mandate to lay up, store up, save up treasures in heaven- we should be looking to do that- we should be looking to get heavenly treasures.

And what Jesus is saying here becomes clearer, once you look at the context. Jesus made that statement, about laying up heavenly treasures, in his Sermon on the Mount; Jesus actually had a lot to say about rewards in that sermon.

For example, look at Matthew 5:10. So Jesus said, starting at Matthew 5:10, “10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousnesse sake: for theirs is the kingdome of heauen. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall reuile you, and persecute you, and shal say all manner of euill against you falsly for my sake. 12 Reioyce, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heauen …”

So focus in on verse 12, where it says: reioyce, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heauen; so there we’re shown that if we get persecuted, for Jesus’ sake, we get a lot of rewards in heaven. And our rewards for persecution are so great, so abundant that Jesus even told us to rejoice when we’re persecuted because we’re getting so many rewards for it; he said: reioyce, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heauen.

And so if Jesus told us to rejoice when we know we’re earning heavenly rewards, then the desire to get rewards is a valid motivation for doing good works- getting rewards, the desire to get rewards, is a biblical motivation for doing good works.

However it seems like a lot of us Christians these days have been trained to think negatively about the idea of doing good works in order to get rewards. We Christians will say that we should do good works because we love Jesus, and because we want to obey Jesus, and we should do good works because we love other people, and want to help them… And yes those statements are true, we should do good works because we love Jesus and we should do good works because we love other people. But we can also, at the same time, do good works because we want to get rewards in heaven for doing them. There’s nothing wrong with doing works in order to get rewards.

But, unfortunately, a lot of Christians think that doing works for rewards is a bad motivation; a lot of us Christians think that it’s selfish to do good works in order to earn rewards. But really it’s not selfish, or, it’s a good kinda selfish, because Jesus taught us to be motivated to do good works by the rewards that we’ll gonna get for doing them. Again, doing works for rewards is a good thing, it’s a biblical thing…

Think about this, Jesus debunked the idea that rewards are bad motivation for doing good works, when Jesus told us to rejoice over the rewards that we’ll get, when we’re persecuted. Jesus taught that when we get persecuted, we should be so happy about all the heavenly rewards that we’re gonna get, that we should rejoice! Earning heavenly rewards should make us rejoice…

And it’s implied there that the idea of earning heavenly rewards should be something that’s on our minds; we should be thinking about earning rewards- we should be aware of the works that we’re doing and whether or not we’re going to get rewarded for those works.

1 Corinthians 3 talks about how some of our works are like wood, hay, and stubble, and it says we don’t get rewards for doing wood, hay, and stubble type of works; but, it says that some of our works are like gold, silver, and precious stones, and we do get rewards for doing those kinds of works. So, again, there’s an implication here that we should be thinking about the kinds of works that we do, and we should be striving to do the kinds of works that will get us rewards. And all this hearkens back to Jesus’ idea of rejoicing when we do some of those gold or silver kinda works, because we know those kinds of works get us a lot of rewards.

So Matthew 5:12, (where Jesus talked about rejoicing over the rewards that we get,) is the first mention of rewards in the Sermon on the Mount. The next mention is in Matthew 5:19, where Jesus said, quote: “Whosoeuer therfore shall breake one of these least commaundements, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdome of heauen: but whosoeuer shall doe, and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdome of heauen.”

So first note that Jesus was talking to Christians here, because both of the consequences Jesus talks about, both the good consequence, and the bad consequences, both consequences will happen to people when they get to heaven; so this is just talking about believers, Christians, because everyone in this scenario goes to heaven.

But, although both groups of people go to heaven, there are consequences, in heaven, depending up a Christian’s works… When us Christians do something wrong, like saying it’s Ok to break the Law and the Prophets, if we teach something wrong like that, then we’ll be called least in heaven, we’ll be called least in the kingdom of heaven. We’ll still get to heaven! Once saved, always saved, but we’ll have a lesser status in heaven, when we get there, because we taught the wrong thing, here on earth… Whereas Christians who teach people to obey the Law and the Prophets, those Christians will have a greater position in heaven- Jesus said they’ll be called great in heaven.

Now the Sermon on the Mount, itself, is directed, primarily, to the Disciples, there was a greater crowd there also listening, but when the sermon is introduced, in Luke’s gospel, in Luke 6:20, it’s introduced like this: “And hee lifted vp his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be yee poore: for yours is the kingdome of God.” So when it says he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, it’s saying that Jesus was directly addressing the Disciples when he preached the Sermon on the Mount. (But, of course, there’s broader applications for everyone.)

Still, the point being, because Jesus was addressing his Disciples, because Jesus was addressing believers, it makes sense that both the good consequences, and the bad consequences would occur to believers, in heaven.

So one of the types of rewards that we get in heaven is that of position – there are different positions in heaven; there’s greater positions, and there’s lesser positions among us believers, when we get to heaven. And that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said that some of us we’ll be called least, and some of us we’ll be called great when we get to heaven.

Now this is something that’s not taught very often these days; I don’t remember ever hearing a sermon about different positions in heaven. Actually, I remember being taught, whether implicitly, or explicitly, that all of us Christians are gonna be kinda even in heaven- like all of equal rank, or whatever… But that’s not true; Jesus said that some of us we’ll be called greater and that some of us we’ll be called lesser, so there’s greater and lesser positions in heaven.

So continuing in the Sermon on the Mount, look what Jesus says about rewards in Matthew 5:46: “… if yee loue them which loue you, what reward haue yee? Doe not euen the Publicanes the same?” So note there that Jesus taught that you don’t get a reward for loving someone because they love you. But the clear implication there is that you do get a reward if you love those who hate you. Alright, so one of the lessons here is that we should love those who hate us, because we get a rewarded in heaven for doing so.

Now in Matthew 6:1, still in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” So here Jesus is saying that if you help the poor in order to make yourself look good, then you’re not going to get any rewards in heaven. But, if you help the poor because you want to look good to God, then you will get rewards in heaven. In Matthew 6:4, Jesus said: “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

Next, in verses 5 & 6, Jesus says that we get rewards for praying. Jesus says, “5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

So we get heavenly rewards for honestly praying to God. And, in Matthew 6:17-18 we see that we can get heavenly rewards for fasting; those verses read: “17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

So we’ve seen that we can earn heavenly rewards for persecution, for teaching the right things, for loving our enemies, for helping the poor, and for praying. So it’s cool that we’ve got some explicit categories of stuff that we can do to earn heavenly rewards; but when you’re interpreting things in spirit and in truth, you know that these aren’t the only works that we get rewarded for. We can do something that’s not specifically listed here, and we know that, generally speaking, we get rewards for it if we’re doing that work for Jesus.

Remember, all of this is still from the Sermon on the Mount, and right after that last part about fasting, is the part where Jesus talks about storing up treasures, or laying up treasures in heaven. Starting at Matthew 6:19, Jesus says: “19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

So his sermon is replete with things that you can do to earn rewards in heaven – he says, again, you get rewards for persecution, for teaching, for loving, for helping, for praying, for fasting, and probably for other type of stuff like that – and then Jesus says, right after giving us that list, then Jesus says to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. So he’s not just speaking to hear himself talk, when he gives us that list of things that we can do in order to earn rewards in heaven. Because he gives us that list, and then he tells us to lay up treasures in heaven – so he’s telling us to work the list, and to do good works for Jesus, because that’s how you lay up treasures in heaven.

So, again, doing things for rewards is a good motivation; it’s a motivation that we should nurture in ourselves. And why is working for rewards a good motivation? Well, if you look at the next verse, Matthew 6:21, Jesus tells us why working for rewards is a good thing; he says: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” So if we’re trying to earn rewards, and if we’re thinking about rewards, and how to get them, then that’s going to direct our heart – where our treasure is, there will our heart be also – meaning, the desire to earn rewards is a good thing because it directs our heart, and our heart directs our actions. So, if we’re thinking about earning rewards, and our heart is set on earning rewards, then that desire will direct us to do more good works. And that’s why the desire to earn rewards is a good thing: it directs our actions.

And this discussion contains some very important biblical truths; us Christians need to know that there are varying degrees of rewards in heaven, because that will motivate us to live differently, and to do more good works. What we do matters; what we do affects our eternal state.

Next, let’s look at 1 Corinthians, chapter 3; this chapter expounds on earning heavenly rewards. 1 Corinthians 3:8 says that, “… every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” So that verse makes it clear that there are varying degrees of rewards for believers – every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour – So our individual labour, or our individual works determines how much rewards each of us will get in heaven.

And there’s also the idea of variableness in that verse: it’s saying that every man will get a different amount of rewards in heaven: every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour; you see how it says that each of us are going to receive our own, varying amounts of rewards in heaven? Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour… This is important information for us Christians to have.

Now let’s look at 1 Corinthians 3:8 in full; so 1 Corinthians 3:8 says: “Now hee that planteth, and hee that watereth, are one: and euery man shal receiue his own reward according to his owne labour”; so the context there is that of preaching the gospel; when you share the word of God, God’s word is like a seed; and if the person you’re preaching to has good soil in their heart, then God’s word will plant like a seed and grow. So it’s clear, from this verse, that you get rewards for preaching the gospel, or for otherwise helping people get saved and grow in Christ- preaching the gospel is the context of receiving rewards for your labor there.

Now 1 Corinthians 3, verses 9 & 10 has a good lesson for us about works. And verses 9 & 10 read: “9 For wee are labourers together with God, ye are Gods husbandry, yee are Gods building. 10 According to the grace of God which is giuen vnto mee, as a wise master builder I haue laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon”; the lesson I’m trying to get at here is that of cooperating with God when doing good works; it says: we are labourers together with God; so we’re working together with God.

Think about it: Ephesians 2:10 says that: “… wee are his workemanship, created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, which God hath before ordeined, that we should walke in them.” So God has preordained works that he wants us to do. So our job is basically to find the works that God has for us to do, and to do them. It says that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works; meaning, we’re saved in order to do good works. So we’re saved for the purpose of doing good works, and God has already ordained the works for us to walk in; so each of us already has a specific mission from God that’s already laid out for us. It’s exciting to think about.

And if you think about Paul’s discussion, in 1 Corinthians 12, on how each Christian is like a different part of the human body, in that each body part, or each Christian has a different, but complimentary function; if you think about that teaching, it means that each of us believers have been given specific gifts and talents that will enable us to fulfill our mission from God. Our mission was made for us, or we were made for our mission, as it were. So we are able to do the works that God has ordained for us.

It’s also pretty cool if you think about the following: God has works planned out for us to do, and God has rewards that he plans to give us for those works. Both our immediate future and our eternal future is all planned out for us already. God’s planned out our futures, and God is going to help us fulfill that plan. So each of us needs to pray that God shows us what works he has for us to do, and each of us needs to pray that God enables us to do those… It’s exciting to realize that you have a specific mission from God.

Paul talked about his specific mission from God in 1 Corinthians 3:10, where Paul said: “According to the grace of God which is giuen vnto mee, as a wise master builder I haue laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let euery man take heede how hee buildeth thereupon.” So grace was given to Paul, or gifts and talents and circumstances were given to Paul, enabling him to be a master builder of the Church, because that was God’s mission for Paul… And each of us, likewise, have that kind of grace, each of us have gifts and each of us have specific training from our experiences that will enable us to fulfill our mission from God.

Now note that Paul ended 1 Corinthians 3:10 by saying, But let euery man take heede how hee buildeth thereupon… So that’s an admonition from Paul for each of us believers to pay attention to, or to take heed to the kind of works that we do. And why is Paul telling us to pay attention to our works? Because works are important, works matter; the works that we do now determine how good heaven will be for us later. As the saying goes, no one will be having a bad time in heaven, but the fact that there’s varying degrees of rewards in heaven, and the fact that there’s lesser and greater positions in heaven, clearly indicates that some people will be having a better time in heaven, than others. I mean, think about it: if you’ve got lots of rewards in heaven, and people are calling you “great” in heaven, you’re gonna be having a better time than someone who just has a few rewards, and a low position in heaven… It necessarily follow thats if you have the potential to earn an increasing amount of rewards in heaven, then you have the potential for an increasing amount of happiness in heaven; happiness that’s commensurate with the amount of rewards you get. I mean, what would be the point of getting rewards if they weren’t beneficial to you? if they didn’t make things better?

So that’s another thought about heaven, it’s another biblical teaching about heaven that isn’t often taught these days: that there are varying degrees of happiness in heaven… So works matter. Rewards matter. Positions matter. All these things vary individually, and all these things matter; because all they’ve all been set up by God. God wants us to be motivated by rewards. God wants our heart to be in heaven, meaning, God wants us investing in our future, in heaven. If we’re thinking about the importance of works, and earning rewards, it’ll motivate us to do more good works.

Continuing in 1 Corinthians 3, verses 11 & 12 read: “11 For other foundation can no man lay, then that is laide, which is Iesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build vpon this foundation, gold, siluer, preciousstones, wood, hay, stubble”- so stop there; Paul’s using the analogy there of building something, and of choosing what kind of building materials to use. And Paul starts by saying that the foundation of the building has to be Jesus. So we get heavenly rewards for our works if we’re doing those works for Jesus. For instance, Jesus said that we’ll even get a reward in heaven for just giving someone a cup of water, if we’re giving them that water for Jesus’ sake. Mark 9:41 says, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” So motivation matters when it comes to earning heavenly rewards; we get rewards for our works if we’re doing them for Jesus.

Next, 1 Corinthians 3 says talks about the different kinds of works that we can do. They types of works that we do are compared to building materials; we can either make our building out of useless materials like wood, hay, stubble, or we can build with good material, like gold, silver, and precious stones. And building materials matter, what you make your house out of matters. If you have a house that’s made out of wood or hay, and there’s a fire in your town, your house is going to burn down… But if you build your house out of gold, or silver, or precious stones, and there’s a fire where you live, your house won’t burn down- your house will still be standing, after the fire’s been put out.

And that’s an analogy for our works, and for earning rewards; our works will be tested, on Judgment Day, just like the building materials of a house are tested, so to speak, when there’s a fire. 1 Corinthians 3, verses 13 thru 15 say: “13 Euery mans worke shall be made manifest. For the day shall declare it, because it shall bee reuealed by fire, and the fire shall trie euery mans worke of what sort it is. 14 If any mans worke abide which he hath built thereupon, he shal receiue a reward. 15 If any mans worke shall bee burnt, he shall suffer losse: but he himselfe shall be saued: yet so, as by fire.”

So when us Christians are judged, Jesus will review our works and some of the works that we did will get us rewards, while some of the works we did won’t get us rewards. For instance, remember when Jesus said that we should love our enemies, in Matthew 5:44, well he also said there, For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Mt 5:46) Alright, so there we see that we don’t get rewards for loving people back, we don’t get rewards for loving people because they love us. But we do get rewards if we love our enemies. Now loving people back isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not going to get you heavenly rewards. Loving people because they love you is a wood, hay, stubble kinda work. Whereas loving those who hate you is a silver, gold, precious stone kinda work; because loving people who hate you gets you heavenly rewards.

So now we’ve come full circle in our look at 1 Corinthians 3; we started with verse 8’s, every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. And now we see what that means: every Christian receives a different amount of rewards in heaven depending upon how much silver, gold, precious stones kinda works that he does.

Now we noted that we can get rewards for doing things like for loving our enemies, and for fasting, and even for giving someone a cup of water- but, of course, the Bible also talks about getting rewards for soul-winning. Look at Daniel 12, verses 2 & 3 – and btw it’s cool that this is a passage about soul-winning that’s taken from the Old Testament… So Daniel 12, verses 2 & 3: “2 And many of them that sleepe in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to euerlasting life, and some to shame and euerlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament, and they that turne many to righteousnesse, as the starres for euer and euer.” So verse 3 says that believers who, quote: “turn many to righteousness,” will shine brighter in heaven; meaning, the more people you help get saved, the more rewards you’ll get in heaven.

Jesus also talked to the Disciples about earning rewards for soul-winning; remember, right after Jesus got the Samaritan Woman saved, Jesus said to his disciples, in John 4:35-36: “35 Say not ye, There are yet foure moneths, and then commeth haruest? Behold, I say vnto you, Lift vp your eyes, and looke on the fields: for they are white already to haruest. 36 And hee that reapeth receiueth wages, and gathereth fruite vnto life eternall: that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may reioyce together.”

So Jesus wants us to see unbelievers as if they were crops that are ripe for harvest; that harvest of souls is just waiting for us; all we have to do is preach the gospel, and the harvest will come in.

And then Jesus says there that hee that reapeth receiueth wages, so we get wages, we get rewards for preaching the gospel to the lost and for reaping their souls for Jesus… It also says we’ll rejoice in heaven when we see people there that we preached to.

You know, switching gears for a moment, it’s interesting to note that just as there’s varying degrees of rewards in heaven for believers, there’s also varying degrees of punishment in hell for unbelievers. Matthew 23:14 says, “Woe vnto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for yee deuoure widowes houses, and for a pretence make long prayer; therefore ye shall receiue the greater damnation.” That last phrase, greater damnation, let’s us know that there’s varying degrees of damnations in hell; for instance, false teachers that steal from widows get a greater damnation than other people do in hell.

So that’s some intense stuff to think about, but it is very interesting to note that each individual in heaven, and each individual in hell will have somewhat of a unique experience; each individual’s eternal state, whether reward or punishment, is specifically catered to that individual, based on the works that they did.

And this fact helps elucidate passages like Revelation 22, verses 11 & 12, where Jesus said: “11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” So, there, in verse 11, Jesus talks about unbelievers, he calls them the “unjust”; and then, next, Jesus talks abut believers, calling them the “righteous.” And then, in verse 12, Jesus says that he will give to every man according as his work shall be.” Meaning, every man, unbeliever and believer alike, will have eternal consequences for the works that they do now. The more sins an unbeliever commits, the worse his punishment will be in hell… And, conversely, the more good works that us believers do, the more rewards we’ll get in heaven. So truly every man will be rewarded according to his works.

It’s also interesting to note that there are some negative connotations associated with the believer’s Judgment Day. In 1 Corinthians 3, that we looked at already, in verses 14 & 15, we saw the concept of believers suffering loss on Judgment Day. Again, those verses say: “14 If any mans worke abide which he hath built thereupon, he shal receiue a reward. 15 If any mans worke shall bee burnt, he shall suffer losse: but he himselfe shall be saued: yet so, as by fire.” So it says that we’ll “suffer loss” on Judgment Day when we review the works that we did that weren’t for Jesus. We won’t get rewards for those works. We’ll suffer the loss of the rewards that we could’ve earned, if we had spent that time doing something for Jesus… But the point I wanted to make here is that the concept of suffering loss is a negative thing, and it’s associated with the believer’s Judgment Day.

Plus there are other verses that talk about there being negative consequences for us believers on Judgment Day. For instance, 2 Corinthians 5, verses 9 & 10, which is talking to believers, specifically, says that there will be consequences for both our good works, and consequences for our bad works. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10: “9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

And there’s also 1 John 2:28, which says: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” So there we see that some believers are going to feel a degree of shame when we stand before Jesus on Judgment Day. I mean, that’s what it says, right? If we abide, if we obey Jesus, then we won’t feel ashamed at his coming. But, if we don’t obey Jesus, we will feel ashamed. Right? That’s what it says.

It’s just interesting to note that there are some negative connotations with the believer’s Judgment Day. We can suffer loss on Judgment Day, and they’ll be consequences for our bad works on Judgment Day, and we may feel ashamed on parts of Judgment Day… These facts make it all the more important for us to strive to do good works. We don’t want to suffer the loss of rewards that we could’ve gotten.

And in Galatians 6, verses 7-10, it talks about that concept of believers striving to do good works, in order to reap the benefits later. Galatians 6:7-10 reads: “7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” So focus in on verse 9, where it says: let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not; so that’s saying that we should do good works and not get weary, not get tired of doing good works, because, if we keep doing more and more good works, we’ll reap more and more rewards in heaven; let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap.

So, in summation, we each have a mission from God, we each have specific works that God has preordained us to do – we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them – so, obviously, we should strive to find our mission from God, and to do it, so that we can get more rewards in heaven.

And what an accomplishment it is to find your mission from God, and to complete it- to find and to complete the works that God has for you. At the end of Jesus’ life, in the body, Jesus said, in John 17:4: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” So Jesus knew what it felt like to finish his mission from God. Of course Jesus fulfilled his mission absolutely perfectly, Jesus being God; but Paul, also, who’s just a sinful man, like you and me, well he also fulfilled his mission from God. Paul said, in 2 Timothy 4, starting at verse 6: “6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim 4:6-8). So Jesus knew what it was like to finish the work that God had for him. And Paul knew what it was like to finish the work that God had for him. So let’s you and I strive to find our individual mission from God, and to complete it… There’s a lot at stake here; our works have eternal consequences, in that our works determine how much rewards we’ll get, or won’t get in heaven.

So, once more, let me admonish you, and admonish myself, to think about the works that we do, and to strive to do more of the kind of works that get us rewards in heaven. Remember, if we’re striving for heavenly rewards, then our heart will be in heaven- our thoughts and our mind and our heart will all be focused on heaven, and on earning rewards for heaven. And if we’re thinking about heavenly rewards all the time, then that’ll affect our actions, and make us strive to do more good works and to earn more rewards; remember, Jesus said, “20 … lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt 6:20-21). May the Lord bless you to find and to fulfill your mission from God, and to earn lots of rewards. Let’s pray…

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