THERE IS NOT BETTER A REWARD THAN A GOD REWARD
We help the child laborers in the city´s garbage dump.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” … – Hebrews 11:6.
I am not a Bible scholar. I try to read the Bible through at least every year or two. I listen to endless sermons, from different teachers. New and old. I am not a great reader nor student. But I love the Lord. Please do not take anything I say as doctrine or dogma. These are thoughts I glean as I plow through life on the mission field (going on pretty much to be half of my adult life). Lumps and and bruises are great teachers. I am just reading the Bible, praying and writing these opinions I feel I have been shown in hopes of sharing them with you, and hopefully my children. Every time I read the Bible it is different because of where I am at in life.
Reward is different than grace. People call heaven an ‘eternal reward’ but I think it should be called ‘eternal grace’. Some people will be rewarded a lot more than others.Although one might argue that being in heaven is a reward in itself, but that is taking license with the word ‘reward’. Reward and grace are two different things. You have to earn a reward but grace is free.
Reward = given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement.
Grace = help given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn.
I personally feel that without God’s grace helping us to be attracted to Him, we would never diligently seek Him. Billy Graham called this the ‘hounds of heaven’, the irresistible attraction to Him that all of us who are saved have. Thoughts of God never can come to carnal minds, it comes to us through our spirits.
When we dilligently seek God, we find Him. That is reward enough I think. (Results and rewards are interchangeable, you can say rewards are the results of good behavior.)
Jesus said ‘seek and ye shall find’. There are about 25 verses in the Bible that say basically the same thing. And once we have found Him, we want more of Him. The more we know about Him, the less we know. Paul at the end of his life said…’I only want to know Him!’ That’s how I feel most of the time. I want God, and His rewards.
God saved me. He gave me a hunger to seek Him. He took off Satan’s blinders as talked about in 2 Cor 5 and opened the eyes of my understanding Eph 5. He gave me an abundant life, which is reward enough, and I am going to heaven when I die, as a result of accepting Him as my Savior. He freed me from the captivity of sin, because only by His grace, I diligently sought Him. The only ‘they lived happily ever after’ situation on this world is when someone gets saved.
Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity.
A friend told me once that he just wanted to make it into heaven, he didn’t care about rewards. Although I get it, I don’t think neither he nor I are aware of how great the eternal rewards can be. We need to take into perspective the difference between our short lifespan in earth and the immensity of eternity. I’ve heard of people being so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. I don’t believe it’s possible though. I would like to be, but I can’t. As soon as I make progress in that area I stub my toe or something then back to zero. DL Moody, when asked ‘why do you continue to seek a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit?’, His amusing reply was, ‘because I leak’!
The worst case, longest suffering in this world is a pinprick compared to the eternal joy waiting for us in heaven. And even more so if we have treasure laid up in heaven waiting for us (reward, result of good choices, whatever you decide is most appropriate). My Spanish and English discipleship classes are watching ‘Paul the Apostle of Christ’. When the Christians were burned burned alive, my students were horrified to learn that it take 20-40 minutes to die in that manner. And when the women and children were thrown to the lions, it could take hours or even days to die. Those were slow lingering horrible deaths. But Dr Luke told the children about to be thrown to the lions, ‘don’t worry, you’ll feel pain for a little moment, then afterwards eternal glory in heaven’
O death, where is thy sting? Paul says in 1 Cor 15:55
Seeking God is important to be rewarded both with salvation and to receive rewards in heaven. You will never seek Him if you don’t believe in Him. You can not believe in Him unless God gives you faith (grace). You will never diligently seek Him unless you thought it was worthwhile (grace). The results are rewards. The key word here is ‘diligently’.
diligently = a way that shows care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.
Many people that get saved stop diligently seeking God after a little while. They usually still go to church a couple times a week, do some volunteer work, join a board, read a little Bible in the morning. Pray for safety and for their kids on their way to work. Listen to Christian music. Say a ‘now I lay me’ before falling to sleep and that’s about it. They stop doing what they did, as Jesus said in Revelation 2:4, they lost their first love. That causes people to slip. They’re saved, (grace) but not receiving much in the way of eternal treasures laid up for them in heaven (rewards). They have good lives, but God has greater things for them. I want that, I hope you do too!
From what I read and understand, we are all going to be judged after we die. Even those that Jesus had saved through faith. We are going to be judged for what we’ve done after we got saved. Sure we are going to heaven, but even pastors and missionaries may have a lot to answer for. As a matter of fact, teachers will be judged more severely as the Bible says in James 3:1. Maybe a skid-row drunk who got saved on his death bed will do a lot better than me. You never know, but we need to be diligently seeking God until our last days. No quitting nor even slacking off!
2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
I think that’s why Jesus will wipe away our tears in heaven because we will cry when we see the rewards we have lost because we didn’t keep our eye on the prize. Who will want to be ‘just barely saved?’ I want it all, including the rewards for going over the top in my service to my God and King!
1 Cor 13: 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Like my friend just wanting to make it in, I think most of us kind of feel that way. But I think God has so much more for us than just escaping hell. But in terms of our eternal reward?
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The question is, do you Love Him enough to diligently seek Him for those rewards, on earth as in heaven??
With much love in Jesus
Dean and Winnie Peters
Joyfully serving the ‘least of these’ in Managua Nicaragua
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