Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I received my credit card statement yesterday and guess what. I have earned 17,435 reward points! They say that I have been so good at spending money that I can get an I-Pod! I’m proud of myself.

Have you ever wondered what the benefit of staying true to God might be? Does living for God and having a “faithful” heart for Him pay? Does He have a rewards program? Is He keeping track?

Running from the front cover to the back of your Bible are promises of blessing and reward for those who remain faithful.

Faithfully obey all these commands I'm giving you. Love the Lord your God, follow all his directions, and be loyal to him. Then the Lord will force all these people out of your way. Then you will take possession of {the land belonging to} people taller and stronger than you. I will give you every place on which you set foot. Your borders will be from the desert to Lebanon, from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stop you. As the Lord your God promised, he will make people terrified of you wherever you go in this land. Duet. 11:22-25

Over and over in scripture God makes promises to those who are faithful to Him. He promises a rich inheritance and power to overcome obstacles standing in the way of our success. God’s inheritance is a Father’s joyful reward for a child who matures responsibly and has proven ready to receive it.

I was reading about a man named Caleb in the book of Joshua this morning. He took God up on His promise. He received an inheritance, not just because he was a member of a specific tribe, but because he stayed true to God. He was 85 years old and had remained loyal for over 40 years.

“Hebron is still the inheritance of Caleb, son of Jephunneh and grandson of Kenaz, because Caleb was completely loyal to the Lord God of Israel.” Joshua 14:14

If we remain faithful, God will give to us our reward.

Our jobs that we go to every day have promise for reward as well. We are encouraged to do our best in life, to put our heart into our work, and we are told to do it for God. If we do, God sees it and will reward us.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col. 3:23-24

We are told in Galatians that people who live self-focused lives “will not inherit the kingdom of God”. We are told that God’s reward system can work both ways. It is found in the law of the harvest.

Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Gal. 6:7-9

There comes a time of blessing for every faithful servant of the Lord. A couple of days ago, I spoke with a close pastor friend from Atlanta. He and his wife moved there a couple of years ago to plant a church. On the 2nd anniversary they had a thousand people attend. Wow! That is fantastic! What people may not know about are the fifteen other years serving faithfully in other less noticeable venues. Not to mention all of the hard work happening behind the scenes. I believe that God is blessing my friend with the reward of his long and difficult labors.

By the way, the pathway to reward is not an easy one.

Let me tell you the story of the Apostle Paul: Paul served God faithfully for many years. He worked harder than many could ever dream. He was placed in jail often, and whipped so many times that he lost count. He faced death again and again. 5 different times the Jews gave him thirty-nine lashes. 3 times he was beaten with rods. 1 time he was stoned. 3 times he was shipwrecked. Once he spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. He traveled many weary miles. He faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. He faced danger from his own people and was stabbed in the back by them many times. People who claimed to be his Christian friends and partners often turned on him and left him. He lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. He was often hungry and thirsty and went without food. Often he shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep him warm. On top of all this, he had the daily burden of how the churches were doing. He felt other’s pain and bore the weight of the life of the emerging young church.

And if all that was not enough, he had a very serious illness that affected his eye sight and probably produced tormenting headaches.

At the end of his life, this is what he said to another young Christ-follower named Timothy coming behind him:

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return. 2 Tim. 4:6-8

God will reward those who remain faithful to Him. There is coming a day when Jesus will say to His faithful, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matt 25

What are your few things? Stay true my friend, even when it gets hard You will be glad that you did. One day Joy will flood your heart like a mighty river and fill you with more than you could ever even imagine.

Banking on it,

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