Our heavenly rewards

Published 9:27 am Thursday, March 21, 2019

One bonus of being a Christian is the rewards the Lord promises us. Rewards however, are misunderstood by most. Many believe they are only available to full-time Christian workers, when actually, all of us are able to receive them. Some think that rewards are the result of accomplishments when, in truth, they are based on faithfulness. We tend to believe they are from the big things we do, when in fact, we will receive more from the little things. We do not consider these small things to be important so we do not worry about taking credit for them.

Our biggest misconception is that heaven is a reward based on what we do for the Lord. We cannot earn salvation, however it is a gift from God because of Christ’s sacrifice for us. It is available to everyone who wants to receive it. Rewards are a gift from God for our sacrifice for Him. There are some available to all believers with one being when we deny ourselves, which is found in Matthew Chapter 16. This is when we are willing to do without so we may do or be something more for the Lord. It is getting up earlier to read our Bible and pray or to sacrifice something we want in order to give a special offering. Denying ourselves for God’s work or glory is the difference between being good, better or best for the Lord.

Another reward available is mentioned in Luke Chapter 14. It is when we are hospitable to those who cannot repay us. The illustration Jesus uses is when preparing a banquet, be sure to include those who cannot repay us. If we give in order to receive, we have our reward now. We should look for opportunities to share with those who are poor, disabled or blind. In other words, those who cannot give us anything in return. We are not sharing in order to brag on what we have. It is to brag on the Lord for His grace by giving us what we do not deserve.

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We are also promised, in Luke Chapter 6, rewards when we have victory over our persecution. It is not just enduring the pain, but rising above our circumstances. Overcoming persecution develops compassion, patience and a love for God and others. It will give us an opportunity to sacrifice for the Lord. People may not listen to what we say, but they do notice how we react to suffering. We will also be able to encourage others who are going through the same thing.

Our rewards in heaven are not a sign of our importance over others. They do, however, show the importance of Christ to us. We will be able to lay our rewards at His feet as our trophy of love for Him. Rewards are the byproduct of our stewardship for the Lord. What makes the difference is our view of the abilities and things we have in life. If we see ourselves as owners we will covet them for our benefit, whereas when we see ourselves as managers, these will be invested for eternity. Our rewards are spiritual and we must be willing to postpone the present while looking to the future.

REV. STEVE CONWELL can be reached at SteveConwell@ outlook.com.