Choose Your Reward
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven. Luke 6:23a
Children get rewarded for selling the most cookies or wrapping paper for their school. Adults get rewarded for providing authorities with information about a crime. We get rewards for shopping at our favorite grocery store or for using a certain credit card. We are committed to the idea of rewards. We love to be rewarded!
And we aren’t the only ones. Jesus pointed out the activities of religious leaders in His day who performed religious activities in public in order to be rewarded by people with praise (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18). He pointed out to His disciples how rich people made a public show of the money they donated to the temple treasury (Mark 12:41-44). But He also clarified that being rewarded by men is not the same as being rewarded by God. If we choose to seek the rewards of man while on this earth, we won’t be rewarded by God in heaven. But if we serve God for His sake alone, we will be rewarded in heaven. Which reward would be better? Which would endure and be more meaningful?
We have a choice in our spiritual life: Seek the rewards of man or the rewards of God. We can’t receive both (Matthew 6:24).
Those who give to God only the shadow of duty can never expect from Him a real reward. John Flavel
Getting There (3)
Where our individual desire dies and sanctified surrender lives. One of the greatest hindrances in coming to Jesus is the excuse of our own individual temperament. We make our temperament and our natural desires barriers to coming to Jesus. Yet the first thing we realize when we do come to Jesus is that He pays no attention whatsoever to our natural desires. We have the idea that we can dedicate our gifts to God. However, you cannot dedicate what is not yours. There is actually only one thing you can dedicate to God, and that is your right to yourself (see Romans 12:1). If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you— and His experiments always succeed. The one true mark of a saint of God is the inner creativity that flows from being totally surrendered to Jesus Christ. In the life of a saint there is this amazing Well, which is a continual Source of original life. The Spirit of God is a Well of water springing up perpetually fresh. A saint realizes that it is God who engineers his circumstances; consequently there are no complaints, only unrestrained surrender to Jesus. Never try to make your experience a principle for others, but allow God to be as creative and original with others as He is with you.
If you abandon everything to Jesus, and come when He says, “Come,” then He will continue to say, “Come,” through you. You will go out into the world reproducing the echo of Christ’s “Come.” That is the result in every soul who has abandoned all and come to Jesus.
Have I come to Him? Will I come now?
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.” The Shadow of an Agony, 1166 R