JESUS IS OUR GREAT REWARDER
Hebrews 11:1,6 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… 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 12:1-2 – … looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…
Isaiah 40:10 – Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.
Special note: Jesus rewards us according to our works. We are His workmanship, created unto good works! (Ephesians 2:10). When Jesus comes, He promises to REWARD US according to our works! Let us not grow weary in doing good, for In due season we will reap if we faint not! (Galatians 6:9) God is expecting us to be faithful, and full of faith (not doubt or unbelief). When He finds us faithful, we can expect to be REWARDED according to our works!
Matthew 6:33 – … seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Special note: God expects us to do something. We have something to do. It’s not all up to God. We can’t expect to receive His rewards if we are unwilling to do His works!
REWARDED FOR OUR WORKS
Revelations 22:12 – “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the REWARD of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Matthew 16:24-27 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Revelation 11:18 – And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should REWARD Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto ALL GOOD WORKS.
Titus 3:8 – This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain GOOD WORKS. These things are good and profitable to men.
Romans 11:22 – Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off.
Special note concerning our GOOD WORKS:
A friend shared with me recently his perspective and wise insights about GOOD WORKS. “To me dead religion tells people that they ‘have to’ for God but when He saves us and we finally get it about how much He loves us than our heart changes to ‘WE GET TO’ FOR GOD BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM. Our works are based on our heart and love for Him not because a dead religion demands us to work our way.” (2)
Dead works are not what pleases the Lord! Loving, ‘from-the-heart GOOD WORKS’ are what bring Him delight! We have the wonderful privilege of showing our love and gratefulness to the Lord for His amazing grace and mercy! Works are not the basis of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, they are clearly the basis of REWARD (Revelation 22:12)
There are many who are going through the routines, motions, and forms of dead religious duty without serving Him out of love and from a Spirit-filled life. Some people think that doing good works earns their salvation. That’s sad! We can never earn our salvation! The price for it was already paid for when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Jesus is the only one who can provide us the wonderful gift of salvation (Romans 6:23). Salvation is not through our works, but by faith in and receiving Jesus’s merciful forgiveness and cleansing for our sins. (Ephesians 2:8-9) On that solid foundation of salvation, continuing to thankfully abide in Him, and obediently do His will is very important – and our GOOD WORKS WILL BE REWARDED accordingly. If we fail to continue in His goodness it is tragic, according to Romans 11:22, and John 15.
I like the emphasis (above) about GOOD WORKS BECAUSE WE “GET TO” serve with a joyful, cheerful heart, not because we “have to” with a grudging, complaining, and bitter attitude. One way or another lovingly serving the Lord and others is extremely important — it is so much the better when we serve Him with willingness, cheerfulness, and thankfulness, and do not lose our reward (John 2:8; I Corinthians 9:16-18; Philippians 2:18).
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
2 Corinthians 5:9-11 – 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…
Special note: The words “judgment seat” are the translation of a Greek word – “Bema”. The “Bema” was a rewards seat. There’s a day coming when God is going to evaluate our lives. We all must stand before the judgment seat of Christ. At the judgment seat, the Lord will REWARD believers for their faithful service. All of us will give an account of what we have done after trusting Christ as Savior.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIKENED TO A RACE
The Christian life is like a race and the Great Rewarder for those who finish in faith is Jesus Christ.
After the race is over for each believer, Jesus will gather every member before the “Bema” and give the proper reward to each.
There is coming a time when we will have our own awards ceremony in eternity. The halls of heaven will ring with praise and celebration. There will be witnesses from every nation and every generation. You receive your reward for eternity based on what you DID on earth.
Psalm 62:12 – With you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.”
Ephesians 6:8 …knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord.
Hebrews 12:1 – …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…
I Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize (reward)? Run in such a way that you may obtain it (run to win!). 25 All those who compete in the games use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. 26 So I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something— not just the air. 27 I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others.
Special note: Let’s run the race, and live the Christian life in such a way as to win the prize. Let’s aim for the top! “Go for the gold!” Some people might think it is selfish and immature to serve the Lord for rewards. However, it cannot be an immature motive – when God Himself tells us to do it. This was His idea, not ours. He used the promise of rewards to motivate us. He says, “Run the race in such a way as to win the prize (REWARD).” If Almighty God uses the promise of prizes (Rewards) to motivate us, you can be sure He will make it worth the effort that it takes to win them!
THE TEST OF OUR WORKs
I Corinthians 3:11-15 – But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Special note: At the judgment seat believers will be rewarded according to how they faithfully served, obeyed and followed Christ.
REWARDS ARE LIKE “WAGES” AND PAYDAY IS COMING!
(Once again) – Revelation 22:12 – … My reward (my wages) is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.., (what he has done).
- What is the first thing that Christ lovingly wants to do when He returns? He wants to give us a REWARD!
- He is a Rewarder...the one who pays back your wages in return for your work. This is an expression of His own generous nature.
- In the midst of serving Christ, sometimes we might grow weary and tend to ask, “Where are my wages for serving you? Is this all really worth the effort?”
- Our rewards are with Jesus in Heaven. When do those rewards come? When He comes again, and when the “Bema” (Judgment Seat of Christ) takes place. At this time will want to have done our best for the Lord, and hear these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
- When you honor God, He says, in effect, “You don’t work for me for free. I’ll pay you for seeking me”. So if we’ve put God first. If we’ve done our best to please Him, we can be sure that our payday is coming!
- If we don’t want to lose our reward, it will require a life of self-control and self-discipline!
Matthew 6:7 – God who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Romans 2:6 – “God will repay each person according to what they have done.
I John 2:28 – “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
2 John 1:8 – “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.“
Special note: It is a sobering thought that we could be ashamed as we stand before the Lord. Or, on the other hand – we can receive His lavish rewards if we serve Him faithfully during our time here on earth.
- Let’s not be consumed by the things of this world. Let’s not just chase after money, fame, fortune, bigger this, bigger that. When we seek only earthly things, life is very shallow. Let’s chase after God, and pursue Him with all our hearts. Our highest priority should be to please Him.
LET’S LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Matthew 6:19-20 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 13:44 – “…the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (JESUS)
Don’t let this life’s cares cause you to be unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-20 – Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
WHAT WILL YOUR HEAVENLY TREASURES BE LIKE?
Some things are mysterious. We do not know everything about our REWARDS until we get to heaven. But we do know that it will be worth all of the investment of time, energy, and sacrifice when we see Jesus!
I John 3:2 – Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Let’s be like Paul, who was willing to sacrifice everything for the eternal rewards that he would receive.
Philippians 3:8-14 – Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain (win) Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize (REWARD) of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
SOME OF THE THINGS WE KNOW WILL EARN US ETERNAL REWARDS:
Let’s keep on doing what we know will bring great rewards – things like:
- Patiently enduring through trials. (James 1:12)
- Graciously sharing our faith. (Proverbs 11:30; Romans 1:16; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8)
- Steadfastly staying on course until God calls us home. (2 Timothy 4:7-8; I Corinthians 15:58; Acts 20:24; Matthew 7:13-14)
- Faithfully shepherding God’s sheep. (I Peter 5:2; John 21:15-17)
- Generously investing our money in things of eternal value. (Matthew 6:19-29; I Corinthians 4:2; I Peter 4:10; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11).
- Unselfishly using our gifts and abilities to serve the Lord. (Romans 12:1-2, 6-8; Acts 20:35; )
- Maintaining an effective prayer life. (Luke 11:9; James 1:5, 5:16; I John 5:14-15; Matthew 6:5-8)
- Doing our jobs well. (Colossians 3:23,34; Matthew 25:21,23)
- Loving our enemies. (Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:35)
- Serving children. ( Matthew 10:42; Psalm 127:3)
- Growing in the likeness of Christ (2 Peter 1:3-11; Romans 6:11; 8:29; I Peter 2:2; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 2:6-7)
DOING ALL FOR GOD’S GLORY
I Corinthians 10:31 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Special note: Our motivation needs to be that we do all these tings for God’s glory, rather than the praise of men! We have been created for HIs pleasure, not our own! (Rev. 4:11) We need to do them by the Holy Spirit’s power, rather than by strength, selfish energy, and works of our flesh. They are to be done not by might, nor (our) power, but by the Spirit of the Lord working through us. That’s what pleases the Lord! (Zechariah 4:6) We are workers together with Him! (2 Corinthians 6:1)
Every Christian can and should look forward to the rewards that Jesus will give us. However, nothing will ever compare to the splendor of seeing and just being with our Lord and Savior forever. His love is so great for His people. He will rejoice over us with joy and give us things that are far better than we can ever imagine.
IT WILL BE BETTER THAN WE COULD EVER IMAGINE!
I Corinthians 2:9 (Isaiah 64:4) – …as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
JESUS is truly wonderful, and our Great Rewarder!
- Special thanks and acknowledgement to Evelyn Asuncion, who helped prepare some of this message, and also shared it at our online service.
- Special thanks and acknowledgement to Tim Sawtelle for sharing his wise perspectives about the right motivation and inspiration for good works.