Tuesday, March 28
Our Rewards in Heaven
Have you ever thought about what type of rewards you are going to receive when you get to heaven? The Bible explains the criteria God will use to determine these rewards and what kind of conduct will deserve them. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we will be judged on the basis of the light we have received—that is, the truth God has made available to us—and what we have done with the opportunities we were given.
Furthermore, we find that some specific actions and attitudes will result in certain rewards. For instance, we are told in the book of Matthew that there is a great reward stored up in heaven for those who are insulted and persecuted for Jesus’ sake (Matt. 5:11-12). Elsewhere, the Lord tells us that acts of kindness done for His followers will be noted and rewarded (Matt. 25:40). Even a cup of water given to a thirsty disciple will not be overlooked on judgment day (Matt. 10:42).
Included among the rewarded are those whom God calls to leave family and personal possessions for the sake of the gospel. Another action that draws the Father’s special attention is love directed toward our enemies. For this behavior, there will be a great reward, and we will be called “sons of the Most High” (Luke 6:35).
Sometimes others seem to prosper and reap a great harvest without even noticing how we prepared the soil. Yet God assures us that neither the one who plants nor the one who waters will be overlooked (1 Cor. 3:8). The Lord sees each detail, and everything done for His sake will be rewarded.
Monday, March 27
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Today’s passage contains a sobering message about heavenly rewards and how they are acquired. Paul is comparing kingdom work to the efforts of a master builder. He says Christ is the only foundation on which to build, but each of us is responsible for the materials we use on that foundation. We can build with wood, hay, and stubble or with gold and costly stones. Each man’s work will be tested with fire in the judgment in order to determine the quality of the materials used. Paul then tells us that if our works survive the trial by fire, we will receive a reward (1 Cor. 3:14).
For our works to survive, we must learn to build with nonflammable materials. God deplores shoddy effort. We will be judged not just by our “church work” but also by the way we handled other responsibilities, such as our vocation. This means that we are to go about our daily jobs with the same diligence that we would show when serving the heavenly Father in spiritual matters.
In order to accomplish this, we must avoid practices like criticizing the boss, manipulating circumstances to our own advantage, checking in late, leaving work early, and using company materials for personal projects. This is a test of genuine Christianity.
Ask yourself if you’re being real with the Lord. Remember, He knows the truth of every situation—and He abhors laziness and poor workmanship. Our Father expects us to do our very best, and He has given us His Spirit to sanctify our efforts and provide the quality of work that He desires.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.
For more Biblical teachings from Dr. Charles Stanlely, visit www.intouch.org