As I dive into Matthew Chapter 6, there is something that kind of jumps off the page at me. I know I have actually written about this before, but it bears repeating (mostly because I only have some many things to say, and if I don’t repeat myself I will run out before you know it)
Jesus seems to actually think it is OK for us to think about rewards. 6 times He talks about rewards in Matthew’s telling of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7) and twice more in Luke 6 where Luke gives another telling of the same or a similar sermon.
These sermons are the core of Jesus’ teachings and Jesus uses reward as a motivator both negatively as in Matthew 6:1
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
And positively as in Matthew 5:12
Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Where He actually tells us to rejoice about our heavenly reward.
I have spent much of my life in Evangelical circles where humility is exalted (one of my writer friends can tell me if that is irony or paradox) and self abasement is the highest form of piety. I have been lightly chastised at times for talking about what you get out of your Christian life.
But Jesus was not afraid to talk about it.
He used phrases like “If you want to be great in the kingdom of heaven…” more than once.
What is my point – OK – here it is.
I believe that Jesus receives honor when we strive to excel in all we do – including our Christianity, our ministry, our love, our friendship, our worship – all of it.
When Handel wrote the "Messiah", it was no throw away piece. It is one of the greatest, most enduring works of art of all time, and I would not be at all surprised if some of that work is the sound track of heaven.
Nor would it surprise me to be singing the “Revelation Song” in heaven.
These are great works done to glorify God, and it is rewarding to be involved in such word for His glory.
Don’t shy away from reward – and remember – you can lay it at His feet later! [Tweet This]
Come back soon.
For more on this check out my post “You Can Take it With You”