Rewards don’t have to be Airline Miles

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]

Thanks for reading today.

Come back soon.

Ben

For more on this check out my post “You Can Take it With You

Green Stamps photo credit: Caveman Chuck Coker via photopin cc

 

0 thoughts on “Rewards don’t have to be Airline Miles

  1. Caddo Veil

    Hi Ben! I was going with "paradox" first, but I think we can safely say it's both. I always appreciate the way you offer up Jesus' words for us, and your clear and encouraging interpretations. "Striving to excel" in whatever we do, honors HIM--you just can't beat that with a stick! I'm sorry that you've been lightly chastised for talking about what we get out of our Christian life--I guess those people are so scared that if we think about ourselves for a second, the whole Kingdom will fall. (Chicken Little, Henny Penny?) When we think of ourselves, and the focus is our relationship IN and WITH Christ--such that the result is, we are encouraged and built up--surely that is humility which blesses all we do, and honors HIM. Hopping off the podium now. God bless you abundantly--love, sis Caddo

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  2. meetingintheclouds

    Yes, we earn rewards here. One of the things I hate to imagine is arriving in heaven with empty hands - with no rewards, no crowns, to lay at His feet. What a tragedy, especially considering that He has supplied EVERYTHING we need to live a vbictorious, fruitful life for Him.

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