From here to Eternity’s Rewards
Two men owned farms side by side. One was a bitter, confident atheist, the other a loyal follower of Christ. Constantly annoyed at the Christian for his trust in God, the atheist said to him one winter, “Let’s plant our crops as usual this spring, each the same number of acres. You pray to your God, and I’ll curse him. Then come October, let’s see who has the bigger crop.”
When the crop came the atheist was delighted because his crop was larger. “See, you fool,” he taunted, ‘what do you have to say for your God now?”
“My God,” replied that other farmer , “doesn’t settle all his accounts in October.”
A day of accounting is coming upon all men.“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” – Ecclesiastes 12:14
God promises great reward for all who have served Him faithfully. He will reward every loyal servant for works they have done in this life:
“At that time each will receive his praise from God” – 1 Corinthians 4:5
This is a particularly encouraging passage, suggesting that God will find something to praise and reward each one of us for. Shouldn’t that motivate us to do more for our Father? The mere fact that He will be proud of, and take pleasure in us is so motiving!
According to the Bible, God rewards us for many things:
• including good works, (Ephesians 6:7, 8; Romans 2:5-10).
• denying ourselves (Matthew 16:24-27)
• showing compassion to the needy (Luke 14:13-14)
• treating our enemies kindly (Luke 6:35-36)
• enduring difficult circumstances while trusting Him (Hebrews 10:32-36)
• living faithfully, with good motives (1 Corinthians 4:1-5)
•persevering under persecution (Luke 6:22-23)
• practicing a pattern of godliness (2 Peter 3:11-14)
Paul reminds us that there is also a timetable for the harvest: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9
Like the law of gravity, the law of rewards—the law of the harvest—is always in effect, even when we cannot see it. Everything and everyone in human history is headed toward a day of reaping, even if it does not seem obvious (Revelation 14:13).
The above passage and Eccl. 12:14 ought to be viewed in the positive as well as with a healthy fear (awareness that God is looking). Verse 14 is preceded by verse 13, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” – Eccl. 12:13
Many of us do wonderful deeds of righteousness when no one is looking and when we are in the public eye. Our motive is sincere and pure. Sometimes I get confused and cannot figure out my motives —so I simply state them out loud to our Lord.
I say, “Lord, I am doing this for your reputation. My desire is to help this person to do the right thing for them and to bring You praise. Sometimes I pray back to God and say, “this is to honor You in this action, my thoughts, this teaching and my behavior.” When I’m teaching, I state my motive to the Lord by praying: “reveal Your Truth clearly so that I may speak correctly, gently, courageously and purely.”
After walking with Christ for many years, I do not state my motive every time I speak or act. Usually the Holy Spirit will let me know if my behavior was from a sincere motive and He does that by means of conviction, or corrections that I need to make right by either going back and doing it correctly or express by confession to certain people when my motive was wrong. As you can imagine after 40+ years of ministry I have gone back to many people numerous times☹
Being a responsible listener
Here are some suggested actions in view of this teaching:
#1 Go back over each verse or groupings of verses and allow the Holy Spirit to talk to you as your read and meditate over them.
Jot down your action steps you purpose to take in view of how you were impressed.
#2 Ask a person in your webs of relationships to read this article with you and talk about your insights, questions, or plans to obey what you have read.
I am attempting to live my life for Christ, let’s do it together.