If you don’t get the credit here, you’ll get it in Heaven.
What a surprise we’re going to get when Jesus hands out the rewards, as to who was really greatest. Some people serve unselfishly, sacrificially, utterly giving themselves to the utmost, yet they never seem to get any credit for it and are virtually unknown. But God has a great big book, and it’s known to Him. He’s writing it all down and will reward everyone accordingly. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10). “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” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Salvation is free, but rewards are earned. At the judgment seat of Christ during the marriage supper of the Lamb, Jesus will greatly reward all those who had the faith and perseverance to stay in His school till class was dismissed (Revelation 19:6-9; 20:4; 2:26-28). Be faithful to the end so when that time comes you will know you have done your job the best you can. Then you will “rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12).—Not always here, but always there!
Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last!
Every Christian was intended to lay down his life and take up his cross and follow Jesus in order to bear fruit, more Christians like himself (Luke 9:23– 24; John 15:8). Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). If we will bury our lives in the soil of God’s service, if we will “die daily” for the Lord by giving our lives to help others (1 Corinthians 15:31), we will bring forth much fruit—more Christians to preach the Gospel to more of the lost and win them to Jesus—that He may have much fruit.
What a small price to pay for all the blessings, happiness, and eternal rewards in Heaven that He has promised you in return! If you give your all, God will reward you a hundred times over (Matthew 19:29). You can’t beat that kind of investment. There’s no other investment in this world that guarantees that kind of return.
What are you doing and for whom? Will it last forever for Jesus and others? Don’t waste another day! Spend its precious time for Him and His, for eternity!
“She has done what she could!”
Remember what Jesus said about the dear woman who anointed His head with costly, fragrant oil before His death? He said, “She has done what she could” (Mark 14:3-9).
Maybe you feel you can’t do very much, but at least you can do what you can! If you will be faithful to do your best at the job God has given you to do for Him, however great or small it may be, He will greatly reward you one of these days soon when you stand before Jesus at the “judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10). You will reap eternal rewards and everlasting glory, and have a feeling of genuine permanent accomplishment from your investment in His work. “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you will hear Him say. “Because you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21).
Have you done what you could, or are you going to be sorry for your sins of omission? Don’t lose your reward or let another take the crown that God has for you (Revelation 3:11).
I am satisfied with Jesus, but the question comes to me,
As I think of Calvary, “Is my Savior satisfied with me?”
—B.B. McKinney (1886-1952)
Do you want a crown?
The heavenly crown the Lord promises us is not our salvation. We have eternal life through His Son, which is the gift of God (John 3:36; Ephesians 2:8-9). The crown is our reward, given only to those who run and win the race (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
God’s Word tells us to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and to not entangle ourselves in the affairs of this world, that we may please Him who has called us to be soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3-4 KJV). If we fail the Lord, we will lose our reward and another will take the crown that God intended for us (Revelation 3:11).
So watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation that might lead you astray from the straight and narrow way that leads to a crown and great reward. Fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Keep the faith, finish the course, and win the crown. Keep your eyes on the goal and your hand on the plow (Luke 9:62). “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life” (James 1:12 NIV). When this life is over, if what you did was right, you’ll shine as the stars forever (Daniel 12:3).
May you invest your talents wisely and reap great reward.
The more you use what you have, the more you give, the more God blesses and gives to you. The more you use what you’ve got, the more God will increase it. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). As in the story Jesus told of the man who was given one talent, the man who was given two talents, and the man who was given five: The thing that was important was not that one was given more than the other, but how they each chose to use what He had given (Matthew 25:14-30). It’s not what you’ve got that determines the outcome, it’s what you do with what you’ve got.
So “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). You will be rewarded!
“He will reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).
We can’t earn or work for salvation; it’s a gift. But we can earn special praise and special commendation from the Lord and we can work for rewards. God is no respecter of persons when it comes to salvation (Acts 10:34), but when it comes to works and accomplishing something for Him and His kingdom, He is a great respecter of persons.
Heaven is not going to be a classless society. In Heaven, there will be all kinds of grades and levels of reward, just like there will be all kinds of grades and levels of punishment for the unsaved. Each person will shine with a different glory, depending on how much they did for the Lord. Some of the Christian heroes of the faith who were living saints in giving their lives in love so others could be saved will be where they deserve to be, at the top, near the Lord’s court. But some Christians who ignored His call to service and lived selfishly all their lives will be rewarded poorly.
Are you accomplishing all you can for God? Will He say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord”? (Matthew 25:21).
A crown of life is even more than a reward.
Jesus has promised, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). He’s not talking about your salvation there. Salvation is a gift of God (Romans 6:23). You don’t work for it or earn it at all, but your crown is your reward and even more. It’s not only a reward but also recognition before all of a job well done. Once we receive Jesus, we’re saved whether we endure to the end or not, but we’ll be given special rewards and special honor if we are a special blessing while here (Daniel 12:3; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; James 1:12).
Of course, you’re going to fall down before Jesus and cast your crown before His throne like the 24 elders in Revelation 4:10. Every time you start praising the Lord you’re going to forget all about that crown and it’s going to tumble off right at His feet, but you’d better pick it up again and put it on and wear it proudly, because that’s why He gave it to you. That’s what’s going to show what you have done for Him, and He wants the world to see it—your badge of faithfulness, a crown of life!
* * *
Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’
Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me on that Day — and not to me only, but unto all those also who love His appearing.
–2 Timothy 4:7,8
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to those who love Him.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He shall reward every man according to his works.
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of Life.
But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
–1 Corinthians 2:9
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