Let us take a moment to consider that God has ordained a reward system for Christians who live their lives to His glory. If you take a concordance and look up the scriptures on “reward“, you will find there are references both for earthly rewards and heavenly rewards. Jesus and the apostle, Paul, spoke about them. Although we do not live our daily lives focusing on receiving such, nevertheless, there is a divine reward system.
Hebrews 11:6 declares, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him……He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” This is a reward I receive here on earth, the favour of God in whatever form my Heavenly Father bestows it upon me.
There is a “crown of righteousness” to receive, as a reward in Heaven that Paul spoke of, “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all those also that love His appearing”, 2 Timothy 4:8. When Jesus Christ appears, (returns), we shall receive a crown of life and we shall be like Him.
If we focus on the reward system, we try and change ourselves to earn such. There is only one way to change and that is by yielding and surrendering my life to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. This triggers the life of the Indwelling Christ to come forth in me and is the enabling power to live the “Sermon on the Mount“, (Matthew chapters 5-7). I cannot fulfill the teachings of Jesus in my own strength and resolve. I need the divine life of “Another“, the power of the resurrected Christ, to live it through me. This is the reward of a surrendered daily life. We have this treasure in our earthen vessel, the life of Christ!
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,” 2 Corinthians 4:7.
When we give an account of our lives in heaven we want to hear the words from our Heavenly Father, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, not “You could have done so much more!” There will be a reward system there, but we do not have to wait until we arrive there to enjoy the benefits of living our lives to the glory of God. A surrendered life enjoys the consciousness of God’s presence, hallmarked by His joy and peace and strength for each day. I lose the consciousness of that presence when I refuse to walk in humility, when I rise in pride and react to people or situations, instead of responding in Christ’s strength and ability. The heart of man is the seat of all responsibility as a disciple of Christ. Quote, “It is the same fertile ground for God or the devil.” Choose you will, and serve you will by that choice, either God or the devil!
All the benefits secured for me at Calvary can be mine here on earth. My responsibility is to walk in the light of the revealed truths of God to me, otherwise, if I refuse, the light becomes darkness and I lose my way in life, (John 12:35-36), and the consciousness of God’s presence. Jesus is the Light, our light, and calls us to walk in it. The Bride of Christ is called to “make herself ready”, not by striving to do good works, (they are the fruit of a surrendered life, as I die, Christ lives in me and comes forth in His good works), but by breaking up our “fallow ground”. This takes place in our heart to remove the thorns, thistles and weeds of our judgements, unforgiveness and “little foxes” that would take the place of the seed of God’s word in fertile soil. The heart that is Christ ruled is set free.
The “crown of life” is an incidental benefit to be rewarded in heaven for living my life to the glory of God, but if I walk in humility each day, I receive the reward of the birthright of every Believer in Christ Jesus, a daily measure of the fullness of Christ: filled with His wisdom and spiritual understanding, fruitful in every good work, strengthened with His mighty power that we might be partakers of our inheritance in Him.
Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not to men. Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the REWARD of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Let us follow in our Master’s footsteps and live our lives to the glory of God. The Lord is my portion and my exceedingly great reward.