Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Reward of a Life Well-Lived

Photo by Telestar2000
The Promise Of Eternal Rewards

In Revelation 22:12-16 we read the following words of Jesus through the writing of the Apostle John:
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
In this passage, our Lord reminds His followers of His imminent return. When He does return, He promises that He will be bringing a reward for each of us according to what we have done while living here on this earth. The word done used in this passage carries with it the implication of an enterprise we have undertaken to do. The meaning of this word also carries the idea of any product that is accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind.

Once God has adopted us into His family through the saving work of Jesus Christ, He has an enterprise in which He wants us to be busy working. He has called each of us to be engaged in a holy calling that builds up the Kingdom of God. The Lord has promised that we will be rewarded in accordance to what we are able to produce. What an awesome day that's going to be!

Take Action On Your Gifts And Calling

God has called each of us to a specific task in His Kingdom. He has gifted you and He has gifted me with specific talents, abilities, relationships, time, and finances in order to accomplish His Kingdom work. As a result, we have a three-part task before us.

First, we need to get busy discerning how God has uniquely shaped us. We need to spend time in introspection, looking deeply within ourselves for how we "tick." We need to know ourselves so well that we know what our passion in life is and what motivates us to get up in the morning. We need to have a firm grasp of our various abilities, skills, spiritual gifts, and God-given talents.

Second, we need to discover how God wants us to use these various gifts and abilities in order to build up the Kingdom of God. Once we have a clear idea of how God has shaped us, then we need to determine what we bring as individuals to the corporate church body. If we have leadership abilities, then we need to seek out leadership positions. If we have the gift of teaching, then we need to be on the lookout for teaching opportunities. If we have musical talents, then we need to get involved in the worship team, and so on.

And third, we need to produce. We need to get busy about the work for which we have been called by God to do. Our various parts in the Kingdom of God are not just going to happen by accident. We need to take purposeful action in order to fulfill His will and work for our lives.

What Work Do You Have Before You?

So how has God gifted you? What work does He want you to engage in for the Kingdom? Are you being obedient in doing what He has asked you to do, or are you in rebellion against what He has planned for your life?

If you're still having difficulty determining His work for you, then go through the three-step process that I mentioned above. Take time to know yourself and how God has shaped you. Once you have a clearer understanding of yourself, see how your unique gifting can be used to build up God's Kingdom. Once you know what God has planned for your work, then get about the business of doing it. Take massive action!

The cool part of all this hard work for the Kingdom is that we do have a promise for eternal rewards when we reach heaven, so don't give up. Jesus will be ready to reward you for what you have done, one day soon!

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