Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seeking a Heavenly Reward

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  -Matthew 6:1, 2 (NKJV) 

Many years ago while serving as the pastor of another church the congregation there went through a period of financial difficulty.  A man in the church approached me and said he would like to help.  However, it was important to him that he remain anonymous.  At his urging we worked out an arrangement.  Every Sunday morning he would leave an envelope containing $1000.00 on the desk in my office, which I would then put in the church offering plate.  For ten straight weeks the envelopes kept coming and after this period of time the church’s finances were dramatically improved.  Such generosity and humility about giving to the Lord struck a powerful chord in my heart.  This man desired no recognition or acclamation whatsoever.  Instead, he knew the Lord would be the one who would acknowledge and reward him. 

Often when we do something nice for someone we enjoy receiving at least a little recognition for our efforts.  There is certainly nothing wrong with giving or receiving a thank-you note once in a while.  I have received numerous such notes and I have sent more than I can remember.  However, Jesus said when it comes to serving the Lord we must allow God to be the one who acknowledges and rewards our efforts.  Will we serve the Lord and then go out and announce all we have done?  Will we make sure people know of our service to God so we will receive applause and accolades?   

Jesus said if we go out and seek after the rewards and praise of others then this is the only reward we will get.  However, if we let God be the one to reward us then our acclamation and recognition will be on a divine and eternal level.  No reward in this life could possibly compare with the eternal rewards of heaven. 

Do not make the mistake of believing your efforts in serving Christ are in vain or no one notices the good you have done.  The Lord knows and He will give back to us 100 times over for what we have done in His name.  Let us never grow tired or weary of serving Christ.  We serve the Lord Jesus as we reach out to others with the gospel, a helping hand, a kind word, a visit to the hospital, an offer to pray, or we simply listen to the concerns of others.  We will sometimes grow tired, yet the Lord empowers us to continue serving Him. 
Serve the Lord with gladness.  Our efforts will be rewarded.

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