God Gives Rewards
One night as my family was walking into a store, we heard a woman yelling that her purse had been stolen. Just then, we saw a man in a green jacket run right past us carrying the stolen purse! Immediately my dad and another man took off chasing after the thief. Realizing he was going to be caught, the thief threw the purse underneath a parked car and continued fleeing the scene. My dad and the other man finally caught the thief and turned him over to the police.
While my dad was busy trying to catch the thief, a few kids found the purse and returned it to the woman. She was so happy to get her purse back that she started giving out money to reward the kids. But by the time my dad came back with the police the woman was all out of money, and my dad didn't get anything as a reward!
Later I asked Dad if it bothered him that the kids got reward money for returning the purse when he didn't get anything for catching the thief. I'll never forget his answer. He said that it had bothered him for a minute, but then he remembered that we are here to serve God and that God gives rewards for service to Him.
Throughout the Bible, God's rewards are often referred to as crowns. Let's look at what the Bible says about God and His rewards.
God rewards those who are waiting for Him to come back (2 Timothy 4:8). Jesus is coming back someday. You need to be looking forward to that day and be ready for that day to come.
God rewards pastors (1 Peter 5:4). Your pastor has the responsibility to protect you from danger and to teach you God's Word. It is a tough job you need to pray for him.
God rewards those who don't give in to temptation (James 1:12). First Corinthians 10:13 teaches that everyone is tempted. In fact, the verse says that temptation is common to all. But God will not allow you to be tempted to the point that you cannot resist the temptation. God always provides a way of escape. And when you do resist temptation, God gives a reward!
God's reward will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:25). Paul says that people who win a footrace get a prize that will not last forever. But when God rewards us, His reward will last forever.
Remember that money that the woman gave to the kids who found her purse? That money probably didn't last the kids more than a week. But remember the reward my dad reminded me about? When he gets that reward, it will be forever!
God gives rewards to those who follow Him and obey His Word.
» At the end of life, will God be able to give you any rewards? Why or why not?
Truth In Real Life
“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.”
One of the most famous missionary stories ever told is that of Amy Carmichael’s “unanswered answer” to prayer. As a little girl, Amy wanted blue eyes more than anything in the world! Her mother had always taught her that God answers prayer; so every night before bedtime, Amy would ask God to change her eye color from brown to blue. Every morning, she would jump out of bed, run to the mirror, and check to see whether God had answered her prayer. Every morning, though, her eyes were still brown. Was God really powerful enough to change Amy’s eyes?
As a child, Amy Carmichael had no idea what God was planning to do with her life. When an evangelist pointed out her need to give her whole life to Christ, Amy did. Serving God soon became her greatest enjoyment, and as she grew spiritually, her priorities began to change over time. When she was sixteen years old, Amy went shopping for a dress with her mother. They found the most beautiful blue dress in the store, but Amy turned it down, telling her mother that clothes were no longer the most important thing in her life. God was most important to her.
As she grew older, Amy’s desire to go to the mission field was so real to her that it felt like it physically hurt whenever she thought about it.
Eventually, she moved to the country of India. There, she would finally learn one reason God had sovereignly appointed her brown eyes. As she tried to help young girls escape from temple slavery, the kind of work she did required her to appear to others like an Indian woman. If she had been born with blue eyes, there would be no way anyone would believe she was really from India. The women of India had brown eyes!
Of course God would have been powerful enough to change her brown eyes to blue, but happily, He was also wise enough to leave them brown. On January 18, 1951, Amy went Home to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ, Who had taken such good care of her life from the very beginning.
When God says “no” or “wait” in answer to your prayers, do you trust Him or argue with Him? Are you content with how He’s made you and where He’s put you? Do you really believe that He has His greatest glory and your greatest good in mind when He brings things you can’t control into your life?
Psalm 139:14 – I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.