Unbelievers—who use any possible excuse to justify their rejection of God—criticize the Bible’s promise of reward for spiritual service. They claim to be good only because “goodness is its own reward.” (I wonder if they work only because “working is better than being idle?”)
Nevertheless, God reveals his will as he sees fit, not as critics wish he had. Among the good news of God is his promise of reward for faithful discipleship. But not just reward, but reward far beyond any discipleship rendered.
Consider a few examples.
A Minneapolis woman found $100,000 in three bags that a security company driver lost from his truck. She contacted police, who called the company. In an act of shameless ingratitude, the company gave her $100 and a dozen roses. “How chintzy can you get?” she fumed. “People get that much for finding a dog or cat.”
NOT FOR US a scant reward for committing our life to God.
After ferocious fighting, the Marines secured Parry and Eniwetok Islands 22 February, 1944. Only 25 out of 2,000 Japanese troops surrendered. A Lieutenant wrote about how they killed all the enemy. About the lack of jubilation among the Americans. About the soldiers staring into space or at the sand. About the men they had lost…“young, smiling and graceful” men. About how the survivors wanted to forget how their dead looked in death.
NOT FOR US, at the end, staring with glazed-eyes, too aware of the cost of discipleship to enjoy its victory.
Horace Tabor had once possessed scores of mines and a $4 million annual income. An extravagant lifestyle, bad investments, and a collapse of the silver market destroyed his financial empire. The 70 year old Tabor returned to prospecting the Matchless, the only mine left in his name. Before he died, he begged his wife Baby Doe to “Hang on to the Matchless.” It had made him wealthy before, and he promised it would still make millions for her. She stayed, living in a shack near the Matchless. She worked it faithfully…but no riches emerged. She died penniless…frozen to death…betrayed by a memory.
NOT FOR US the bitter remorse of unrealized dreams and unrewarded toil; of never enjoying Heaven’s pleasures for remembering the pain inflicted to gain them.
Christians, be faithful to God. Out of all he owns—and he owns ALL—he shares so generously now and forever with his persevering disciples that we’ll think nothing of our service for the pleasure of possessing its rewards.
Remember what Jesus said in the Parable of the Talents. To the two faithful servants he promised… “…You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.” (italics added) Many for the few. So many it will take eternity to discover them all and to study what each means. Glory to God in the Highest!