You have worked hard all of your life and feel like you have gotten nowhere in particular. Your goals and your plans have all been for not or so you think. God has not looked upon your work and forgotten it. Each step you have taken, each kilometer you have driven, each ditch you have climbed your way out of has been part of His path for you. Where is your mind? Is it focused on you or on Jesus? Your labour of love is not a labour of love unless you are doing it for the love of Jesus. If you are doing your works for the love of Jesus, He will never forget it. Most of us will think our labour is to bring nonbelievers into the fold so we give up but Hebrews 6:10 tells us he will not forget our labour of love for the saints. It is no labour at all to bring people in to the fold because it is not our job. It is the job of the Father to bring them in, therefore, it is our job to labour for them after they come into the fold. What is in it for us if we labour for the Saints? Read Revelation chapters 2 & 3 to find out the rewards of the Saints. We still have to earn them but how can we do that? The ways in which we can earn them are, to know the will of the Father for us, to trust the will of the Father for us, and to overcome the things of the world that can trick us out of our rewards.
Way One: Know the Will of the Father
The wisdom of the world is not the direction we want to head if we are looking for the path God has paved for our lives. Ephesians 5:17 to not be unwise but to understand what the will of Lord is. There are many verses that tell us exactly what the will of the Father is but when it comes to walking the paved path specifically for us it takes understanding. We will not have understanding unless we know our God. I will say this over and over again in my writing and in my speaking. It is clear to me but it may not be for you. You cannot know God if you are not reading the Bible. He shows Himself to us in this Book so clearly that you cannot mistake His work for anyone else’s nor can you misunderstand His commands. The more you know Him the more you will know His will. The wisdom from knowing Him is what connects us to His rewards. He rewards us for knowing Him by speaking to us and manifesting Himself to us. The more we know the more we see. When we see Him we are able to follow Him down the paved path for us. The reward we get here is the satisfaction that we are on the right path, the reward in heaven is endless for loving Jesus while on the path. As we continue on His path we learn to trust His directions more.
Way Two: Trust the Word of the Lord
It is impossible to know Jesus more and trust Him less. He is so faithful to remember us when we move in His direction. He reminds us of the work He has done to get us to where we are even if we think we are still nowhere. It has been fifteen years since the Father called me and sometimes I feel as if I spent the whole time in the ditch. Jesus reminds me often how far I have come since the days when I traveled down gravel roads on my ten speed road bike. I have many flat tires and many broken spokes. I went off-roading to see if the grass was greener on the other side but it wasn’t. A snake is still a snake no matter what yard it lives in. Paul said to Timothy, “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God.” (1 Timothy 4:10) We cannot have the hope of our God if we do not trust His will for us and we cannot collect any rewards. He shows us how faithful He is if we trust that He is. When we get discouraged doing good He comes through with ways to encourage us to be strong and courageous to continue on His path even in the driving rain, the fog and a snow storm. He will remember we are in there and give us the tools we need to continue and those tools sometimes are worldly rewards but are always heavenly. The tools we have will surely help us to overcome any adversity the world will throw at us.
Way Three: Overcome the Things of the World
We are not living a life that is uncommon to man. The sun shines on everyone, good and evil, and the rain comes on everyone, good or evil. The advantage we have as Christians is the Word of God and all it brings into our lives. To be an overcomer of all the world throws at us to trick us, we must use the Word of God. Paul tells us to put on the armour of God (Ephesians 6) but we know (because we know the Word) that is just putting on the character of Jesus Christ. The rewards for doing that are many. You can line those pieces of amour up with the letters to the church in Revelation 2 & 3 quite nicely. Jesus regales them with the rewards for overcoming the obstacles that are pounding against our amour. At the beginning it seems cumbersome to carry all this armour just to follow the path paved for us but after a while it becomes habit to put this armour on before we put on our walking shoes. Without this armour it is impossible to continue on the path God has for us because the armour shines a light through the darkness to reveal the tricks of the world. The obstacles we must hurdle are there in the darkness and they need to be overcome to continue. We need to stand our ground and not step backwards. Do not let a lie get through to you. We overcome by knowing our God and trusting our God as a barricade.
Knowing the will of God, trusting the will of God, and overcoming the tricks the world while doing the will of God will put you in a great position when it come to the doling out of the rewards when Jesus returns. When you read Revelation 21 and 22 you will see when the rewards are given so I beg you to understand the rewards we receive here on earth are perishable and cannot stand the test of time waiting for Jesus to return. The rewards we receive when the New Earth and the New Jerusalem become a reality are the ones that are waiting for us when the time is fulfilled for us to receive them. Just because the rewards here are perishable doesn’t mean we should not go after them but we should know they do not even hold a flashlight to the rewards we will receive from Heaven. This is your storm warning. I do not know right now if there will be storms on the New Earth for us to endure but I do know the difference between then and now. I will have Jesus to speak too then because I will be able to go into the New Jerusalem to talk to Him. Will you?
Combine this blog with Episode 4: The Future of Making Good Decisions podcast on WE Podcast.