I was thinking about something this morning. As Christians, we are promised an eternity of rewards. All of them are because of the work that Jesus did on the cross. We cannot earn Heaven or cause our own salvation. Jesus accomplished what was necessary for us to be in relationship with Him. Heaven is mine not because of my righteousness but His.
There are however, references to rewards in Heaven. While we cannot earn Heaven, we are rewarded for our acts of obedience
to God. I do not know how this all works out and I know that even my obedience is prompted and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I cannot take credit even for that. But, if there are eternal rewards for obeying Jesus here, on this earth, why do we settle for temporary enjoyment at the expense of eternity?
Obedience to the things Jesus calls us to may come with an earthly expense. It may cost us to follow and obey Him. Some are called to give up everything and live in poverty with the people that they serve. Others may be called to give up their life or spend it in a forced labor camp for the sake of the Gospel. I think that there is a reason that Jesus told people to count the cost. Following Him could cost us everything that we count as precious to us.
Bonhoeffer said "When Christ calls a man, He bids him 'come and die'." In our Western mindset, we do not often acknowledge that our call is a completely surrendered life to the cause of Jesus. We live for immediate rewards. The Church is in disarray because we have bought into the lies of immediate gratification.
Wanting out inheritance now, makes us much like the younger son in the story of the Prodigal. We are wasting an eternity of rewards and inheritance for the right to live it up now. We neglect to understand that the son was a son who had and inheritance that he squandered. When he came home, he was still a son but the inheritance all belonged to his older brother. He could live in the comfort of his father's house but it would never be his house.
What are we living for today? I think that it is time to fix our eyes on Jesus and our eternal reward. We need to live like that only thing that matters is God's purpose. Everything else needs to be laid aside. Let us learn to live for eternity.
If you would like to contribute to my expenses for the ministry in Guatemala, you can do so by mailing a check to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.