Friday, July 27, 2012

The Purchased Possession: When the Lord calls for what is His own

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24, ESV)

As Christians, when we receive a command from God in Scripture, it is our job to obey it without question.  We do whatever God tells us to do.  We make our lives available to Him because He purchased them on the cross.  Whatever He wants from us, we give unreservedly.  This is what it means to lay down your life and deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ--you die so that Christ can live through the one He purchased.

So our response to any request He makes is: Yes, Lord.  Whatever You say.  That, I will do.

That's our first response.  It comes before any thought of reward.  Do it.

After we have determined and willed to do what God has said, then a second consideration must be made: God is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  Those who seek Him love Him and keep His commandments.  Therefore, the one who keeps His commandments will be rewarded.

Are we motivated by the reward?  Yes and no.

We gauge our motivation by asking the question: Would I still obey if there was no reward?

The Christian who knows she has been bought with the blood of Jesus and she is not her own says: Yes.  Even if there was no reward, I would still obey.  For He is worthy of my obedience.

Yet, our God is SUPER-gracious!  There is a reward!  And it is a GREAT reward!

It says of Jesus in Hebrews 12 that: For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross...

We can know the same joy as Jesus!  He wants to give it to us!  Therefore, we do God honour by believing Him when He says we will be rewarded, and by striving for the reward that He gives and not for the rewards of men.

We obey God from the heart, because He is worthy; but we are also commanded to look to the reward and treasure that.

When you truly treasure the favour of God, you will be set free from the desperate need to have the approval of men.  People can overlook your work, take credit for it, belittle and abuse you, and it will not matter to you--you will be free--because your reward is with God.

Also, never forget love.  Remember that Paul says that we can have all things, yet lack love, and thus have nothing.  But what is love?  It is the very nature of the Lord Jesus Christ indwelling us.  Therefore, if we have the heart and mind of Jesus, then we will love as He loved, we will work as He worked, we will obey as He obeyed, and we will please the Father as He did.

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