Rewarded

Jeremiah 31: 16

Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord.

Have you ever labored in vain, or at least what seemed in vain? Are you spending time and energy right now that doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit for you? Well, God has a good word for you today. Your labor is not in vain. Your work will be rewarded.

I have to believe that God’s word is true and that as you sow, you shall reap. If you are sowing seeds with your effort, then God will produce a harvest. Right now, it may look like all hope is lost, that none appreciate the hard work you have been putting in. Maybe you have been working for a while now without the fruit of you labor showing. God is not a man that He should lie. Your seed must bear fruit. It is the way the universe was created. Maybe you don’t think your boss appreciates you or that anyone even notices how hard you have been working. Maybe not even your spouse knows about the sleepless nights you have had because of thinking about a project and how you can improve it. There is one, however, who sees all you have done, all you are doing. God is a witness to your hard work and dreams.

When God gives us a dream and a vision, we are propelled into a state which almost feels like a parallel dimension. We see so clearly what could be and throw the full force of our dreams and our energy into following God’s plan. We must pray and stay on His track. We must partner with Him, letting Him guide us. Then, no matter what happens, keep your faith in your vision and your God. Don’t be sidetracked by what mere men do. This is between you and Yahweh. Leave the results to him. Just focus your eyes on him and do all that is in your heart to do. Let the Lord, your God be your rewarder. He promises, “Your work will be rewarded.”

Justice for All

Psalm 58: 1, 11

Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word? Do you judge the people fairly? No! You plot injustice in your hearts. You spread violence throughout the land.

Then at last everyone will say, “There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.”

This is the first stanza and the last of Psalm 58. The first depicts life under human rule, the second reveals life in God. Sometimes it is frustrating living in a world ruled by man. Justice seems out of reach. Daily we hear of atrocities perpetuated by others, even by the rulers who are supposed to be the servants of and care for the people. It can deliver your heart into hopelessness. But, fear not, God’s ways will triumph and there will be justice for all.

There is reward for those who live for God. What does it mean to live for God, though? Is it something we truly do? Do we know how to? We live in a time when even within Christian circles we have become very enmeshed in the world. The worldly culture invades our Christian circles. Add to that the failing of traditional churches. Many people who identify as Christian do not attend church. The church ceased to meet people’s needs but the lack of congregating with other Christians has weakened us individually and as a group. We are, therefore, more influenced by the world culture that we live in everyday than by Christian culture. The outcome is that we may not know how to live for God. Where does He fit into our day to day life? What role does He have in my now?

To live in God’s justice and reward we must live for God. When He becomes the focus of our lives, life takes on a different complexion. That is not to say that you never have a problem. However, to the degree that we live in Him and to Him, we can avoid the sting of the world and its sense of justice.

God is a just God and a rewarder of His beloved. Don’t let the brokenness of the world system get you down. Look at the love of the Father. It is a much better view.

Power, Reward, Recompense

Isaiah 40: 10

Behold, the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.

This Word of the Day is for me because yesterday I was feeling very selfish. I didn’t want to look for a verse for you or a Word from God for you. I just wanted to do what I always tell you to do, hang out with Dad. So, I did and this is what he gave me. I do hope it blesses you too.

As is typical, when Dad wants to minister to me, I usually end up in the books of John and Isaiah. I’ve got a fair bit of Isaiah 40 highlighted, you know, the typical verses. I can’t say I have ever seen this one quite like this before.

Isaiah was a visionary. He saw things, especially about Jesus and the New Covenant, that few saw and even fewer comprehended. For the first time, I see the New Testament miracle in this verse. I have written about the power of God before. In this verse Isaiah calls it God’s might. The NIV Bible says He comes with power and rules with a mighty arm. If you do a study on the Holy Spirit you will find that he is the power of God.

This prophecy reveals the coming of the Holy Spirit. It tells us that when God comes as the Holy Spirit, He comes in power. You need God’s power in your life as do I. That is not all, though. When Yahweh sent the Holy Spirit into the earth (See Acts 2) He sent His reward with him. To phrase it differently, the Spirit has come to your life, and mine, with power and reward. Recompense means to make reparation to.

Yahweh God, the Father, sent His Spirit to you so that you would be reimbursed for the years the locust stole, so you would have the power you need for your mission, and to reward you for your devotion to your Father. All good things. So, embrace this verse and cast it forward into your life as prophecy fulfilled.

Rewarder

Hebrews 11: 6

He is a rewarder.

Who is a rewarder? God! Did you know that? So, what does He reward? Well, maybe He rewards our good works. Maybe rewards come from sowing good seed. Perhaps He rewards those who pray a lot. What do you think? For the answer let us again turn to the Amplified Version, “He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].” Do you want to know why some Christians are doing better than others when God is no respecter of persons? My guess is they are seekers.

Would you agree with me that our Western form of Christianity has lost some of its zeal? Most of us don’t earnestly seek the Father. We sit on a pew on Sundays, maybe. We say a few prayers through the week but let us be honest. We are busy people and most of us just don’t set aside the time to diligently seek God. I remember when I was first filled with the Spirit. Goodness, I became zealous. I studied my Bible and prayed. I got together with other Christians to seek God. We all wanted more of God and were never satisfied. We continually sought more of Him. I guess you would call that earnest diligence. We were on fire for God.

Now, I’m busy working for God. It seems my calendar is always full. I don’t sit in my chair hour upon hour reading my Bible but as I read this scripture and listen to the heart of God, I think, “There is nothing better to do with my time.” I will just have to make seeking Him an absolute priority. You know, it is easy to fill your calendar. I can always find plenty of things which vie for my time but I am choosing today to put aside those things so that I can earnestly and diligently seek the Lord.

Today’s date is June 13, 2017. Will you pull out your journal and write this date in it along with this same decision, to seek the Lord with sincere devotion? Will you join me? Let’s make a 30 day commitment together and see where we are thirty days from now. Let’s see how our lives change in just thirty days. Email me, reply to this email or post a message. Let me know you are running with me and let’s encourage one another in this adventure.

No Fear Here

1 John 4: 18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

We have heard this verse often enough but I wonder how deeply we understand it. People don’t come to Christ because they are “afraid” of what they will have to give up. In other words, they are afraid of the punishment if they call themselves Christians and yet continue in their lifestyle. That is all backwards. God doesn’t call people to the fold in order to punish them. The weight of their sin is on them now. Jesus came and died that their sin might transfer to him. They are under the judgment of the law now. Christ came to set us all free (Galatians 5: 1).

God is love and there is no fear in love. There is no fear in God and no fear in those who are in God. You have been set free from fear and death. Moreover, you have been freed from the curse of the law. You needn’t have fear of punishment. Being in the house of God is to be in the house of liberty. Christ has freed us from the fear of judgment by shedding his blood for our sins. The question is no longer about punishment but rather reward.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11: 6). God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, not a punisher. He has saved you by His grace and Jesus’ blood in order to remove you from the bane of punishment and instead put you in the house of His good mercies so that He can pour out on you the rewards of His household. Can someone shout?

What we should learn and make known is that we haven’t given up a thing to follow Jesus. We have only gained. If we clean up our act a little bit, it is because we love God and want to be with Him. He does not require us to change in order to love us. However, I want good rewards and that is motivation, and much better motivation than punishment. “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27). Give me some of that! I want to see Jesus in all his father’s glory and I want to feel good about standing with him. He will love me regardless but I want to clean up and I want to follow him and I know you are the same way.

As the revelation of God’s love blossoms in our hearts, this will be our only perception. We will have no fear of any kind much less the fear of retribution from our Father. When we understand a love so deep that it is sacrificial, then there is no way we will concern even one cell of our brains with the fear of what God will do to us. He sent Jesus to save, not condemn so there is therefore no longer fear. There is no fear in love, no fear in God.

Clean Hands

Psalm 18: 24

Therefore, the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.

There are a few Old Testament prophets who have New Testament eyes and spirits. David and Isaiah are chief among these. David wrote most of the psalms and he wrote this one specifically. As an interesting side note, many people barely consider the psalms as part of the Old Testament. Many New Testament Bibles include the books of Psalms and Proverbs. I have known people who would scarcely acknowledge that the Bible contained anything more than Matthew through Revelation but who would read the psalms. The reason for this, at least in part, might be because David had such a big revelation of who God is.

Today’s passage screams New Testament dispensation to me. It has Jesus’ blood all over it. Hallelujah! You see, the passage is a little frightening until you get to the last three words. Then, all of a sudden, we are on shouting ground! I get fired up over this because I do not want to be judged or compensated according to my righteousness. That would end up worse than a lump of coal in my Christmas stocking. I am all too happy, though, to receive of God through the filters of His eyes. Yahoo! He recompenses us according to the how He sees us, according to the glory which covers us through Jesus. Come on, that is worth a shout, an Amen or something.

Give God praise. Give Him glory. He has laid aside a reward for you based on Jesus’ righteousness. Glory to God!

Recompense

Hebrews 6: 10

For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

You are not alone if you sometimes feel that your work is in vain. I imagine that every person who ministers in the name of Jesus has shared that sentiment. However, we have good news. God is mindful. He is paying attention and knows the love in your heart for the saints. You are planting seeds which God is nurturing and watering. In the proper season, probably when you need it most, those seeds will sprout sending forth a crop, a harvest to feed you in your time of need. Perhaps it will be a harvest of encouragement; maybe it will be the donation of the resources you need to continue your good work. Whatever you need, He will provide. He will honor you for the work you do for any of His kids.

Many times people do not reward you for the investment you make in their lives. You were probably lucky at times to get a “Thank You” but don’t lose heart. The scripture says, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6: 9). God is not unjust. He will not allow your labor to go unrewarded. Even though it feels like no one appreciates you at times, trust that your Father is seeing your efforts and the condition of your heart. He is a just God and He will recompense you.