Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 26, 2018

“He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 10:28-31.

“Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.”  Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions;  and in the age to come, eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”  Mark 10:28-31.

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Jesus encourages us that there are rewards for us following Him.

And yet, there are many preachers and teachers who hide, belittle, or obscure these rewards.  Some call it “prosperity gospel”.  Some limit the rewards to eternal life.  Some push away the rewards as materialistic.  Some infer that we should only expect persecutions.  Some infer that it is more righteous to not need the rewards nor expect them.  Some feel that it is unseemly to acknowledge rewards when everyone may not receive exactly the same rewards.

And yet, these same people experience great prosperity but just do not want to admit it or properly give thanks or glorify God for it.

But, here is Scripture using language of receiving “a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms”.

Yes, there are persecutions, but the emphasis is on the rewards.  And, even persecutions carry their own great reward.  Finally, if anyone has the right to hide, belittle, or obscure these rewards, it would be the persecuted.  But, who has been persecuted the most but the writers of Scripture who write about these rewards?!! 

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great;  for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5:11-12.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Romans 8:18.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”  1 Peter 1:6-7.

Consider the awesome emphasis of the importance of expectation of rewards in Scripture!

Scripture describes God as “a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Scripture defines faith with two elements, one of which is that faith “must believe that … He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” 

“And 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. 

Here are more quotes from Scripture about these rewards.

“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,

“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”  Genesis 15:1.

“But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”  2 Chronicles 15:7.

“10 They (the judgments of the LORD) are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.”  Psalm 19:10-11.

“And men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely there is a God who judges on earth!”  Psalm 58:11.

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.”  Psalm 127:3.

“The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.”  Proverbs 11:18.

“21 Adversity pursues sinners,
But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”  Proverbs 13:21-22.

“The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.”  Proverbs 22:4.

“Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting:  to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him;  for this is his reward.  Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor;  this is the gift of God.  For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.”  Ecclesiastes 5:18-20.

“Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart;  for God has already approved your works.  Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.  Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun;  for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 9:7-9.

“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.”  Isaiah 40:10.

“Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”  Isaiah 62:11.

“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret;  and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:3-4.

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6.

“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward;  and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.  And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:41-42.

“Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”  And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”  Matthew 19:27-29.

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return;  and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High;  for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”  Luke 6:35.

“Now he who plants and he who waters are one;  but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.”  1 Corinthians 3:8.

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”  Colossians 3:23-24.

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.”  Hebrews 10:35-36.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”  Revelation 22:12.

Finally, the Heidelberg Catechism reminds us that the reward for our good works “is not of merit, but of grace”.

Q. 63.  What!  Do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
A.  This reward is not of merit, but of grace.

And, I would add in addition that our good works, and even our faith, are also not based on our merit but based on God’s grace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:10.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 2:6.


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