Rewards

Confession time:

  • I like winning better than losing.
  • I am more fond of good outcomes than bad ones.
  • When dreaming big dreams leads to accomplishing great things, I really like it.
  • I love it when there is progress to report in a progress report.

To work well but without reward is the definition of misery.

The Craftsman’s Rewards
I have a life-long friend from my college and teaching days named Dennis who is a wonderful singer, actor, teacher, choral director and Christian gentleman. In his retirement he works with wood producing, among other things, beautiful wooden cases for clocks. I visited his shop one summer and found it to be full of rewards. I don’t mean trophies and plaques on the wall. I mean precision equipment of all kinds and stacks of expensive, beautiful wood from the best of trees. A case for a clock was in the works with smooth wood and careful craftsmanship. Another couple of clocks, as yet undelivered, could be seen here and there. I knew that his sharp mind contained plans for the next creation.

Where were the rewards? I saw them!

  • A proven record of past achievements,
  • the presence of a current project, and
  • the promise of future work were his rewards.

Work and reward; work and reward.
It is the rhythm of life. God, the some Creator who said “It was good” at each stage of a grand project eons ago, made us this way.

Science calls this the Law of Cause and Effect. The Bible term is the Law of Sowing and Reaping. It is not at all complicated—we reap what we sow. If we do “this thing,” this “other thing” will be the result. This is one of the first things we learn in life—“Don’t touch the stove top!” “Get away from that electrical outlet.”

If we do not learn this law:

  • We will gain weight when we eat too much an exercise too little.
  • We are likely to stress over debt when we misuse our credit cards?
  • We will find it difficult to be pure in heart if we constantly feed on impurity.
  • Our children may walk away from God, if we do not walk with Him before their eyes.

On the other hand—while we are thankful—we should not be surprised when the rewards for sowing good things come our way:

  • Except for the prospects of disease or injury, healthy living leads to long life.
  • We can be generous on all occasions because it is more blessed to give than receive.
  • We can live unspotted in this wicked age, because we feed on the good things of God.
  • We can successfully hand deliver the True Faith to the next generation.

Best of all is the reward when we stand before Jesus and give an account.
We can hear Him say,

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things,
I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

There is no greater reward than this!

Scriptures:
Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall say to the Lord, “You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.” He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence. He shall cover you with his pinions, and you shall find refuge under his wings; his faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of any terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day; Of the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day. A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Your eyes have only to behold to see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your habitation, There shall no evil happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.You shall tread upon the lion and adder; you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet. Because he is bound to me in love, therefore will I deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my Name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I am with him in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him to honor. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.
Revelation 22:12-13 NIV
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Galatians 6:7-10 NKJV
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NIV
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Matthew 25:21-22
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You are fair in all Your ways. Your promises, so ancient in their words, still ring true today. We will reap if we faint not! When we sow in tears, this will bring a harvest of joy! From creation’s season to this one, You have blessed the cycles of this earth: seed time and harvest, the seasons of the year, and rhythm of the work week and the Blessed Sabbath, a day to rest from sowing and tending and even harvesting. You are with me in the fields reminding me of Your promises. You are coming soon and Your reward is with You. Thank You, Lord of the Harvest! Amen.

Song:
Bringing in the Sheaves
Words: Knowles Shaw; Music: George A. Minor

1.Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Refrain:
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,

2. Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Refrain

3.Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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