Is it Wrong to be Rewards-Driven When Serving the Lord?
“By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill treatment with God’s people, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:24-27 WEB)
There was a man sometime back who said to me that it’s wrong to seek the eternal rewards when serving God.
He called them “toys” and said that he would rather serve out of pure love for Jesus.
It sounds rather noble and pious of him, but what does the Bible say about eternal rewards and how we should view them in relation to serving the Lord?
The passage of the day shows Moses in the famous chapter in the epistle to the Hebrews featuring the ‘Heroes of Faith’.
The words of praise for Moses’ faith says that Moses looked to the reward.
He counted the eternal rewards as far more valuable than the temporal riches that he could enjoy in Egypt, and the Holy Spirit recorded it as a demonstration of his faith.
If it was wrong to serve the Lord and look forward to eternal rewards, then pray tell me why Moses is applauded for doing so?
If that were true, he should be condemned for serving God with an ulterior motive and not be celebrated for his faith.
Jesus Himself taught about eternal rewards, and told the listeners to lay up for themselves imperishable treasures in heaven instead of temporal treasures on earth.
““Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 WEB)
If it were wrong to seek eternal rewards, then He wouldn’t have taught that. He would just say to focus on Him, love Him without desiring any reward other than Him.
Learning from Delilah: What the Traitorous Temptress Teaches us about Prayer
Passage of the Day:
“She said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.” When she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, his soul was troubled to death. He told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come on my head; for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man.”” (Judges 16:15-17 WEB)
When you saw the title of this devotional, you may have wondered, “What can I possibly learn from that evil, traitorous woman?”
If you really meditate on the text, you will realized that she did something worthy for us to emulate, except in a good way.
To give you a context about Delilah, she was a Philistine woman whom Samson (a judge who was anointed with great physical strength) fell in love with.
The lords (leaders) of the Philistines bribed her to find out the source of Samson’s great power.
Fueled by greed, Delilah proceeded to repeatedly ask Samson to tell her his best-kept secret.
In the passage of the day, we see Delilah nagging so much that Samson was annoyed to the point of death.
This woman knew how to “press-in” and “persist” - something that we need to apply when we pray.
What motivated Delilah to be so dedicated to her mission?
Her eyes were set on the reward that lay ahead of her.
She was promised a generous amount of silver in exchange for her betrayal.
“The lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, “Entice him, and see in which his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”” (Judges 16:5 WEB)
She trusted that the lords of the Philistines would fulfill their end of the bargain so much that she didn’t give up, even when Samson lied to her three times:
She had put in the effort to arrange three ambushes for Samson and they all turned out to be failures.
Delilah had great faith in her would-be rewarders.
When we pray, do we ask with unbelief in our hearts, or are we like Delilah, who had complete faith in the sureness of her reward?
The Bible says that we must believe that God will reward us when we seek Him - whether in prayer, in studying God’s word or in service to Him. That kind of faith pleases Him.
“Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 WEB)
Delilah bugging Samson for the answer she wanted reminds me of Jesus’ “Parable of the Widow and the Unrighteous Judge.
“He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up, saying, “There was a judge in a certain city who didn’t fear God, and didn’t respect man. A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, ‘Defend me from my adversary!’ He wouldn’t for a while, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.’” The Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. Won’t God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”” (Luke 18:1-8 WEB)
To draw a comparison, Delilah is like the widow and Samson is like the unrighteous judge.
By repeatedly coming to him with her request, Samson eventually gave her what she wanted.
If you study the parable carefully, Jesus said that God will quickly avenge the saints who are crying out not once a day, but “day and night”!
Pray and keep on praying - don’t give up until you see what you’re believing for.
9 December 2018 - Change your Heart, Change Your Life - New Creation Church Sermon Notes - Reverend Col Stringer Sermon Notes
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Hi I’m Milton Goh, I'm 25 years old and i'm a blogger who writes about Christianity, Parenting, Life Lessons that I learn from Movies/Shows, and Lifestyle.