"God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life."- -John 3:16
What is a reward? We reward our children when they do a good job at school or do their chores at home with thoughtful words, sometimes money or little trinkets from the dollar store. Teachers reward their students with stickers (I always liked my gold stars). Rewards are given for a job well done. For me, when I have done a church program or allowed the Lord to speak through me in a sermon or my writing my reward is knowing the Lord used me to reach someone the way He wanted them to be reached. My reward is in the finished product and being able to see it through.
What about awards? Awards are like a reward and we all like to receive awards. We compete in baking contests, eating contests, spelling contests and so many other types of contests that give a little trophy, ribbon, or plaque that shows you have done well and accomplished something great. When we receive awards we feel good about what we’ve done and like to have that recognition.
The Bible says in Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” Let’s understand this a little more. When we have chosen Jesus in our lives and live according to how He has asked us to live our reward will be a home in heaven with Him. So many misread this verse completely skipping over the word “my”. Who’s “my” are we talking about? You and me, no. Jesus says My reward is with Me. Yes Jesus is receiving the reward. You and I are His reward when we choose Him and get to go to Heaven with Him. Jesus came to this earth and took on human form, faced the same trials and temptations we face, faced hurt and rejection and then faced the cruelest form of death imaginable He freely allowed it to happen knowing it was part of God’s plan of salvation for all who would accept Him. Jesus’ reward is being able to take us home to heaven with him while Satan and all who choose to follow him and this worldly way of living face death. Salvation story complete, Jesus’ reward is knowing what He came and endured at Calvary was worth it. Even if only one person chooses Him and was the only one saved it would be reward enough for Jesus.
As we all celebrate Easter this year and remember the story of Jesus and the cross. As we teach our children of forgiveness and salvation, let us not stay at the foot of the cross but remember the rest of the story. Once Jesus rose from the grave He gave us a new commission. Go and teach the world, follow my example and teach others of God’s love and promise of Heaven. I am coming back and will take those who have chosen me to live with me in Heaven. No award on this earth can compare to the reward we will have in Heaven. Choose ye this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
As you celebrate today let us make it our mission to not only celebrate this beautiful love story only once a year but daily. Remember all Jesus came to do for you each day and live your life to do the same. Jesus did not endure the agony of the cross to only be remembered once a year, He came so all could be saved and with Satan constantly on the prowl to destroy us we need Jesus daily to help us through each joy and each trial. Jesus is ready and waiting for God to tell Him to come get us and we don’t know when that day will be but I know I want to be ready and I want to share with everyone each day the love of Jesus. Don’t wait, accept Jesus today and allow Him to lead your life. Our reward will be just as fulfilling as His when He comes again.
For more information on what a glorious reward Heaven will be take time to read what John has to say in Revelation 21 or read Early Writings by Ellen White chapter 2.