In our no-fault, self-esteem culture, many children's sports organizations give every child a trophy, even if the child makes little or no effort to play well.
Unfortunately, some Christians have started believing God also gives everyone a trophy.
Good works and effort have nothing to do with salvation. It's a free gift of grace. We can't earn it.
But once we start our walk with the Lord, we determine how far and high we climb. God rewards our faithfulness, and He doesn't give everyone a trophy (Luke 17:7-10; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15).
Some rewards are earthly, others are eternal. Imagine that...a reward that lasts forever!
God wants to reward us so he urges us to be serious about our faith and assures us He will reward faithful obedience and faithful use of whatever resources and opportunities He gives us (see passages below).
When I ponder this truth, it strengthens my desire to please the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-17), not simply for a "trophy," but because I love Him.
How about you?
Matthew 5:11-12: heavenly rewards
Matthew 6:19-20: treasures in heaven
Matthew 12:36: future judgement
Matthew 25: faithfulness on earth yields rewards in Heaven
1 Corinthians 4:5: future reward
2 Corinthians 5:1-11: our "fearful responsibility"
Philippians 2:12-13: serious about sanctification
James 2:14-26: dead faith
Revelation 22:12: Jesus brings reward
If you would like to read more:
Are There Degrees of Reward in Heaven? by Hank Hanegraaff
Are the Rewards in Heaven Permanent? by Randy Alcorn
Levels of Happiness in Heaven, by Jonathan Edwards-John Piper
If you'd like to do a short Bible study on this devotion, check out today's Bite Size Bible Study.