Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Shall We be Rewarded For?

As I was meditating on Matthew 25 and the account of the judgment of Christ and the sheep and the goats something struck me.  The things that brought out the “Well done” and rewards of glory from the Lord was not the big and showy works of service but the little things in life.  In fact, the goats had done some mighty religious activities and instead of pleasing the Lord they had incurred his wrath.  Now this isn’t to say that preaching and casting out demons and many “mighty works” aren’t good things that will be rewarded if done in the right way by the right people; but clearly these great works aren’t necessary to please Christ and have reward.  In Matt. 7 the lost boast of doing great religious works but Jesus casts them into Hell anyway.
What I find interesting about this is that the Lord sees even the smallest and most mundane things done out of love for him as something worth rewarding.  Too many times we think that we must do some great thing for him if we are to be profitable servants and this simply isn’t the case.  I used to hear preachers tell us as young people to let the lost be doctors and lawyers and pursue other “secular” occupations, you young Christians should preach and be missionaries; you should pursue “full-time Christian” service.  I am surely not disparaging preaching and missions in any sense, but is it not unbiblical to see such callings as these as doing more for the Lord than being the best housewife or carpenter or janitor that you can be? 
Why is it that Jesus didn’t mention preaching in Matt. 25?  I think it is because the important thing in doing his will is that no matter what we do, we do it for his glory out of love.  So if you are a missionary who gives up all to serve in the jungle for the salvation of souls, that is great.  But if you serve in a factory your entire life and are faithful to do it for Christ and look for ways to serve him and others even in the most menial and mundane tasks, the reward is the same.  And this means that Christ is equally served and glorified in even the little things as much as he is in the glorious calling to preach the gospel.  The implications are tremendous.  No matter what gifts you have, what age you are, what station in life you find yourself, what occupation you have, you are just as able to please Christ as the Apostle Paul was as he penned the book of Romans or suffered martyrdom. 
So will this not be a cure from discontent and complaining in whatever lot we find ourselves in?  Does it not save us from constantly wishing we were doing something else and instead give us reason to look forward to every task we have to do, even changing the baby’s diapers, because Christ is pleased with these things also and that is what we are here to do; please him.  David said in Ps. 19 that in obeying the Word of the Lord there is great reward.  And it is possible to obey his Word even while taking out the trash.

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