Summary: A message about receiving blessings for our obedience; punishment for our disobedience; and the choice we make as to what we receive.
We are called to live our lives in the way God has already directed. The problem is that we are separated from God due to a decision Adam and Eve made, and that causes us to try and live our lives in the way we want to live them.
We do not like to look at ourselves as sinners who do not obey God, yet we don’t really want to change the way we do things, either. That causes us to find ways to justify our wrong behavior so that we can be comfortable with it. And so, convince ourselves that what we are doing isn’t all that bad, or that God will understand. But will He really understand why we keep the sin in our lives?
God says get rid of it, period! If we take it upon ourselves to keep it, for any reason, we are refusing to obey His commands. If we refuse to obey His commands, our future will be in hell.
That sounds very harsh and we don’t like hearing it, but it is the truth of God, no matter how much we might want to whitewash it. As my dad used to say, “There will come a day when we receive our just rewards, whether they be good or bad.”
We need to be like the young man whose father tried his best to make him keep his room clean as he was growing up. Many times the father would tell him to clean it up, and would have to follow it up by telling the boy, “Now!” And even then the boy procrastinated.
The boy joined the military after he graduated high school. When he came home from boot camp, he told his dad that he found out what “Now” really meant. It may have taken some time, but the boy finally understood. And we need to have that same understanding about how serious it is to keep doing the things we are doing, knowing God doesn’t want us to.
Picture Jesus standing beside you in your living room. He looks at you and tells you to get rid of the sin in your life, and then follows that up with a stern “Now!” Would you obey or would you disobey? If you say you would obey Him, ask yourself why you are still allowing sin in your life. The answer to that is what I said last week: If we have convinced ourselves that our sin is okay, then we have also convinced ourselves that God is okay with it, too.
But as much as we need to be aware of how much God hates the disobedience in our lives, and that disobedience will bring us punishment, we also need to see the flip side to that. We need to realize that God promises us distinct rewards if we are faithful to His Son and obey the commands.
A survey was done several years ago, where a group of people was asked one question: “What three words would you most like to hear someone say to you?”
The top three answers, in this order were:
···· I love you
···· I want you
···· Supper is ready
I think that pretty well sums up our human needs. We want someone to love us, we want someone to want us, and we need to be fed. And there is only one place we can get all three of these needs met to the fullest degree. That is in God.
God loves us because He created us. God established the plan of salvation because He wants us to be with Him. And God feeds us, physically and spiritually.
We all want to be rewarded, and God offers us many rewards, but to receive them we must do something. That something is; be obedient.
I want to talk about three things this morning: What leads up to rewards, how we qualify for them, and what the rewards will be.
1. WHAT LEADS UP TO GODLY REWARDS?
John said, ‘What manner of love is this?’ The word “manner” literally means “out of this world.” In other words, God loves us with a foreign love; a love we cannot understand. God says His ways are not our ways, and His ways are higher than our ways. So is His love.
I can only describe it by telling you how much one grandfather loved his little grandson. He was visiting his daughter one day and the baby was in the playpen. When he saw grandpa, he wanted to get out of the playpen, but the mother wouldn’t let him. So he began to cry.
The grandfather had so much compassion for the baby that he couldn’t stand to see the little one cry, so he crawled in the playpen to be with the baby.