Summary: God rewards His People
Intro: most of us have seen a reward sign posted somewhere for the return of a lost item or a missing person or pet. Sometimes the reward may be a small amount, in some cases there have been rewards of a million dollars for information leading to the arrest or capture of a terrorist. Would it shock you tonight if I said, God offers rewards. You won’t see it on a tree, or at the front of a store, but the Word gives us many examples of God rewarding people. So tonight, let’s look at those who are rewarded.
1. Matthew 5:12—great is your reward in heaven. Who are those who will be rewarded in heaven, those who suffer persecution for the cause of Christ. Those who minister to others, even when they go through pain, rejection and hurt. Those who even know the pain of being talked about, and slandered, but keep on praying for people, who bless those who despitefully treat them.
2. Matthew 6:1-4 –those who give to the work of God willingly, cheerfully, and who give as unto the Lord. God is going to reward those who give to the work of God without the need for recognition of their giving. The widow put in two mites, the religious leaders put in great amounts, but because she gave from the heart, she received the recognition of Jesus Christ.
3. Matthew 6:5-6---those who have closet ministry. Those who do their best praying alone. Those who don’t have to be seen by others in prayer, but those who have a prayer life. God will reward them openly who pray in secret.
4. Matthew 10:41-42—here is teaching that some may miss, but as you receive the ministry of your Pastor, Evangelist, Missionary into your lives, as you blessed them, you will be blessed. Sowing into your Minister’s life, God says, as you bless them, I will reward you.
There are some churches that are known for trying to keep their Pastor poorer than Job’s turkey. But generally, those churches with that theology struggle along with their Pastor. But churches that want to bless their Pastor, get behind the vision for the church, those people and churches are blessed, as they bless the man of God.
5. Matthew 16:27—you will be rewarded for your work in the Lord. Every prayer you prayer, every work you do, every gift you give, God says you will not lose your reward. If you give a cup of cold water in His name, you will not lose that reward. Store up treasures in heaven—Matthew 6:19 Sometimes someone will do a work in the church and maybe they don’t get the recognition for it, and sometimes people have been hurt because they felt no one really noticed all that they had done. But the Lord says, every good work will receive a just recompense of reward. He has a great policy, you pay Him now, He pays you later.
6. Psalms 18:20—God rewards a holy life. God has a reward system for holy living. As you live pure before the Lord, as you strive for His holiness, He will reward you. God cannot reward evil. During the time of Paul there was a teaching that you should go out and sin, because God enjoyed forgiving your sins. The more you sinned, the more God was able to forgive. But that was a false teaching of that day, and it is the same false teaching of our time. God rewards faithfulness, God rewards holiness, God rewards people with a clean heart and a right spirit.
7. Hebrews 11:6—a rewarder of them that diligently seeks after him. God rewards passion, pursuit and desire. Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. God rewards people like David who had a heart after God. Who wrote the beautiful psalm, as the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee, you alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship thee.
Charles Parham who documented most of the Azusa street revival, points out that people would start praying around 9 in the morning, and prayer services would go until 3 the next morning. The Spirit of the Lord was so strong, that it was stated that many people passing by the building would run in and be filled with the Holy Spirit on entering the services. God rewards diligence, God rewards passion.
The USS Astoria (C-34) was the first U.S. cruiser to engage the Japanese during the Battle of Savo Island, a night action fought 8-9 August 1942. Although she scored two hits on the Imperial flagship Chokai, the Astoria was badly damaged and sank shortly after noon, 9 August.About 0200 hours a young midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples, was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria’s number one eight-inch gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and in semi-shock, he was kept afloat by a narrow life belt that he managed to activate with a simple trigger mechanism.At around 0600 hours, Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same life belt, found himself back in the water. It was lunchtime. Picked up again, this time by the USS President Jackson (AP-37), he was one of 500 survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea.On board the transport Staples, for the first time, closely examined the life belt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and bore a registration number.Given home leave Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. It was his mother’s personal code and affixed to every item she was responsible for approving.SOURCE: Commander Eric J. Berryman, U.S. Naval Reserve, Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 15/6/1036 (June 1989), P. 48. Contributed by: Terry Dashner Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO