TO CHEW ON: “‘And behold, I am coming quickly and my reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.’” Revelation 22:12.
Though the Bible is clear that our work doesn’t save us (Titus 3:5-7), work is mentioned often in the Bible. So, if we are not working to gain heaven, what compels us to work?
Here are a few of the motivations the Bible mentions;
- To be a bridge between God and a hurting world - Isaiah 50:4.
- To serve Jesus, who comes to us as the hungry, thirsty, homeless stranger - Matthew 25:35-40.
- Because as God’s children, we see the world, and the people around us through our Father’s eyes of compassion so that our neighbour’s need becomes our assignment - Luke 10:30-37.
- It is our way of following, obeying, and mimicking Christ in spirit and deed, as Paul explains it in Philippians 2:3-15.
Our passage implies that all work is not equal. We may be driven by wrong motives (for example, to be seen and praised by others) to do good things. And so this end-of-time reward ceremony is a revelation, an unveiling of our work’s quality: “… to give to everyone according to his work.”
[The word “reward” (misthos) means pay, salary, recompense for service. “The word especially describes wages, divine rewards given to believers for the moral quality of their actions” - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1847 - emphasis added.]
May this someday heavenly reward ceremony compel us to examine our own actions or non-actions and the attitude we have when we do act.
I confess this is convicting. Just yesterday on my way to the track where I walk on rainy days, I passed a homeless camp-out right on the sidewalk of a busy street. The cheery “good morning” from one of the street dwellers elicited a grumpy reply from me. I felt annoyed and irritated, for though our city has worked to house these folks, many insist on living outside.
Lord, please give me Your eyes and a heart of compassion—even when I don’t understand.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to face and understand my own motives. Replace my judgemental heart of stone with a heart of flesh - Ezekiel 11:19,20. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.