Monday, September 26, 2016

God’s Rewards - Martin Wiles

To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. Matthew 13:12 NLT

His comment came during one of the most taxing times of a school year.

As I stood outside of my doorway during the changing of classes, a young man—who I had previously taught, passed my way. I normally speak to him first, but this day he spoke first. “Dr. Wiles, you were hard on us, but it paid off in the end.”

His comment shocked me. Rarely do we teachers hear remarks like this while students are still in school. Perhaps during graduation speeches or after they enter college, but not while they are still under our tutelage.  

I smiled a large smile, thinking this was one of his normal smart remarks he was known for, and said, “I’m glad.”

With an even larger smile, he remarked, “I’m serious.” 

This interaction was one of those rare occurrences when a teacher receives confirmation they are doing a good job at what they do. I thanked him for his comment. The remainder of my hectic day took on a new shape. I had been rewarded—not monetarily, but in a way money couldn’t buy. 

Wanting rewards for things we do is normal. Never receiving recognition for anything leads to a miserable existence. Jesus’ disciples were rewarded with something many others weren’t: the ability to understand the parables He taught. When they didn’t, He explained them. 

God’s greatest reward is the assurance of salvation and comes when we trust in what Jesus did on Calvary’s cross and follow Him as our Savior. The work God assigns to His children can be challenging. 

Some of the work He has given me taxed my ability to cope, understand, and carry it out. But God rewards our good works. He gives more opportunities in the present and promises crowns in the future. 

Regardless of how He rewards, I must always remember to praise Him for any accomplishments that result. I can do all things through Christ—but nothing worthy apart from Him.

While good works don’t produce salvation, they should result when forgiveness of sins has occurred. They are the proof in the pudding. Using them to serve God in new and fresh ways—and as a way to say “Thank You” for His salvation—is the only wise thing to do. 

What are you doing with the rewards God has given you?

Prayer: Father, move us to serve You faithfully as we anticipate the rewards You will give for our obedient service. 

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