We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
–2 Corinthians 5:10
Let me ask you a question: God treats all His children the same–true or false? The fact is, as parents, we are more drawn to a child who loves us and wants to spend time with us than a child who uses every opportunity to get away from us. We give more perks and privileges to children who are obedient than to those who are not. Why do we think God is different than that? After all, we are made in His image. God does not treat all His children the same.
First of all, God rewards His obedient children in this life. Did you know the Bible teaches that God listens to the prayers of His children who act obediently? If you are not obeying God, you should not expect Him to answer your prayers. In 1 Peter 3:12, the apostle said, “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The Bible also teaches that God rewards financially those who invest in His work. Sometimes we go so far in renouncing the prosperity gospel that we fail to understand a simple truth: if you are not obedient in giving to God, do not expect His financial blessing in your life. In Malachi 3:9, God said, “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me.” The Israelites were finding every way they could not to give their offerings to God. So what did He command? “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this . . . if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (v. 10). This is the only time in the Scripture where God invites us to test Him. He was saying, “You give to Me like I have commanded you, and see if I will not bless you.”
God does reward obedience, not only in this life but also in the next life. In 2 Corinthians 5:9, Paul said, “We also have as our ambition . . . to be pleasing to Him.” If you are really a believer, your sole focus in life ought to be to please God. What is the motivation for that focus? Look at verse 10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” A primary, legitimate motivation for wanting to please God is the belief that He will reward you for your obedience. Good grace understands that obedience to God matters. Our actions do have consequences, both in this life and in the life to come.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Good-Grace Spirituality” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Martin Luther, “The Ninety-Five Theses,” in The Ninety-Five Theses and Other Writings, trans. William R. Russell (New York: Penguin, 2017), 3.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org