Throughout life individuals are rewarded for good behavior: babies cry and get attention, young children are promised rewards for good behavior. They enter school and throughout their school days are rewarded for good grades; then at graduation two students with highest scholastic grades are honored. Then after they enter the world of employment, some are given promotions for their hard work or skills. So rewards become something familiar to us, but are believers to perform good works primarily for the purpose of receiving a reward?
Since knowing the joy of being adopted into God’s family, even if I receive no other reward in heaven except eternal life, I will be rewarded. But there will be other rewards for some and they will not be equal. Several passages confirm this, but one is about workers in the vineyard found in Matthew 20-1-15.
After one becomes a believer, the Holy Spirit takes His abode in that life, and if allowed, will produces good works in that life. So if a believer follows the leadership of The Spirit, good works will be the result. So it is not I who performs the good works, but the Spirit living in me; so there is no reason to boast. Since that is true, why perform good works? The best reason is because we love God and want to please Him. We could never repay Him for the gift of salvation, but we can faithfully serve Him to show our appreciation. When we receive a gift from a friend or family member, it is most ungrateful not to thank that person. We can say Thank You to God, but I believe a more meaningful way to express our thanks is by our good works. And God is pleased with His children who perform good works done out of unselfish love and will reward them.
Paul wrote, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in the body: according to that he has done in his body, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Cor. 5: 10
He also wrote, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work endure which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3: 13-15.
Father, whether I receive a reward in heaven, serving You on earth is a joy and privilege. Thank You for choosing me, one of the least of Your children to serve You. Jesus made it possible; so I thank You in His Name. Amen