The Certainty of God's Rewards Pt2

Great Certainties for Uncertain Times  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Pr 11.18
What is our motivation for serving God?
But what gives us the kind of grit and determination we need to remain faithful, in spite of the forces pushing against us?
God’s rewards for the faithful.
This morning, we’re continuing to be encouraged and motivated by “THE CERTAINTY OF GOD’S REWARDS”
Recap last week...

1. Obedience Rewarded with Gracious Fellowship

Prophet Ahijah to Jeroboam
1 Ki 11:38
[38] "And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.”

Responsibility

“…if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee...”
Out of all the things that God has said in His Word, there is a specific message for each of us to pay attention to.
What is the overall principle I need to understand?
What is the specific message God has for me?

Reason

The reason is in the middle of the verse:
“…to keep my statutes and my commandments...”
Obeying God’s statutes brings joy, and obeying God’s commandments brings wisdom and discernment.
God’s ways are for our benefit.God is saying through Ahijah that our motivation for obeying Him is that He wants to make us joyful and wise.

Reward

Three aspects to God’s reward for obedience:
“I will be with thee” - God’s Presence
“I will build thee a sure house, as I built for David” - God’s Power
“I will give Israel unto thee” - God’s Pleasure
Obedience rewarded with gracious fellowship.

2. Righteousness Rewarded with Great Fruitfulness

Pr 11:18
[18] "The wicked worketh a deceitful work: But to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.”
Principle of reaping what we sow
Ga 6:7
[7] "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
“soweth righteousness” ??
Not just what we do, but how we do it.
NB In:
Mt 7:22
[22] "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
>>> Those who are busy and active and say they’re doing it in the name of the Lord, but “I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Mt 7:23).
What they did may have appeared good - preaching, casting out demons, miracles - but it wasn’t genuine. Didn’t come from a redeemed heart. Motives and attitude were wrong.
Paul reinforces that in Galatians:
Ga 6:8–9
[8] "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
[9] "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Sowing to the Spirit = sowing INTO the Spirit
Putting our efforts into the Holy Spirit, rather than into the flesh.
Actions are immersed into the Holy Spirit - they are:
Commenced according to His instructing
Carried out according to His leading
Completed according to His enabling
Same actions done different ways - one is fruitful and one isn’t > difference is the Holy Spirit
Another truth we need to remember...“…IN DUE SEASON we shall reap, if we faint not.”
We may have to wait for the reaping. The reaping may not come during our earthly lives, but if we sow righteousness, we can be sure that God will bring about the harvest.
1 Co 3:6–8
[6] "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
[7] "So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
[8] "Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”
We can explain what Paul is saying by remembering that our works are nothing without the Holy Spirit.
One person’s planting is nothing without the Spirit, and another person’s watering is worthless without the Spirit, but when both are done into the Holy Spirit, in His power and for God’s glory, God will bring forth the increase.
But 1Co 3.8 reminds us that we won’t be judged (or assessed) as a group or a congregation or assembly. We will each be assessed individually.
"he that planteth and he that watereth are one” - we are individuals, and we will be assessed individually, and rewarded individually.
So, what are you doing for God?
Are you doing something in the power of the Holy Spirit, with His leading, and for God’s glory?
Just as an individual is not condemned for the faithlessness of the congregation as a whole, so they are not rewarded for the faithfulness of the congregation as a whole.
Each of the seven churches in Asia mentioned in Revelation chs 2-3 received a message from the Lord, but over and over again the Lord also addresses the individuals and says something like, “to him that overcometh” - not “them”, but “him”.
So what are you sowing?
And how are you sowing? For your own benefit, or for God’s glory?
If you’re sowing for God’s glory, then you can expect a harvest in due time, in God’s time - a harvest that God will bring about using the seed you have sown.
Is that not exciting?
Obedience rewarded with gracious fellowship
Righteousness rewarded with great fruitfulness

3. Godliness Rewarded with a Glorious Future

1 Ti 4:8–9
[8] "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
[9] "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.”
During lockdown we have been encouraged by the Chief Medical Officer to get exercise and stay fit. And many have taken the opportunity to do that.
Apparently there was a huge number of dogs bought as pets last year. That would explain why it’s so expensive to buy a dog now.
But one of the reasons people got a new dog was to have a reason to go for a walk. It became a motivation to exercise.
That exercise is a good thing, and there is benefit in it. And Paul agrees, for when he says “bodily exercise profiteth little” he is saying that it “profiteth [a] little”. There is some benefit to the individual.
But godliness isn’t just beneficial for the body - it’s beneficial for soul and spirit too. Why?
Well, because there aren’t just the rewards gained during this life, that we’ve already considered, but also rewards in the life to come.
We know about the judgment seat of Christ, the BEMA, the Adjudicator’s seat. It’s the place where our actions are assessed and rewards distributed according to thoe deeds that have been faithfully performed for God’s glory.
There’s the incorruptible crown given to those who “run the race” faithfully and with endurance (1Co 9.25).
1 Co 9:25
[25] "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
There’s the crown of rejoicing for the soulwinners (1Th 2.19).
1 Th 2:19
[19] "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”
There’s the crown of righteousness for those who will love the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ (2Ti 4.8).
2 Ti 4:8
[8] "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
There’s the crown of life for those whose love for God enables them to endure trials (Jas 1.12).
Jas 1:12
[12] "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
And there’s the crown of glory for faithful elders (1Pe 5.4).
1 Pe 5:4
[4] "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
But aside from those crowns, there’s a glorious future awaiting every child of God.
2 Pe 1:2–4
[2] "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
[3] "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
[4] "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
1 Jn 3:2
[2] "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
We can look forward to finally being changed and made perfect. Can we even begin to imagine what it will be like never to have a sinful thought, never to have a selfish motive, never to have any more need to repent and ask forgiveness? Will that not be glorious for us?
Re 21:4
[4] "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
No more, death, tears, sorrow, or pain. Those are the former things. Those are the things we have now. But when we're with the Lord, those former things are past, and all that’s left is wonderful for us who are saved.
Ro 8:18
[18] "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
The glory awaiting us then is infinitely greater than the suffering surrounding us now.
2 Co 4:16–18
[16] "... though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
[17] "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
[18] "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
What we have now is for a moment, for a period of time, but what we are going to will last for eternity, making this period of time seem so light and passing.
The who have endured childbirth and the labour associated with it can testify that, even though they may remember some of the pain associated with it, it’s not a daily thought that makes them wince with the memory. Why? Because they now have a child whom they love. and the joy of that life far exceeds the pain of labour.
That’s a picture of what will happen to us. The pains and suffering of this life will be insignificant compared to the glory God has planned for us in eternity.
But for some, that pain of labour came with loss, and the pain of that loss lingers and still hurts.
For those who have suffered miscarriages or who have lost babies, there is coming a day when you will have joy. That little life that was taken so early is with the Lord.
On the basis of God’s Word I firmly believe with all my heart that all those little ones, who never had the capacity to reject Christ, are now with Him in glory.
And when you as a child of God are taken to glory too, the reunion you have with that little one will be so wonderful that these years of pain and that sense of loss will fade.
Folks, for those who belong to God, we have the promise of a life to come which is going to be glorious and magnificent and perfect.
We know this present time is difficult and can be very unpleasant, but keep in mind the great certainty of God’s rewards.
Obedience is rewarded with gracious fellowship.
Righteousness is rewarded with great fruitfulness.
Godliness is rewarded with a glorious future.
These things are certain, and they can thrill our hearts and lift our spirits. And I trust they will do so, today, and in the days to come in the Lord’s will.
And to Him we give glory and praise, saying, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad”!
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