Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Most of us are familiar with these lines from the church hymn. We are, indeed, blessed and there is much wisdom is remembering, rehearsing, counting – and recounting – our many blessings! Often when we sing hymns, we sing only a few verses. Perhaps, the first and the last. Maybe one more. The third verse from this 19th-century hymn includes these two lines:
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
Some blessings we cannot put a value on…or even truly comprehend. Heaven, for sure. But the hymn writer reminds us there are rewards in heaven as well! Rewards! These are my five minute thoughts on “Rewards.”
GO – The idea has often been expressed – in song and in sermons, and simply in conversation among believers – that eternity with Jesus is enough. More than enough. All the motivation needed to live for Him here on earth until we are called to Heaven. And, yes, that is true. But the reality is there are going to rewards in Heaven.
We have been promised rewards for what we do and how we live here. And we should be working to receive those rewards. To do so is not arrogance. To claim we do not need reward is not noble. If rewards are described and mentioned repeatedly in God’s word, surely God desires His children to strive for them. He tells us in I Corinthians 9:24:
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.”
So run. Strive. Push for the goal – of receiving the reward. We do not need to be ashamed by working for rewards. We are told to do so. I do not know all that is meant by reward but there are, at the least, five crowns specifically described in scripture: the incorruptible crown, the crown of rejoicing, the crown of righteousness, the crown of glory, and the crown of life. There is also the potential of hearing Jesus say, “Well done.” What a reward that will be!
STOP – As I thought, the timer has run out. However, the question remains….how do we obtain reward? Dig into God’s word to know. Here are just a few verses/passages to get started:
Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise, ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 16: 24, 27 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of this Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
Luke 6:23 “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven…..”
Luke 6:35 “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great…..”
Proverbs 25:21-22 “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.”
The study of rewards is a good one. I pray you will be encouraged to “strive for the mastery” and run the race. As our pastor reminded us during Bible study this week….It will be worth it!