Grace, Works, and Rewards

Ephesians 6:8   (KJV)   8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

Even in and under the age of grace, the Lord still operates in a reward system. Doing good still has its merits and blessings. All of us are still affected by this divinely ordained principle, system, or design.

Ephesians 6.8 - Grace, Works, and RewardsWhoever we are and whatever our status is in society, we live in the assurance that our God Who is gracious is also God who is fair and just. He won’t shortchange us. God compensates our life of loving faithfulness. He doesn’t have favoritism; it’s because (I personally take it as) we’re all His favorites.

We find delight in pleasing our Master, and He returns the favor in an inestimably gracious way. That’s why I understand that there’s no contradiction between grace and rewards. God values our good works, He rewards them, and His rewards are incalculably more gracious than what our works deserve. This is clear in the principle of sowing and reaping; in general, what we reap is always multiplied times more than what we sow.

This is why we so willingly, lovingly, diligently, and enthusiastically serve the Lord and others. Although His rewards aren’t our prime motivation, we believe the truth about it. They’re real; they come; we gratefully receive them, we enjoy them; and we know there’s a lot more of them. Praise God.

Blessing for Blessing

2 Corinthians 9:14  (KJV)   14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

Generosity attracts. It attracts good responses; it attracts good things. People are naturally inclined to be deeply grateful to those who invest in them. They feel “indebted.” They desire to return the favor and do good to those who bless them. In  a sense the “giver” becomes a “receiver.”

We don’t lose anything when we give. If we understand this, we will be givers. As sowing and reaping is a natural principle, so it is also a Biblical one. We reap what we sow. In fact, we reap much more than what we sow. Yes, with the same measure we use it’s also measured back to us. Whatever seed we plant, that’s the kind of harvest we have. But the great truth about giving to the Lord and giving to the Kingdom is not only that we reap 30, 60, or a hundredfold of the same kind; we reap above and beyond the same kind. We may be giving our financial resources, but we’re receiving more blessings than finances. One of those awesome blessings: people who experience our generosity get to “long after” or “yearn for’ us. There’s an increased affection and closeness from the recipients of our gifts. And to some, that’s way more than financial harvest.

Our most gracious and generous Father, please give us wisdom that we may approach this truth with godly balance. Please help us that our pursuit will be on lovingly giving to Your Kingdom work and to others. We also believe what Your Words say about the blessings that flow from it. May it never be our ambition to feed any kind of greed by emptying others of their resources, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Giving and Receiving

Mark 4:24  (KJV)   24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

There is a direct relation between how one gives and how one receives.

The Bible teaches us that we will sow what we reap. What we’ll reap is naturally more than what we sow. There’s really nothing ungodly about believing that God returns to us more than what we invest in His Kingdom. The greatest motivation for anything we do is love for God. This applies to giving. We sow, we give because we love God. With that, we also believe that we will receive more. Many of us have treated this as another “either-or” teaching of the Word of God. This ought to not be so. Yes, we ought to give because of love and not because we will receive more, but we ought to not undermine the Lord’s explicit teaching on giving and receiving. We believe both and apply them appropriately. It’s good to know that we have a small part to play in determining how much we’ll receive.

Our God of love and increase, please help us to enjoy the fullness of Your Word. Please give us wisdom to be careful not to downplay any of Your teachings in trying to affirm one, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.