2 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
Some Christians think it’s wrong to want rewards, but our Creator knows people are motivated by incentives. In fact, He made us that way, which is why His Word makes exciting promises for those who walk in His way.
Some of these benefits are available here on earth—like fulfillment, joy, and good favor—whereas other blessings will be bestowed once we are in heaven. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we need never fear judgment (Rom. 8:1), for we are clothed in righteousness through His blood and will not face divine wrath.
To help us understand this, the Bible describes several crowns. First, the crown of life is granted to believers who stand firm and endure trials without giving up or losing heart (James 1:12). The second crown, called imperishable, is given to those whose great desire is to walk obediently before God (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Through struggles and even failures, they continue to die to their flesh and follow the Spirit. Next, the crown of righteousness is bestowed upon those who long for Christ’s appearing and live righteously through Him (2 Tim. 4:6-8). Lastly, God will give the crown of glory to those who share His Word with others (1 Pet. 5:2-4). As Scripture tells us, we will be awed by Jesus’ magnificence and honored just to lay our crowns at His feet.
The supreme reward is for us to manifest God’s glory throughout eternity. We will experience joy in His presence forever, but we don’t have to wait: We can invest today by serving Him obediently and humbly. Done with the right motive, service blesses us now and in the future.
In Touch Ministries