Why is it that we want to be recognized for our works?
I mean given, some people like to stay in the back and not be noticed, but deep down inside we want to be recognized. We want to be appreciated!
"9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business"
" 5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud. "
"30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
2 Chronicles 15:7-8
" 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD's temple."
"He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded."
"9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;nothing was gained under the sun."
I could go on with the verses all day, as a matter of fact in the NIV the word "reward" in all its forms appears seventy five times throughout the scriptures.
I'm reading this book, "Be A People Person" by John Maxwell. I've stated this in previous notes as well. Anyway, there is a chapter on Encouragement in the book. This is where I was reading today when I had these thoughts.
Why do we only reward the children?
Why do we loose focus on God and focus on our works?
Why are we seeking a worldly reward and not a heavenly one?
In response to my first question posed. In the church (Southern Baptist) we have AWANA's and RA's(Royal Ambassadors) ect. Where children are rewarded for the Bible memorization, and other good merits. Once we graduate to Youth, College, and even Adult Small Groups, there are no rewards. As a matter of fact, typically we loose the accountability that we had in grade school, for reading the Bible, and maintaining a daily walk with Christ.
Why don't we do homework handouts for everyone? Why not every week memorize a verse as a church or a youth group? Why not work on memorizing an entire passage of Scripture over a period of time? Do you know how much heavenly reward we could gain from this? Not only that, but we could allow for an "earthly" reward for the person who does the best. An incentive to try harder. But we have to be careful and not build too much into it. Not to take our focus off of Christ. But wouldn't it be great if we could find that medium, and everyone in the church body memorizing Scripture and growing in Christ in ways they haven't known since grade school!
Now on to the second question. Ego maniacs, self-righteousness. Why? Solomon himself in Ecclesiastes said that it was meaningless. Everything that the Bible talks about on the subject, talks about how dangerous it is. A straight path to destruction. Why would we want to reward ourselves, bring a focus onto us away from God? This is just lessening our reward. Oh it may be great to be noticed here, right now, for what we are doing for Christ, but wouldn't you much rather want a heavenly reward than an earthly one? I know I would.
There I go, I've summed up questions two and three in one paragraph.
But seriously. The Lord rewards us for keeping our focus on him. As stated in Proverbs 31. Why not live all out for Him and get the heavenly reward, than to stay focused on the world, and receive an earthly reward.
As stated in Hebrews 11
"If they had dwelled on the old country they could have stayed there, but they didn't, they were looking for a new one, and for this God was proud, and had a heavenly home prepared for them"
(that is extremely paraphrased)
(Title from the song Because of You by Keith Green)