Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reward or Sacrifice

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor,
how can a commission by a Heavenly King
be considered a sacrifice?" ~ David Livingstone ~
Consider in days of old when a noble hero would engage in a quest for his king and kingdom. It was an honour to be chosen for the mission. Not just anyone could go and achieve this task. Many failed. The victor would later be rewarded and honoured before the whole kingdom – usually knighted as recognition for his/her service. This title remained for the rest of their lives – honoring them for their deeds – constantly reminding all of their service.

Is it the same in God’s kingdom? God may call us to accomplish a specific task. We do feel “honoured” to be chosen, but we must allow Him to prepare and strengthen us for the journey ahead. Then with His guidance and in His timing, we will succeed – triumphing over anything the enemy brings our way. Victories in Him! :o)

Do we then expect to be rewarded by God? Do we want payment for our services rendered? If we pursue a reward, then we will not receive our reward in heaven – we will have spent it here prematurely (Matthew 6).

Some seek for the rewards of recognition and honour, but we are called to serve humbly and not for the fanfare of this world. This is contrary to our sense of “fairness.” Some say, “Surely God will reward us for our faithfulness.” He does, but not in the ways most would expect. We are to allow Him to bring honour in His way – not exalt ourselves. After all, it is for His glory and in His power that we accomplish anything at all of value for His kingdom.

Remember the widow who gave all she had? She was commended and recognized by Jesus – honoured. She did not seek to be honoured – no, she gave quietly with no fanfare. She gave the equivalent to 2 pennies, but He said that she gave the most because she gave all she had. She sacrificed and she was honoured.

We are to serve God without expecting to be “reimbursed” for our service, no more than we would expect our children or spouse to pay us for every little thing we did for them. We serve them out of a heart of love, not for expected rewards.

It is a motivation or heart issue. How much will we risk for the quest? Will we give all for His request? Will we only serve gauged by the amount of the reward? Will we serve if we get “this much” reward and no less? How selfish. How sad. I am not saying that those in full-time ministry should never be paid. Yes, we do have to cover costs and expenses and they do need to make a living – but not above reasonable wages. Otherwise we are taking for ourselves what could be invested in God’s kingdom.

King David said he would not give a sacrifice that did not cost him something. Otherwise it is not your sacrifice. You have not given of yourself.

It is an honour to serve God and fulfill what He has planned for us, but we do it for Him, not because we are motivated by any reward that may come. When we sacrifice all to give to our Heavenly King, we give it out of our love for Him. Our gift to Him is our sacrifice to Him.

Selah Y
Please visit Laurel, this week's hostess for more In "Other" Words.


Denise said...

Well said, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Laurel Wreath said...

We are to allow Him to bring honour in His way – not exalt ourselves.

AMEN!!!! Great post on this weeks quote.

Terri @ In His Hands said...

Wonderful take on this quote!

Thanks for sharing, it gave me a lot to think about!


Pearls of Wisdom said...

That was great ! Thanks for sharing your insight . Amen! May the Lord Bless you this week and always.

In his endless love,
Angel ( Pearls of Wisdom)

redeemed diva said...

I just figured out who you are. I used to love yours and (is it Wayne?)'s home group.
I love your passion for God, lady! Keep it up? Whatever happened to Mel the girl who lived with you guys?

redeemed diva said...

That's supposed to say Keep it up! oops.

Darlene said...

you know what's really cool? I bet that widow had no idea that her 2 cents worth would be noted for eternity. Here she was, poor and giving much of the little she had, never knowing that Jesus was watching. Too cool!

Nancze said...

Nice post and thoughts. I enjoyed it very much! God Bless.

Nana Cheryl said...

Hi Holly - glad to connect with you again. :o) Miss being in home group together. Been enjoying your blog. (Mel graduted Loyalist and lives close by.)

God Bless

Nana Cheryl said...

We never know how God will use our "gift" - that's the beautiful thing - He can take our simple offering and use it to accomplish something we never knew it would. :o)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cheryl did you write this?!!

So good. God often reminds me that is the Lord I serve not man. Thank you for this awesome reminder. It is a challenge to look at serving in this light and not from a self serving perspective. Thanks for reminding me.

Nana Cheryl said...

Thanks Cheryl. Yes, this is my writing. I've been watching the quotes for "In Other Words" and jumped in with this one for my first entry. :o)