THE HEAVENLY REWARD
|January 6th||January 7th||January 8th||January 9th||January 10th||January 11th||January 12th|
|New Testament||Matthew 5 v 27-48||Matthew 6||Matthew 7||Matthew 8||Matthew 9 v 1-17||Matthew 9 v 18-38||Matthew 10 v 1-23|
While reading this week’s passages I have been struck by a couple of things.
Firstly, in Chapter 5 we read on a number of occasions “You have heard it said”. Jesus outlines how the people have been living their lives and then … Wham! … gives them something higher to attain to.
“Serve” and “give” are two verbs that should define a Christians life and we read that we should turn the other cheek, that we should hand over more than is demanded, that we should go further than we are asked.
That sounds crazy! But hang on, Jesus finishes in chapter 5:46 talking about “reward”.
The dictionary defines reward as a thing given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement. We think of rewards being given publicly, sometimes with a lot of glitter and glam like the Oscars.
However, the reward Jesus is talking about in Chapter 6 is very different: This is treasure in heaven.
So, how do we earn reward.
1. Give to the needy … quietly. Make it part of your life. Don’t make a fuss. You don’t need to announce it. (Matt 6:2-4)
2. Pray … in your own space. Make time with your Heavenly Father part of your life. Listen to Him, don’t do all the talking. (Matt 6:6)
3. Forgive … quickly. Make this a goal, to not bear grudges, or take offence. (Matt 6:14-15)
4. Fast … joyfully. Plan this in. Don’t miss family occasions and don’t make it obvious. (Matt 6:17-18)
5. Love … your enemies. Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (Luke 6:35)
6. Be obedient … always. What you do affects your reward. (Matt 16:27)
Chapter 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If we really love God then we will be looking for his pleasure and rewards more than anything else on earth.
Don’t we need money to live? Yes, but not at the expense of what matters to God. If you chase after the biggest pay packet, a house that others will envy, costly jewellery you are drawn away from loving God and will start to love money.
Conversely, Jesus tells us not to worry. If you put God first in everything, if you seek His kingdom and his righteousness, then not only is there a reward in heaven but he will add everything that you need and more to you. Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Join the conversation by downloading the BibleApp and connecting with “Alan Morton” by friend requesting him from within the app.
• Turn the other cheek, hand over your coat as well, go two miles. Give, give, give – this gospel is not for the weak. What examples from today would Jesus use?
• How are you seeking first His kingdom?
• We are warned to watch out for false prophets! What would you watch out for?
• Which account of healing in this passage stands out to you today and why?
• What do you think “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” means?
• We see that faith is important when it comes to healing. So how do we encourage one another to believe?
• What instruction given to the disciples stands out to you?