Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
We are saved by grace through faith, (Ephesians 2:8-9) but that doesn’t mean that what we do is unimportant. The devil is very quick to tell us that we serve God in vain, but he’s such a liar, we can be pretty confident that whatever he says, the opposite is true. (He does occasionally misuse truth, like when he quoted Scripture in trying to tempt Jesus, but it’s always twisted to make it mean something else.) The Bible has a lot to say about rewards, with a lot of references in the Old Testament, Jesus talking about it repeatedly, (Matthew 6:6 and several more) and Paul and John mentioning the subject in their letters. (1 Corinthians 3:8 and others, 2 John 1:8) It is true that sometimes our rewards aren’t evident in this life, (Hebrews 11:29-30) but that doesn’t make them any less certain. We are to seek out the work that God has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10) and do it wholeheartedly, (Colossians 3:17) rejoicing to participate in God’s plan for us. Our motive is to be the love of God for us, because that is more than worthy of everything in response. As the chorus says, “All that I have, all that I am, all I will ever be cannot repay this love-debt I owe; I surrender to Thee.”
This whole issue of rewards is very germane for anyone ministering in Japan, because of the unenviable statistic of having the lowest rate of return on investment of time, energy, and resources. For those called to minister here, it is akin to martyrdom, because a similar level of commitment is called for. I am never to give up, or even complain, but rejoice to be considered worthy to serve the Lord here. I am not to get caught up in humanistic methods or techniques, but know that salvation is a work of God alone. That’s not to say that I’m not to be wise, or that I’m not to consider carefully what I am doing and how, but it is to say that my focus must be on God and not on myself or my “results.” God alone knows the eventual fruit of what He does through me.
Father, thank You for this encouraging reminder. Thank You that You’re repeating it to me, since the computer crashed and completely trashed what I wrote the first time around. Thank You for this time of limited speaking and no singing. Thank You that my voice seems to be somewhat better this morning. I do ask Your anointing on Cathy as she speaks this morning, and on the brother who is interpreting for her. Thank You that this episode is training us all! I pray that we would receive the training You provide so as to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ, becoming more and more effective in drawing people to repentance and faith for salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!