Worthy Of The Reward

This world, our society is performance driven. Goals are usually set to help in meeting benchmarks and attaining the ultimate prize. Wherever believers in Christ are driven to perform or serve, whether in a necessary job or in voluntary charity work - Christians need to realize and capitalize on their relationship with Christ. The Kingdom of God requires the believer's attention by them being so heavenly minded that they are very earthly good. Focusing on Jesus with His plan for our lives and lifestyle in the Holy Spirit is The Way.

Do you have a building name after you? An eponym is a person, place or thing after whom or which someone or something is named. For example, many honored and distinguished people receive the privilege of having buildings named after them. The Twelve Apostles have their names inscribed on each of the twelve foundations of the heavenly city, New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:14 describes -

"The wall of the city had twelve foundations and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." 

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think the Apostles did not have the inscription of their names on the foundation of New Jerusalem as a goal in their lives. I think and believe their relationship with Jesus and reuniting with Him was their main objective, while teaching of His Good News and ways were their goals. The inscription of their names on the foundation of the heavenly city was and is a very special reward for those men.

As with the Apostles, every believer's ultimate prize or reward is uniting with Christ one day soon in our glorified or perfected bodies, see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. However, Scripture is quite clear about three areas concerning rewards for believers - 

  1. there is a judgement of works or deeds (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15)
  2. there is a kind or type of reward/treasure to be storing up (Matthew 6:19-21)
  3. to be working or showcasing your devotion when the Lord returns because He first loved us (Luke 12:42-44).

Believers in Christ are promised a time after The Rapture, when The Bema Seat or Judgment Seat of Christ will commence. The Christian's salvation is obviously not in question here because all believers are in Heaven. All the works of a believer, good or bad, are placed or are made accountable in the fire of Holy Spirit and judged. Listen as 2 Corinthians 5:10 states - 

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due to us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 adds the descriptive mark, stating -  

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved – even though only as one escaping through the flames."

With this judgment of deeds, one would think that the believer would get the message and lean heavy on doing good works that are supported by Christ. However, Jesus helps the Christian even more by speaking to the nature of our deeds. 

Matthew documented Christ saying in Matthew 6:19-21 -

"‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The nature of the Christian's thoughts, actions and words should be eternally governed. The believer's treasure should always remain Jesus, then one's heart will be in true alignment with God. Beyond this, the rewards Jesus has for believers, are all icing on the cake, part of the benefit package of His Kingdom.

Knowing that there is a judgment coming on the Christian's deeds, knowing that the believers should pursue an eternal influence -  Luke records Jesus emphasizing the need for all believers to be busy about the Lord's business when He returns.

"‘Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions." (Luke 12:42-44)

Notice two things: 
  1. Jesus, the Master, will be returning. 
  2. And to be found working for Him when He does return. 
A message of Hope in Christ's returning and Purpose until He does.

Did you know that there are heavenly rewards awaiting the believer in Christ right now? According to Revelation 2:17 and 3:12 these rewards are all centered around names given to believers by Jesus.

There will come a day when Jesus, The King will be delivering and inscribing new names upon His own. 

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." - Revelation 2:17

This is an extremely personal and intimate gift the Lord has for each believer! God only knows what the criteria is for this new name. But I am not to concerned about the criteria because I know - 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

This new name being in written-form suggests a personal, Holy language that is shared only between the believer and God. That would be amazing!

Next, God takes His writing utensil and applies it to the "overcomer's" body.

"Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name." - Revelation 3:12

A lot of identification going on here - 
  1. we have written on our bodies the name of Father God,
  2. we have written on our bodies God's city - New Jerusalem and
  3. Jesus has a New Name that He tattoos on every believer. 
These bodily inscriptions should come as no surprise because we return with Christ after the seven year period on earth called The Tribulation and The Lord has a tattoo of His own - 

"On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords." (Revelation 19:16)

Although I have never had a tattoo, I envision these inscribed names as beautifully written tattooed names that claim ownership, declare citizenship and reveal relationship. Three stamps of new names, bought at the highest price, each shouting - "You are mine! You are mine! You are mine!"

Christ is more than enough as a reward or prize to live for. However, Jesus has always been about abundance with His own. Three places in Scripture encourage the believer to live this life or "run the race" as "to get a prize" - 1 Corinthians 9:24, 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Philippians 3:14. The important take-away is just as long as Jesus is our eternal focus Christians will be Worthy Of The Reward.