MEMORY VERSE: Hebrews 11:6.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
LESSON AIM: To understand how God rewards those who diligently seek Him.
LESSON TEXT: Matthew 6:33.
God does not owe any man because He is the source of all things. A lukewarm passive seeking after God won’t achieve anything. Those who seek God because of the pressure of other people – parents/friends/siblings – will miss out on the joy of discovering Him (Psalm 63:1). The One whom we seek through prayer, fasting, studying His word, obeying His commandments and living according to His ways is also sovereign, and therefore, though the reward is assured, He reserves the right to decide the system of the reward. We cannot strive with Him (See Isaiah 45:5; 9).
THE REWARD SYSTEM OF GOD: These are the ways by which God releases His reward:
- He respects no one, whether Jew or gentile (See Romans 2:11).
- He does not operate on merit (See Psalm 14:1-3).
- His reward timing is completely different from ours (See Matthew 20:1-16).
- He does not take back His reward from anyone (See Romans 11:29).
WHAT GOD REWARDS: Our life is filled with many choices of how to spend our time, energy and resources. The reward from God is based on the choices we make (See Deuteronomy 30:15).
- PRAYING AND FASTING: God desires that we seek Him through faith-filled prayer and fasting, and He promises to reward those who seek Him (See Matthew 6:6; 17-18)
- COMPASSION FOR THE VULNERABLE: This is a magnificent picture of serving God and something God promises to reward (See Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 25:45).
- BEARING INSULTS FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST: What is your first reaction to persecution? Persecution brings the promised reward and glorifies the father (See Luke 6:22-23).
- LOVE FOR YOUR ENEMIES: Christ showed the grace of the Father by loving his enemies and give us the opportunity to show his grace and gain eternal rewards. We are to pray for our enemies in love according to the scriptures (See Luke 6:35, 1st Corinthians 5:4-5).
- GENEROUS GIVING WITHOUT A PUBLIC SHOW: Knowing that all that we have is from God, we are to use our money, materials and skills for humanity and the work of God, to be rewarded (See Luke 6:38).
- HOSPITALITY THAT CANNOT BE REPAID: There are many things in life that will not repay you, including our hospitality to true men of God (See Luke 14:12-14, Matthew 10:40-42).
- ENDURANCE THROUGH PRESSURES IN MINISTRY: God promised to reward us on how we serve him on earth. Every area of life wherein you find yourself is a calling, and God is watching to see how you make use of what you have (See 2nd Corinthians 4:17-18, Psalm 30:5).
- QUALITY WORK FOR YOUR EMPLOYER: The gospel of Christ enter into the workplace as God will not let your efforts go unnoticed (See Colossians 3:23-24).
- FAITHFULNESS THROUGH TRIALS: God desires that we walk by faith at all times, and keeping the faith during the times of trials is no exception (See 1st Peter 1:6-7).
- FAITHFULNESS TO THE TRUTH: God deeply desires our full commitment to His truth. Jesus is the truth, and our commitment and self-examination honours God and secures the reward that we will receive (See 2nd John 1:7-8).
The reward we receive from God always outlives us, and touches our generations to come. Each time we invest in any of these 10 areas, it generates both instant and future rewards because God cannot owe any man. But the reward is only for the diligent, so we have to check ourselves daily.