My Pondering: Isn’t this passage interesting? It is so anti-worldly. No names on hospitals or inscribed on plaques. Incognito is the recommended way so says Lord Jesus. God teaches a lot about giving and the proper use of time, talent and treasure.
Wow, there is so much to learn and do better and better!
The Bible use the word ‘reward’ 49 times and its derivative rewarding, rewards, rewarded additional 16 times. Here are a few I thought to share here:
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” – Genesis 15:1
“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” – 2nd Chronicles 15:7
“Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” Proverbs 13:7
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,” Matthew 5:12
“And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:18
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42
As the Bible also shows us, there are different levels of rewards. It also demonstrates it takes faith to trust in God. And thus realizing to invest in good deeds is the ultimate ‘deferred gratification’.
I realize some will say that is not godly to think and work for rewards but then why did Jesus say this, ““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” from Matthew 6:19.
M. Henry comments: “When we take least notice of our good deeds ourselves, God takes most notice of them. He will reward thee; not as a master who gives his servant what he earns, and no more, but as a Father who gives abundantly to his son that serves Him.”
God knows our hearts and motivations. Let us direct them to please Him first and people second. Yet we need to aim right and keep an eye on ourselves for everything is riding on it. John tells us, “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.”
Our ultimate reward is not money nor recognition from mere mortals but God Himself and eternity with Him.
It gets deeps here. No, we can not earn our salvation for it is a free gift. Yet, what we do with it and our time, talent and treasure is important to God and He rewards us in many, many ways we can not even imagine for He is a good, good Father.
My prayer: Lord help and remind me to keep my aim at Heaven and Your good pleasure.