Sabbath, December 31, 2005
“It is not a vain thing to serve God. There is a priceless reward for those who devote their life to His service.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p.107.
• To wait patiently for God’s reward.
• To thank God for supplying us with good gifts.
• To serve the Lord for the right motives.
1. When will the great final reward be given to those who have labored for the salvation of mankind?
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
“His coming is the greatest event in the world’s history. Those who have had respect to all his commandments, are then classed among the loyal and true, and rewarded with eternal life.” –The Review and Herald, January 12, 1886.
2. Why is the future reward not given to us based on our merit and sacrifice?
Romans 4:1-5 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
“The reward is not of works, lest any man should boast; but it is all of grace… It is not the length of time we labor but our willingness and fidelity in the work that makes it acceptable to God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 401, 402.
3. What words of praise and adoration will issue forth from the redeemed after the harvest of souls has been reaped?
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, honour, and glory, and blessing.
“Let every breath of praise, every word of exaltation, flow to him who is worthy, flow to Jesus, the Prince of life, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Elevate the cross of Christ. Elevate the Mediator. Lift up Jesus. In him is everything noble. Contemplate God in Christ. He is surrounded with angels, cherubim and seraphim continually behold him. Angelic voices day and night cry before him: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come…. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’ ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.’ ‘Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee.’ But although God only is holy and worthy to be praised, human tongues are perverted to praise and glorify man rather than God.” –The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889.
4. Not all rewards are reserved for the future life. What wonderful rewards can be claimed and experienced today?
Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
“Those who give their lives to Christlike ministry know the meaning of true happiness. Their interests and their prayers reach far beyond self. They themselves are growing as they try to help others. They become familiar with the largest plans, the most stirring enterprises, and how can they but grow when they place themselves in the divine channel of light and blessing?” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 42.
“In doing for others, a sweet satisfaction will be experienced, an inward peace which will be a sufficient reward. When actuated by a high and noble desire to do others good, they will find true happiness in a faithful discharge of life’s manifold duties. This will bring more than an earthly reward; for every faithful, unselfish performance of duty is noticed by the angels, and shines in the life record.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 132.
“Doing good is an excellent remedy for disease. Those who engage in the work are invited to call upon God, and He has pledged Himself to answer them. Their soul shall be satisfied in drought, and they shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 29.
5. What should be the underlying motive for serving the Lord in His vineyard?
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
“The Lord desires us to rest in Him without a question as to our measure of reward. When Christ abides in the soul, the thought of reward is not uppermost. This is not the motive that actuates our service…. “Love to God and to our fellow men should be our motive… He regards more the love and faithfulness with which we work than the amount we do.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 398, 399, 402.
6. What should be our attitude when our missionary work appears to be fruitless and no results are evident?
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
“To every worker for God this thought should be a stimulus and an encouragement. In this life our work for God often seems to be almost fruitless. Our efforts to do good may be earnest and persevering, yet we may not be permitted to witness their results. To us the effort may seem to be lost. But the Saviour assures us that our work is noted in heaven, and that the recompense cannot fail.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 305.
A SPECIAL MEETING
7. What wonderful experience will soon be realized by all the redeemed in heaven? What joy will they have?
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
“The redeemed will meet and recognize those whose attention they have directed to the uplifted Saviour. What blessed converse they have with these souls! ‘I was a sinner,’ it will be said, ‘without God and without hope in the world, and you came to me, and drew my attention to the precious Saviour as my only hope. And I believed in Him. I repented of my sins, and was made to sit together with His saints in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.’ …
“What rejoicing there will be as these redeemed ones meet and greet those who have had a burden in their behalf! And those who have lived, not to please themselves, but to be a blessing to the unfortunate who have so few blessings–how their hearts will thrill with satisfaction!” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 311, 312.
8. What preparations should we be making now so that we may be welcomed into God’s kingdom?
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
• Why are you working for Jesus? Is it for the reward?
• What rewards has the Lord already given you?