Tag Archives: heavenly kingdom

Discovering God’s Design – Rewards by Grace

 

Mark 10:28–31

Jesus, says stewardship theologian T. A. Kantonen (1900–1993), is pointing out in this passage and in the parallel passage in Matthew 19:28–30 that the disciples will have a reward in heaven. He tells the disciples that they will “also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt 19:28).

The Lord first directs the attention of the disciples away from the expectation of an immediate earthly recompense and places the thought of reward in the context of the final consummation of the kingdom. A steward of the kingdom, a partner of the Messiah, is not “[like a hired laborer waiting to be paid]” (Job 7:2). His eye is upon the glorious fulfillment of the divine purpose in which he is privileged to share. The point of this phrase of the reply may be illustrated by the replies of three men engaged in a building project to the question of what they were doing. One said, “I am laying bricks.” Another said, “I am making twenty dollars a day.” But the third replied, “I am building a church.”

While the ultimate goal is the heavenly kingdom, Mark’s version indicates that there is also to be recompense “in this present age” (Mk 10:30)—but “with persecutions.” Kantonen remarks:

The joys of the kingdom are experienced here and now, not merely in some distant future. But they do not provide a carefree utopia, but strength with which to face the hardships of a hostile world. To emphasize the unique character of the reward as a sovereign gift of God, which does not depend on men’s own efforts, both Matthew and Mark conclude with the Lord’s words, “But many [who] are first will be last, and the last first.” Matthew then proceeds to record the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, in which every trace of merit disappears altogether, and everything, the reward as well as the opportunity to work, is a matter of divine grace. In the light of this teaching it is obvious that the gospel gives the concept of reward a new meaning quite different from its ordinary connotation of compensation or remuneration for services rendered.

Author and personal wealth adviser Alan Gotthardt maintains that this is a vital issue for the Christian steward of material resources: “Without question, the rewards for Christians who are faithful in this life will be great. This includes faithfulness with their material possessions.” But Gotthardt also asks another question worthy of reflection: “Is it selfish for a Christian to seek eternal rewards? … It is certainly possible to have wrong motives related to giving—or anything else we do as Christians, for that matter … [However Paul] was clear in his writings that salvation is by faith alone. Crowns and other rewards result from our actions here on earth.”

Think About It

  • Do you think it is selfish for a Christian to seek eternal reward?
  • How does knowing you have a reward in heaven affect your actions here and now?
  • How easy is it for you to keep your divine purpose in mind?

Pray About It

Thanks for mercies past receive,

Pardon of our sins renew;

Teach us, henceforth, how to live

With eternity in view.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Preserve Me

 

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18, KJV).

Do you and I have that same kind of confidence in God?

Note that the apostle Paul did not mention the word deathhere, for earlier verses in this chapter reveal that he expected to die – and he was ready. But he was assured that God would keep Paul from apostasy, and from displaying an improper spirit at the time of his death.

In the same way, we can ask the Lord today, in faith believing, for that inner peace we need to face up to all that He allows to happen in our lives. His perfect peace is sufficient for every testing and trial and trouble and temptation.

By keeping us from every evil work, He likewise enables us to reach His heavenly kingdom.

An appropriate time for praise to God is when a person knows he is about to be brought to heaven, and Paul introduces such a doxology here: “to whom be glory for ever and ever.”

The truth is clear: we are protected on every side, and even at death we can sing the doxology, for we are about to meet the altogether lovely One in His heavenly home. To remain in constant fellowship with our heavenly Father will maintain a spirit of joy, love and peace in our lives that nothing can shake.

Bible Reading: Psalm 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Like the apostle Paul, I will confidently expect God to protect me from every evil work and enable me to live the supernatural life for His glory.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Preserve Me

dr_bright

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18, KJV).

Do you and I have that same kind of confidence in God?

Note that the apostle Paul did not mention the word deathhere, for earlier verses in this chapter reveal that he expected to die – and he was ready. But he was assured that God would keep Paul from apostasy, and from displaying an improper spirit at the time of his death.

In the same way, we can ask the Lord today, in faith believing, for that inner peace we need to face up to all that He allows to happen in our lives. His perfect peace is sufficient for every testing and trial and trouble and temptation.

By keeping us from every evil work, He likewise enables us to reach His heavenly kingdom.

An appropriate time for praise to God is when a person knows he is about to be brought to heaven, and Paul introduces such a doxology here: “to whom be glory for ever and ever.”

The truth is clear: we are protected on every side, and even at death we can sing the doxology, for we are about to meet the altogether lovely One in His heavenly home. To remain in constant fellowship with our heavenly Father will maintain a spirit of joy, love and peace in our lives that nothing can shake.

Bible Reading: Psalm 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Like the apostle Paul, I will confidently expect God to protect me from every evil work and enable me to live the supernatural life for His glory.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Preserve Me

dr_bright

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18, KJV).

Do you and I have that same kind of confidence in God?

Note that the apostle Paul did not mention the word deathhere, for earlier verses in this chapter reveal that he expected to die – and he was ready. But he was assured that God would keep Paul from apostasy, and from displaying an improper spirit at the time of his death.

In the same way, we can ask the Lord today, in faith believing, for that inner peace we need to face up to all that He allows to happen in our lives. His perfect peace is sufficient for every testing and trial and trouble and temptation.

By keeping us from every evil work, He likewise enables us to reach His heavenly kingdom.

An appropriate time for praise to God is when a person knows he is about to be brought to heaven, and Paul introduces such a doxology here: “to whom be glory for ever and ever.”

The truth is clear: we are protected on every side, and even at death we can sing the doxology, for we are about to meet the altogether lovely One in His heavenly home. To remain in constant fellowship with our heavenly Father will maintain a spirit of joy, love and peace in our lives that nothing can shake.

Bible Reading: Psalm 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Like the apostle Paul, I will confidently expect God to protect me from every evil work and enable me to live the supernatural life for His glory.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Protected From Satan

dr_bright

“But the Lord is faithful: He will make you strong and guard you from satanic attacks of every kind” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

As a lad I grew up in a rural community on a ranch five miles from the nearest town. I received the first seven years of my formal education in a one-room, country school. I was often the only student in my class and there were never more than three of us. It was not unusual for some big bully to pick on a student smaller than himself and fights would ensue.

I had been taught never to run from a fight because that was not the manly thing to do and so I sometimes found myself in such a situation. I was encouraged by a brother, several years older, who would stand by to insure that the fighting was fair and that I would not be taken advantage of. The Lord Jesus Christ is our elder brother. He stands by to help us, to make us strong and guard us from the attacks of Satan who is like the big bully.

Two thousand years ago Satan was defeated at the cross. He has no control over us except that which God allows and which we by our disobedience and unbelief enable Him to have. Why then, you ask, does the average Christian have such a tough time living the Christian life? It is because he does not understand that the battle has already been won! Victory is ours and nothing can touch us or harm us whether we are criticized, persecuted or even martyred for the sake of the kingdom, for we are not of this world. We are citizens of the heavenly kingdom. While here on this earth, Christ will envelop us and surround us with His supernatural peace and power, turning tragedy to triumph, heartache and sorrow to joy. This is our heritage if only we keep on trusting and obeying Him.

Bible Reading: II Thessalonians 3:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will remember that Jesus Christ is not only my Savior and Lord, but my older brother and that He will protect me against satanic attacks of every kind. The battle has already been won! Through His enabling supernatural resources, I will live a supernatural life for His glory today.