The Obligation and the Reward

August 24, 2020

The Obligation and the Reward

Luke 17:7-10

7Will any man of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and take your place at the table? 8Will he not instead tell him, Get my supper ready and gird yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you yourself shall eat and drink?

9Is he grateful and does he praise the servant because he did what he was ordered to do? 10Even so on your part, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, We are unworthy servants [possessing no merit, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have [merely] done what was our duty to do.

Many of us think that if we keep God’s Word, give our ten percent tithe, go to church and are good people great is our reward in heaven.  In reality we are only fulfilling our obligation and duty to keep God’s Word and live in obedience to the Lord.  A lot of us try to do what is expected of us as Christians, but then that is where we stop, because now it’s my turn to take care of my needs, my wants and my desires.  So much of our Christian lives are committed to just doing our duty to God. This is a good thing and certainly something we should be faithful in fulfilling, but will we receive the praise of God and be rewarded for simply doing what is expected of us as His servants and children? 

Often we have a mentality that as long as we make heaven that’s all I care about.  That isn’t the mentality of the Lord.  The nature of God goes beyond was expected and what is required.  The rewards that Jesus brings with Him at His coming aren’t to those who just met the requirements, but to those who went beyond their duty and obligation.  What are we living, doing and giving beyond what the Lord has required of us?  

Listen to Paul’s revelation of this concept for his life in 1 Corinthians 9:13-19.  “13Do you not know that those men who are employed in the services of the temple get their food from the temple? And that those who tend the altar share with the altar [in the offerings brought]? 14[On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel. 15But I have not made use of any of these privileges, nor am I writing this [to suggest] that any such provision be made for me [now]. For it would be better for me to die than to have anyone make void and deprive me of my [ground for] glorifying [in this matter]. 16For if I [merely] preach the Gospel, that gives me no reason to boast, for I feel compelled of necessity to do it. Woe is me if I do not preach the glad tidings (the Gospel)! 17For if I do this work of my own free will, then I have my pay (my reward); but if it is not of my own will, but is done reluctantly and under compulsion, I am [still] entrusted with a [sacred] trusteeship and commission. 18What then is the [actual] reward that I get? Just this: that in my preaching the good news (the Gospel), I may offer it [absolutely] free of expense [to anybody], not taking advantage of my rights and privileges [as a preacher] of the Gospel. 19For although I am free in every way from anyone’s control, I have made myself a bond servant to everyone, so that I might gain the more [for Christ].”

The Lord has required of us certain things, but the reward of the Lord and that, which endures into eternity, is that which we give beyond our obligation and requirement.  Listen once more to what Jesus tells us about what is required and how we would exceed that as servants of Christ.  Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

39But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles]. 42Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn away from him who would borrow [at interest] from you. 43You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; 44But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike]. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that? 48You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

              The reward of the Lord is to those who go beyond their obligation and exceed expectations.  It is in the sacrifice and the going beyond what is required.  Are we living in obligation or are we living unto our reward?

Blessings,
#kent

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