I remember earning tiny plastic jewels for my crown badge in AWANA. Each jewel represented a certain amount of Bible verses learned. It was such a joyful night when I earned another one to add to my crown. That was great motivation as a kid to learn Bible verses that have stuck with me for years later. But isn’t that what we do as grown-up Christians too? We think our works are earning rewards in Heaven. Every little thing we do adds to our stockpile. And the big things we do, well honey, step aside while I move my new furniture into my mansion. And don’t scuff up my gold floors!
Over the last few years, I have begun to understand the deeper meaning of God’s grace. And today in church I heard it explained in a way that was new and fresh.We talk a lot about the grace that brought us salvation but after the fact, we think it’s all works. Gotta add to that stockpile! But really, our works should be looked at as simply a service to God in response to what He requires of me by His law. We don’t do things in our Christian life for a reward. Everything He commands us to do is expected of us.
Much like a parent expects their kid to tell the truth, a child won’t get rewarded every time they tell the truth. That is already a requirement of the parent. But if a parent were to give a child an ice cream cone because they told the truth, that would be 100% unmerited grace and a decision of the parent.
This is the same with God but on a much bigger scale. We shouldn’t do good works as a Christian thinking about what rewards we will get in Heaven one day. God doesn’t reward based on our system anyways. We should be obedient because that’s what our Father expects of us. And as we walk this Christian walk, any good thing we receive from the hand of God is an extra measure of grace poured out on our lives. His grace on an already grace filled life.
Our works are by grace because He chose us. Therefore anything we receive from Him on earth or in heaven is not really “earned” but abundantly more grace. And our reward is this…“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” It’s Him! We will finally be completely satisfied in Him!
(Here is a link to our pastor Greg’s sermon (Matt. 20) yesterday where I am getting my points.)