Posts Tagged ‘Reward’


Numbers 22:1,2,6,12,13,16-20,22,28,32,33,37 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites… “Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse”… But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you”… They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!” But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.” That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do”… But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along… Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam… “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey”… “Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?” Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”

A bizarre story it seems and what is with all the confusion about God saying go and then threatening Balaam with death when he does go? How does this relate to us today? (more…)


Genesis 43:1,2,8,9,23,24,33,34 Now the famine was severe in the land. So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food”… Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. “I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever… He said, “Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder… Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. He took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and that is what has occurred in the house of Israel. The famine continued and the desperation of Israel’s (Jacob) stomach made him reconsider his decision of not sending Benjamin with his brothers to Joseph.

A payment was prepared of twice the amount they would need plus the amount that was returned the earlier time plus a special gift for Joseph for his kindness to them in releasing their brother Simeon.

Feels like the end of their struggles is at hand and is that the Lord’s word to us today? (more…)


Genesis 15:1-7 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.”

After Abrahm’s resounding victory, eating the bread and wine from the priest Mechizedek, offering a tithe and refusing the gifts of Sodom, God spoke to him in a vision instructing him not to be afraid because God would be his shield and also adding that Abram’s reward would be great.

Obviously Abram was afraid because he was worried about retribution from the kings he defeated and he knew he had no children of his own to protect him and his household and continue the lineage in this new land God had promised him.

Also, Abram’s support in battle was his neighbors and friends and they might not always stand with him as they were not of him and therefore outside of God’s protection, Abram could see no hope. That is the reason he responds to God saying that he is forced to make his servant his heir.

It is obvious God blessed Abram because we know it from history but the question that played on my mind was why did God delay in providing Abram a son? This vision was about a quarter century before Sarai bore Abram a son when he was 100 years old! (more…)


1 Corinthians 9:16-18, 25
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it… Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Paul is a passionate man of God and earnestly sought the Lord until his last breath. We can see that in his writing and the way he earnestly pushes the Corinthian Christians to walk in the right path. The Corinthians felt they did not have to give up their own liberty for any man’s pleasures and so Paul uses himself as an example to ask if he was not free to exercise his freedom in terms of marriage, being paid a salary, eating of food and drink, etc. Paul’s question to us is what are we doing with our new found freedom?

Although I like sports, I am not much of a champion in any sport but still enjoy playing competitively. The goal is to win but our joy is to gloat in the glory of being called a winner. That glory is short lived but as Christians, our goal is to live with Christ in heaven and that goal is confirmed before we start our race and lasts an eternity! In our Christian walk, our mission is to go out and share the good news of Jesus to the world. Our joy is to serve the Lord with our all and to do that; we need to be able to love those like Jesus loved us. How can we love our freedom more than we love our Lord and those He loves? 1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

As I read through this chapter that talks about divisions in the Church, I wondered what else was new about this topic that we could learn about. We know that we are called to worship God as Bible believing Christians and not as denominations because soon the denomination defines us and our values and not Christ. We are quickly driven by the ones leading the denomination or the ones who influenced them rather than the one who created them and used them for His own glory. Here Paul digs deeper about evangelism when he says in v7: So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

We are called into God’s service by Jesus when He gave out the great commission and this was based on the authority that God the father gave Jesus. Our calling is to serve God to the lost and doing everything in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, not out own. For everything that we build for God will be tested severely to determine it’s worth and if there is anything that is found offensive to God, it will burn away and what will remain is our faith. Therefore as in building Churches, drawing people to Christ or even walking with Christ, we are assured that we will be put to the test and we better have sowed right for we will otherwise be burned severely. Lets resubmit our lives, our ministries and our walk to Christ and ask Him to lead, direct and be glorified rather than being scorched in the fire.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Mark 12:41-44
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,j worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

As the threats to Jesus increase and the attacks of the Pharisees and Sadducees get worse, Jesus continues to patiently teach his disciples rather than being stressed about the terrible things that are to come. What’s most amazing is that Jesus knew exactly what would happen and rather than avoiding the horrid betrayal and crucifixion, he is focussed on sharing the gospel, saving as many souls and clarifying the reality of what God wants for man. This observation he makes of the poor widow is again such a wonderful reminder about the fact that God looks at our hearts not the outward appearances we make.

We are often reminded by Jesus that he doesn’t want us to speak “Churchinese” or “Act holy” or make gestures that show we are Christian in Church specially when we don’t mean it. When we are faced with the world, what’s in our hearts shows in our way of dealing with non-Christians and our lives are a reflection of our hearts. The old widow gave all she had to tell God that her trust was completely on God whereas we will count our pennies and give what we think is right. If that’s our attitude, it will be so even when we serve God and show our love to the lost. What God wants of us is our everything, not just measured portions. If we truly understand the sacrifice God made for us, we will know that our everything will not add up to a fraction of what the Lord has done for us. Lets not count the pennies and count the cost but consider it pure joy to submit our lives to our Lord and Savior and glorify him shamelessly. He will reward us in his time and take care of our every need.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Visit http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service to read the archives or subscribe to the daily devotionals

Nature's Perfect Mirror


Mark 9:33-37
They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

The path to success in God’s kingdom is certainly not the path the world takes to gain success. Jesus reminds us today that greatness in God’s eyes is not being recognized as the one who saved most souls or being chosen the best in our service to God but it is instead helping people to remember God and not ourselves and serving him for his glory. This is totally contrary to success in this world where people commend us by the magnitude of our achievements, the significance of our wealth, the vastness of our reach and so on. We become a brand and success is measured by a recognizable yardstick.

In Christ, we are expected to serve him selflessly and he will reward us when we meet God face to face. Therefore, I need to be serving God as a child of God and not as Vineet because then it will be about me. My service to God is to share the good news of the gospel and point people to Christ. My joy should be to humble myself before man to show them what God’s love was, even as low as washing the feet of other men if that’s what it takes to show them God’s love. This is certainly not something most of us are willing to do and if we are, not something we will do publicly. At some point, we want recognition and some comforting of our own ego but that is where we are missing the point of the gospel. Christ came here on earth to serve us and to die on the cross for us which is our role model. I hope you are challenged to consider your service to God as joy and humility in our service as our way of showing his love to the world. Our reward is already given to us when we submitted our lives to Jesus’s authority.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

God's Unspoken Beauty