The Reward of the Believer

1 Corinthians 3:6-9: I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Our God-given purpose is to glorify our heavenly Father. Ephesians 2:10 sheds light on the means by which we accomplish this: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

As believers, we are responsible to do the Lord’s work. One day, we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be held accountable for our service.

“Judgment” can be a daunting term. Remember, though, that Jesus redeemed us by His death and resurrection and paid the penalty for our sins. He took our punishment, and we no longer face condemnation (Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8:1). Christ’s judgment for Christians determines His rewards for each believer.

During this evaluation, God will test our actions. Scripture likens this to proving the quality of a substance through fire. Once the fire burns away impure motives and worthless tasks, the Lord will give recompense for that which remains.

From the outside, we may look as if we’re living obediently, striving to honor Jesus. So many tasks appear selfless and honorable, yet underneath the noble appearance, there can be an ugly motive like jealousy, pride, or anger. We often deceive even ourselves about the reason for our actions. Since our desire should be to please Christ, we can ask Him to purify and change our hearts.

Consider your actions over the last day. How much time and energy did you spend serving Christ for His glory? This can include any area of involvement–not just efforts related to church. Ask God to reveal whatever is driven by a selfish motive and needs to be brought under His authority.

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