Did you know that there will be rewards handed out in heaven? Look at what the apostle Paul says about this:
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith — our fellow believers. Galatians 6:9-10
“In due season we shall reap” — the reward for not growing weary while doing good. God uses people to do His work on earth, and then rewards them for it.
We read of two kinds of ‘work’ in the Bible, namely work to earn God’s love, and work as a response to God’s love. Work to advance yourself is deeply ingrained in our thinking, but when it comes to spiritual matters, no amount of good that you can ever do will earn you any points with the Lord. Our salvation was fully paid for by Jesus Himself, and given to us as a free gift from God. However, the new creation man (and woman) is by nature a fruit bearing person, just as Jesus was. He spent His entire adult life on earth in service to to us, no matter what the need was, as Peter also introduced Him to Cornelius:
…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38
What a legacy Jesus left behind for His disciples to aspire to! That same anointing that empowered Jesus to do those works, came to rest upon us when we received the Holy Spirit, (Acts 1:8) and now Jesus expects us to continue with that work on earth:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12
The word disciple means student,(Greek mathētēs = student, pupil, disciple) it is someone who is so eager to learn from his teacher to see what he does, and listens to what he says, dreaming to be like him. Paul encourages us to be such disciples:
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1,2
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1
A good place to start, is walking in the God-kind of love. God is love, and everything that He does is motivated by love. Every time Jesus was asked to do a miracle to prove who He was, He refused, because He came to show the love of God, and not His power, or to exalt Himself. We will surely fail to do the works of Jesus if we have ulterior motives. Love is the very essence of God — it is not that He has love — He is love, and that same love will flow through you if you are intimately connected to Him.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:5,8
The greatest glory that we can give to God is not the songs that we sing, but the fruit that we bear, for “so you will be My disciples.”
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. John 5:19,20
Jesus simply followed the Father, and did what He showed Him to do. Obedience warms every father’s heart! When He came to the end of His walk on earth, with His mission completed, Jesus reported back to the Father:
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4
Paul, the faithful apostle and imitator of Jesus, looked back over his life with similar comments:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7,8
Paul then looked forward to a crown that will be given to him as one who finished his race. Jesus Himself said the labourer is worthy of his wages. (Luke 10:7) When God’s messenger angel wrapped up his message to Daniel, he too made mention of some heavenly rewards:
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3
The most important thing that anyone can ever do for God, is to turn sinners to righteousness. But this is a multi-facetted work that requires prayer, witnessing, warning, preaching, teaching, giving, encouragement, etc. Everybody has a role to play in the Lord’s great outreach to humanity — whether saved or lost. Everybody must be involved with the Lord’s work in some way.
The reward that the angel mentioned to Daniel was an eternal reward that will be awarded once you received your heavenly body. Paul referred to it in his letter to the Corinthian church:
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 1 Corinthians 15:41-43
When Jesus comes back to reign on earth for a thousand years, we will come with Him to reign with Him. (Colossians 3:4; Zechariah 14:5; Jude:14, etc.) There will be stars that shine in different degrees of brightness — ranks of various levels of authority in His kingdom. Your life on earth will determine how much responsibility will be given to you in His millennial reign, just as Jesus explained in the parable of the faithful servant:
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. Luke 12:42-44
Jesus is looking for faithful servants that He can make rulers over His household!
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 1 Corinthians 9:25
The race that you run is not a race against others, but against your own flesh, distractions, discomfort, procrastination, sin, etc. Time is running out fast; let’s work for Jesus, even while darkness is falling. Things may be bad right now, but good times are coming!
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12
Reach out to that person that has been on your heart; make that call; post something on social media; encouraged that one that is struggling; intercede for the lost – there is so much that you can do!