A reward time is coming. There is a time when each one of us will stand in front of the Judgment Seat of Christ for the purpose of receiving reward or suffering loss of reward. We do have accountability to the Lord for what we have done or not done here on this earth. Jesus Christ is coming back, and he is bringing a reward with him. The apostle Paul had a lot to say on this topic in the New Testament. Here are just two examples from his letters to the Corinthians:
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
—1 Corinthians 3:11–15, ESV
Only to the extent that we build our lives on the foundation of Christ, by allowing him to live his life through us, can we expect the deeds we do in the body to be able to stand the test of fire. Is your treasure on earth or in heaven? Are you living your life in such a way as to maximize your opportunities so that your life will echo into eternity?
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparing, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
God’s grace in many ways prioritizes opportunity. We serve the God who provides the opportunity to each one of us to respond to his grace. He is the God who draws us to himself through his Son Jesus Christ. He creates in us an increasing desire to invest in the imperishable values of his eternal kingdom. For those who respond to the opportunities he presents to us, the future is one of glory beyond human description to be enjoyed in his presence forever. The time is short, and the eternal destinies of multitudes are at stake. We need to wake up and get busy doing the King’s business.
We all have opportunities to build our eternal treasure, and the message to us is clear: We need to respond properly to the message of God, we need to reach for the best that God has to offer, and we need to press on toward the heavenly goal God has for us. Prayer, the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit will deliver us from the wiles of the Chief Consumerlator so that we can develop into the Converterlators God has planned for us to be.
God is giving each one of us an opportunity to be an eternal “star.” In both the Old and New Testaments we read, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3); and “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43).
Most of us are not “great” people in the eyes of the world. From a kingdom perspective, this gives us an advantage. God often uses the weak among us to accomplish great things. Each day is a new opportunity for us to serve him. Each new day is an opportunity to strategically invest our time, talent, and treasure into things of eternal value.
The question is, Are we spiritually astute enough to see this time as a time of eternal opportunity? The stakes are high. The eternal destinies of multitudes are at stake. Every player is needed. We are in the army of God! We do not want to miss the opportunities to be low-profile, high-impact players on the King’s Team. We are playing for imperishable crowns to bring glory to the King of Kings.
In Matthew 6:20, Jesus tells us to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (ESV). Yes, we can have an eternal 401k. Yes, our treasure can last forever. It is guaranteed. The returns are fantastic; in fact, they are beyond our human ability to measure.
In this world many people follow “stock tips.” They pursue what they perceive to be “smart money” and invest in companies for which they have little or no information. Most of the time, this type of investing results in losses. Jesus, however, gives us a sure “eternal investment tip.” He says we should invest our resources in treasure in heaven. We can take it with us if we send it ahead by investing in the imperishable world to come while we are still in this perishing world. The “smart money” is going into the kingdom of God.
Yes, there are obstacles and it gets tough out there, but by the Holy Spirit’s power we can stay focused on the eternal rewards of being in the game. My prayer is that each one of us will capture the vision and run with the mission in order to help fulfill the Great Commission. Let’s encourage each other to use our time, talent, and treasure effectively in this world; eternity is on the horizon. It is approaching us at warp speed!
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you before his glorious presence
without fault and with great joy
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages,
now and forevermore! Amen.
(Jude 24–25, NIV)
In what ways are you living your life in such a way as to maximize your opportunities so that your life will echo into eternity?