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Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12)

Mike Connell

Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12) One of the major themes of Jesus teachings was the theme of Eternal Rewards. This topic is seldom taught in churches, but it provides major motivation for holiness, personal transformation and faithful service. This message is an introduction to the theme of eternal rewards and the need to build our heart and character on Jesus teachings on the Sermon on the Mount.
Introduction

Welcome to the first series, and this series is called Eternal Rewards and this message is number one in the series and it's called: Introduction to Eternal Rewards.

Probably when you hear it, you'll think I've taught all there is to be taught about it, but I certainly haven't and today we're going to just give you a big, a broad picture and then within that, there'll be many questions arise and there'll be things that you'll want to know more about.

But in our journey, we get revelation right at the very beginning of the teachings around eternal rewards, and they become a motivator for your life. They cause you to set a course for your life that, regardless of what anyone else does, you remain focussed on eternity.

Main Message

Perhaps if I could put it like this: if I were to offer you: $2 now; or $1000 in a weeks' time - what would you take? Children will take the $2 now, because they can't conceive of $1000 in a weeks' time. But anyone who understands the value of things would say: oh man, I'll put off getting my $2 now, because I have in mind something much bigger ahead - and this is what all this teaching is about.

It's being able to lay aside some things now, because there's something much bigger that God has for you. It brings about an adjustment of what's important, so you place less and less importance on temporary things, and more importance on eternal things.

The first thing then is: God is a rewarder! God is a rewarder, and the first thing is that the hope of a reward is a motivator to pursue God. Hope of a reward is a motivator - it’s what motivates us to pursue God.

In Hebrews 11:6, it says: without faith, it's impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He's a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Notice that two things are required: 1) that we must believe that: God is present; God is real; God is interested in us; God wants to access us; God wants a relationship with us; and 2) that God rewards. He is a rewarder.

That says that's something about who He is. He's a rewarder. He rewards those who diligently pursue Him. To be a rewarder is one who pays wages generously, so God is generous in rewarding us for the activities we undertake on His behalf to represent Him. The first thing then is: God is a rewarder; and the hope is that He will reward us.

When we look at inheritance, we'll see that God's promise to Abraham was: “I am your shield, I am your exceeding great reward”. So not only is God a rewarder, but it's accessing more of Him that comes as one of the key aspects of our reward.

Secondly, Moses was motivated by the hope of a reward. Hope causes you to look forward to something. Hope causes you to anticipate something. Hope causes you to have an expectation. Hope keeps you looking forward; you know, we're hoping for this holiday, we're hoping for this raise, we're hoping for this new thing.

Moses was motivated by the hope of reward. When you look at Moses, you see his life, and how it was in the Pharaoh's Palace - he had everything possible available to him: education, a significant role, riches and wealth - anything he wanted was his. He was a valiant warrior, and he was a great man. However, he forsook it all! He gave it all up - which people would have thought was crazy, but we understand it when we read in Hebrews 11:24-26.

Hebrews 11 is the book of men who responded to God, who pleased Him. Without faith, without trusting Him, and committing our life to following Him, we can't bring pleasure to Him. Our goal is to bring pleasure to Him, but it requires that we exercise faith that: not only that He is; but if I will give my life to His pursuit, He will reward it.

In Hebrews 11:24 - by faith, Moses when he became of age, refused to be called “son of Pharaoh's daughter”, and he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures or temporary pleasures of sin - esteeming the reproach of Christ's greater riches, than the treasure of Egypt... for he looked to the reward.