Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12)

Mike Connell

He talks the same thing about giving - “take heed you don't do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen of them, otherwise you have no reward, of your Father in heaven.”

Notice here: gave money to the poor. Was that good? Was it bad? I don't know - why did they do it? If we do it so people will notice, and say: man, that's great - then you've already got your reward. But if we give, and we don't announce what we've done, if we don't try to get approval from people - we just secretly give, as God directs us, as God leads us, and guides us... He said: I see it! I will reward you!

Remember, you can't have the reward both ways. If you try to get it by impressing people, you can't have it from God. If you want it from God, then don't worry about impressing people. Unfortunately, what happens is that we do things, and we serve, and we give - and often it's overlooked. It's not even noticed - and that tests out whether you are doing it for the Lord; or are you doing it to have someone acknowledging you; someone that's saying: oh, you're great, you're wonderful. And always, it will be withheld. Always, if that's what you're looking for, you'll never get enough; and eventually you get offended - and that's what happens to many people. They get offended, because of what they were looking for - they were not giving, they were not loving - they were trading! Trading means: I give you this, but I expect something in return. They gave something, but they wanted something in return - they just never said When it didn't come - they got upset!

It's the same for praying. “When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who like to pray, and stand in the streets to be seen by men.” Notice that the motivation here is to be seen by men, rather than be seen by God.

When we come into the age of the kingdom, we're going to be amazed at people who are honoured by God. They were praying, and giving, and doing things... we never saw them. They never had a position in the church. No one ever noticed them, everyone just walked past them; but they quietly got on with serving God and doing what they were called to do - and God noticed.

He refers to it too again, in the motivation for fasting. “When you're fasting, don't be like the hypocrites, who put on a sad face and announce everything; but rather, do it secretly, that your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Notice then, that the whole issue here of the foundation, is the motivation for what we do. The motivation flows through, like a river, everything you do. If there's love, generosity, humility, kindness - the characteristics of the kingdom, then it touches everything you do, and it brings God's favour on it.

When you work hard, give, and serve, but always you're looking for something, and trying to get something in return - somehow it never cuts it. It never seems to get a return. It's like, what is wrong? I've done everything. Why is nothing happening? And we haven't seen it's a heart issue.

Then he continues... and who's the foolish man? Well, he didn't align his heart with God. He didn't let his heart be transformed; and his works were all built with people in mind. Jesus laid it out very, very clearly.

He said: “many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, we prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, did many wonders in Your name.” Notice there is prophecy, miracles, and deliverance - but what was missing? What was missing was the heart motivation.

1 Corinthians 13:1-2 - “If you prophesy, and know all these things, but there's no love, it is like empty and clangy, it profits nothing.”

Many are like that! Many use God's gifts, God's grace, and God's resources to impress people, and gain recognition; and he said: all of that will count for nothing!

Then He says: what's going on?

1) I never knew you;

2) You practice lawlessness.

What does he mean by that? He means these things: First, I never knew you. He means they lacked real intimacy with Jesus, and heart transformation. Relationship with Jesus is designed to bring progressive change in our heart. The more we're loved, the more loving we become. The more He touches us, the more we want to touch and bless people.