“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Eccl. 1:14)
The man who spends his life working for the things of this world, will leave all those things behind for others, he will consume what he can upon his own lusts and desires, and the rest he will lose. The one who works for the rewards of heaven, if that is his reason for doing so, may find nothing waiting for him when he arrives at that gate. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
I ask you this, if your only reward is to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, is that enough for you?
It is not how most people who claim Christ as Lord think I fear, and it is proven, most generally by their response when asked, “Who is the first person you want to meet in heaven?” Their answer is usually some loved one that has gone on before them, and when you say to them, “What about Jesus,” their response usually takes them aback. “Oh yes, of course the Lord first.”
Many who say they are serving the Lord are perhaps doing so, but like their offering in the plate on Sunday morning, it is only a set amount, a small part of their total wealth. They offer the least and expect the most. “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:44)
How you answer this next question will speak volumes about how you not only serve the Lord, but how you expect to be blessed by Him. Did that widow receive much in the rest of her life, or did she die destitute, and in poverty? And perhaps here is the foundational question, did it matter to her?
We can tell by the Lord’s response that day that what she gave she gave with a willing heart, she expected nothing, while the Pharisee not only wanted to be noticed, and the others gave out of their abundance. She gave all she had, the more we have, the more we want to keep what we have. That woman on that day fulfilled what the young man would not do in Mark 10:21, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
Entire religious organizations are supposedly built upon this concept of self-orchestrated poverty, yet those at the top remain in positions of great wealth, dolling out small pittances to their followers. Consider the Roman Catholic cult, on organization worth perhaps more than any corporation on the planet, yet asking their deceived followers to give much, if not all.
What are you working for, and what are you willing to lose?
How many who say they serve the Almighty think that if they give much, they will receive much? Not those that are deceived by prosperity theology, but those that sit in the pews beside you. How many think the story always has a happy ending, that like Job was, they will receive even more. Lazarus stood beside Abraham in paradise yet died destitute. That widow may have died in the same manner. It is easy to read the accounts, but could you live them, could you say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)
The fear of the loss of everything that he had worked for kept that young man from following Christ that day, if Zacchaeus would have been asked by the Lord to do the same, I believe he would have done so. Abraham, by merit of the conquest when retrieving Lot and all those who were taken with him, was entitled to all that he had won, yet he would not keep even a shoe latchet.
“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1)
Is that what you are working for?