How do you know what you are doing for the Lord is what He has actually called you to do? Are materialistic items increasing, is that your understanding of the blessings of continued service, it was in the Old Testament for some. How about your emotional state, if you have days or even weeks on end where you are happy, does that mean that what you are doing for the Lord is what you should be doing?
I offer you here Lazarus, who received evil in his life, (Luke 16:25) who begged for food, in fact had to be carried to where he could beg for food. I offer you the man who was born blind so that the glory of God could be shown to all. (John 9:3) And what those in attendance said about him, “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2) If we sin and do not confess those sins to the Lord as stated in Proverbs 28:13 we expect to be punished, to be chastened and corrected, yet what do you expect for serving Christ, for glorifying God in every area of your life?
The prosperity teachers say it is wealth and health that we should expect, and if you are not receiving these things, then there must be some sin in your life that you have yet to repent of. I believe that to a degree nearly every Christian would agree with that statement, 2 Timothy 3:12 is not a verse they like to quote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Forty years of manna, locust and honey for how long? Exiled on an island, sawn asunder, tortured, killed, living in caves. Read chapter eleven of Hebrews again and contemplate what it means to be used by God.
What do you expect to receive from the Lord for loving, dutiful service to Him, for doing everything without complaining, (Phil. 2:14) does not Christ Himself say, “Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Luke 18:30) More of what? “More precious than rubies” is how Proverbs 3:15 puts it, more than gold or fine silver.
Are you wiser now than when you first came to the cross, do you understand the Scriptures with greater clarity today than you did last year, or the year before? Is your heart in a place of greater peace today than it ever has been before, or are you basically the same person that you were when you brought your head up from the water when you were baptized?
I have heard people say who profess Jesus as Lord when something happens in their life that is adverse, “Why has God allowed this to happen to me?” Romans 8:28 always comes to my mind, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I see the widow at the temple placing all she had in the treasury with no thought of receiving tenfold. I see Lazarus trying to shoo the dogs away as he lifts his head and says “Good morning” with a smile on his face as people pass him by. What do you expect from the Lord for obeying His commandments in love for no other reason than that God would be glorified?
It is a question that each of us should ask ourselves, for how many of you go to work each day and think nothing of getting paid for your labors, how many of us do not need to hear “Good job” occasionally, how many of us could go through the entirety of our lives never desiring any recognition for anything whatsoever? “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)
Whether He slept on the ground, or someone offered Him a warm bed for the night, whether He ate to the full in the house of another, or ground corn between His hands. Whether He was walking to the next town to call the next sinner to repentance or walking to Jerusalem to be nailed to a cross. What is it that you expect from the Lord God for obeying Him in love? It is an honest question that you should attempt to answer in your heart today.