“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
What would you do for your spouse, the child you love dearly, a lifelong friend, better yet, what would you not do for them?
The world is full of good people who help others in need, those that cannot do for themselves, some receive renumeration in the form of payment received for services rendered, others do so simply out of what is called the kindness of their heart, seeking for nothing in return.
Grace is the free gift of God, rewards are given for work done solely for the glory of God, out of a love that seeks nothing in return. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalm 110:1) Christ is in this sense waiting for His reward, He will rule this planet for a thousand years with a rod of righteousness, there will be swift retribution for dissension.
There are many who believe working for rewards in heaven is not the proper thing to do, that they are to simply obey with no hope of receiving anything, but who runs a race and does not put forth their best effort to win? Which of you desires to be in heaven and have nothing to cast at the feet of the Lord, which of you have been given coins to increase and have decided to simply bury them waiting to return only that which you were given when your Master returns?
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
The love we offer to the Lord is not only a desire of ours to give willingly but is expected by Him who is worthy to receive it, but your love does not profit the kingdom of the Almighty in anyway, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1st John 4:8)
Your actions and words done solely for your love for Him does, in a way that we cannot fully understand, save for this, those crowns and rewards are received by those that have been profitable for the kingdom.
If you have attended a church for many decades, faithfully and on time for years, yet your conversations never or at best rarely revolved around the Savior, what reward are you expecting? If you never witnessed to the lost, showing them the truth of the cross, if your mind was only focused on the things of God during that hour or so once a week, while your life was lived in the world and for self while calling yourself a Christian, do you expect to be heartily welcomed into heaven?
There are those that are saved, yet only as if by fire, they will live in the presence of the Lord God for all eternity, but they will wear no crown, they will receive no rewards, for they did not run the race, but simply strolled along the path.
Dying to self means much more than being available my friends, it means seeking ways to glorify the Lord in our lives, solely out of love and for His glory.
Is it wrong to attempt to work for those rewards? I ask you, who was profitable, the one who was given ten coins, or the one who was given only one? Those who participate are paid, those who put forth effort are paid handsomely, those who sit on the sidelines and cheer are part of the body, yet their rewards are little.
Strive for the crowns, work diligently for those rewards, not because of them, but for the glory of God.