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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Our 'Unrewarded' Work

"But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a personís work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames."
- 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NLT

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Have you ever had days when you questioned why you were so committed to living the Christian life, doing the Lord's work? I have. Sometimes you look around and all you can see are people living for themselves, instead of for the Lord. Many times it looks like unbelievers are being blessed more than we are. But I think what's the most disheartening is seeing so many Christians living mediocre lives. I'm referring to believers who go to church on Sunday, and perhaps are even active in the church, but live lives devoid of a real passion for God. Often, these same people look at you like you're some sort of fanatic because you aren't satisfied having a superficial relationship with God. Sometimes, it's enough to make you want to scream--or cry.

I love the above verses by the apostle Paul. They remind me that when we get to heaven, all the things we did here out of love for the Lord will finally be rewarded. On the other hand, those believers who served themselves, or served God with wrong motives, will find that their rewards will not follow them into heaven. They themselves will be saved, but they'll have nothing to show for their lives after they leave here. But those of us who gave of our time and ourselves, often with little or no earthly reward, will find an abundance of heavenly rewards waiting for us.

Remember all those prayers you prayed when no one knew except you and God? What about all those times you said "no" to yourself when everyone else was doing what they pleased? And how about all the time you spent serving others, without ever seeing a single penny for it? Think of all the things you've done--or not done--out of love for the Lord that earned you little or no recognition or reward here on earth. These are the things that God holds closest to His heart. They are the very things that will bring you the greatest rewards from Him when you reach your heavenly home.

And now I encourage you with this precious promise from Godís Word: "With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort." (1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG)

Prayer: Lord, when I'm tempted to think that You don't see or appreciate my efforts to please You, remind me that nothing I do for You is in vain. More importantly, keep me focused on You and Your will, and not whether or not Iíll be rewarded. Don't ever let me be satisfied with having a shallow relationship with You. Thank You that my devotion and dedication will allow You to use me in greater ways for Your glory!

- J. M. Farro


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