Friday, May 1, 2009

The Reward Of The Righteous

Too many Christians look for a present reward for their labors, and if they meet with success, they begin doting upon it as though they had received their recompense. Like the disciples who returned saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us,” they rejoice too exclusively in present prosperity; whereas the Master bade them not to look upon miraculous success as being their reward, since that might not always be the case. “Nevertheless,” said he, “rejoice not in this, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Success in the ministry is not the Christian minister’s true reward: it is an earnest, but the wages still wait. The approbation of your fellowmen you must not look upon as being the reward of excellence, for often you will meet with the reverse; you will find your best actions misconstrued, and your motives ill interpreted. If you are looking for your reward here I may warn you of the apostle’s words, “If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable:” because other men get their reward; even the Pharisee gets his: “Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward;” but we have none here.

To be despised and rejected of men is the Christian’s lot. Among his fellow Christians he will not always stand in good repute. It is not unmitigated kindness nor unmingled love that we receive even from the saints. I tell you if you look for your reward to Christ’s bride herself you will miss it; if you expect to receive your crown from the hand even of your brethren in the ministry who know your labors, and who ought to sympathize with your trials, you will be mistaken. “When the King shall come in his glory,” then is your time of recompense; but not today, nor tomorrow, nor at any time in this world. Reckon nothing which you acquire, no honor which you gain, to be the reward of your service to your Master; that is reserved to the time “when the King shall come in his glory.”

From a sermon entitled "The Reward Of The Righteous," delivered January 21, 1866. Image by atomicjeep under Creative Commons License.

No comments: