Tonight at church we started watching the video series Honor Reward by ..John.. Bevere. It was an introductory to a twelve week series on honor, which sounds very inspiring. Well, a while in to the DVD, it messed up. The last part I heard him say was in reference to a verse II John 8, that talks about your FULL REWARD.
Then he said, through the scratched ..DVD - That means you could receive no reward, a partial reward, or your full reward.
Two thoughts came to my mind; the first is we are all in the same race. It is not that we are running to be #1; he stated it is a race of endurance. It is more like the Walk-a-thons for Relay for Life or other charities. It is not being #1, it is the effort that you put in to it, the attitude that you keep though the relay, which is to mirror the battle of a cancer survivor that makes the difference. It is in finishing and starting with the same passion, not about beating everyone else. We are all in a race and while we need to help others along the way that they too will finish, we don’t have to be first - we have to finish successfully.
The second thought was about the reward. Think about how little kids will bring home those fundraisers for school (Maybe it is just these little schools my kids go to) but they send home these catalogs full of stuff people don't need and along with it is a flyer with cheesy prize categories with the top thing being the latest gadget that every kids wants - a scooter, a video game system, cash - and it is theirs to EARN for the bargain price of selling 100 things.
The kid comes home super excited about this great gadget that they are getting. They are full of passion and on a mission to get it. And I am sure that there are kids (More likely their parents in great desperation to get their child what they want - but that ruins the point - so I will stick with the kid) who reach that goal.
They start out with a passion for getting the prize and they work hard to get their FULL REWARD. But then there are other kids who work hard at the start but get discouraged, distracted, bored, run out of time, whatever that maybe reach a higher level of reward, but don't quiet make it to that Full Reward, but they get a PARTIAL REWARD. Then there are those kids who will have their parent’s order something out of obligation, but that is about it. Usually they receive little or NO REWARD.
Whatever the reward, it is all tied to the level of effort that the child puts forth and the endurance with which they continue the effort. As Christians, we are the same as those little children. We can live our lives with endurance and stay focused and we will receive our FULL REWARD in Christ. Or we can do, as many Christians do, and serve God, not with focus and endurance, but allowing other things to be first in our lives, or when it is convenient, or with full force that we burn out before we finish. Those Christians will receive a PARTIAL REWARD in Heaven, but not the full reward that is available to them if they earn it. And then there are those Christians who will make a decision that will get them to Heaven, but will not make any effort to work for God's kingdom. While I can't say Heaven isn't a reward, they will have NO REWARD in the full reward God promised.
In the end, it is up to each of us to decide how much reward we want in Heaven. Do we want the ..FULL.. REWARD and are we willing to work for what we want, over the course of our life.
2 John 1:8 (New King James Version) Look to yourselves, that you do not lose those things you worked for, but that you may receive a full reward.