The Reward of the Lord

…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. — Hebrews 12:6 (NIV)
There are three words or phrases that strike me this morning about this verse.  I preached on this subject yesterday and I used this verse as a springboard for my talk.
The first word that hits me is “impossible”.  Faith is absolutely essential to a relationship with God.  One cannot hope to possibly please God and have a relationship with Him unless one believes that God exists.  It’s more than just a mere belief in His existence.  There is an element of trust that goes along with faith.  We have to trust God for our daily bread.  We have to trust Him for our salvation.  We have to trust Him to work everything out for the best and for the good.
Secondly, “He rewards”.  We don’t think too much about the rewards of being a Christian.  What are the benefits.  I once asked one of my wife’s uncles who was in marketing about how to market the church where I was the pastor.  He said that you have to show people the benefits of going to your church.  What are the benefits?  One could say that a benefit of being a Christian is that you get to go to heaven when you die.  That’s an AWESOME benefit!  That’s true hope in Jesus!  Your sins are forgiven and you don’t have to walk around with this shameful feeling of guilt all the time.  That’s a benefit that I don’t think that we think about enough.  Jesus died to take away our sins.  Not just the sins of the past, either.  He died for ALL of our sins.  They are gone and forgotten.  As far as the east is from the west so far has God taken our sins away and removed them from us (Psalm 103:12).  Another benefit is a purposeful and meaningful life.  So many feel hopeless and they feel like their life is devoid of any real meaning or purpose.  God has sent His people on a mission!  Life for a Christian should never be the “same old, same old.”  It’s about having a real purpose and a real mission to share God’s love with everyone we meet.  Imagine looking at your life as having a mission to share God’s love everywhere you go in some tangible way every day.  You’re kind of like a secret agent of God’s love looking for ways to demonstrate His unconditional love for the world to everyone you meet.  That’s purpose!
Finally, the last phrase that strikes me is “earnestly seek”.  Jesus said that if we seek, we shall find.  If we seek after God, I believe that the greatest reward we will discover is that He reveals Himself to us.  He will gladly enter into a loving relationship with us.  If we are truly seeking  a relationship with God, He will reward us with that relationship.  What greater benefit is there than that?  The God of the universe will give you what you earnestly seek!  If you are serious about having a relationship with Him, He will answer your prayers and give you the desire of your heart: Himself.

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