This is something given in recognition of effort or achievement – it is earned or deserved. Success and rewards are the outcome of faithful effort.
Jesus taught about rewards in the Kingdom of God and the relative merits of present and future recognition, as well as extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. He said there would be a reward for even giving a cup of cold water in His name (Mt 10:42).
There is a payday in heaven!
because of rewards for loyal, faithful service done with a right heart attitude (1 Sam 26:23; Mt 20:1-16, 25:21,23; Lk 23:39-43). “[God will] reward each person according to their conduct, and as their deeds deserve” (Jer 32:19; Mt 16:27; 1 Cor 3:8; 1 Tim 5:18; Rev 22:12).There are always consequences to what we do, logical repercussions of cause and effect. We will reap what we sow, in both quality and quantity. Therefore, generously sow righteousness if you want an abundant good crop (2 Cor 9:6; Gal 6:7-9). God is indebted to no one, He is a generous paymaster (Mal 3:10). While we should not be looking for compensation He will certainly reward those who honour Him giving up what is precious to them, because their love for Him is greater (1 Sam 2:30; Mt 5:12; Lk 17:9,10; Jn 12:26; 1 Cor 15:58; Jas 1:12). If we want the rewards we must also be prepared to sacrifice and suffer with Christ, “If we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him” (2 Tim 2:12). Our service to Him is not for nothing so maintain your confidence in Christ’s love and justice as well as His future promises.
Jesus outline three areas of life (giving, praying and fasting) that will only be rewarded by God if done with a right motive and not ‘publicised’ by calling attention to the fact to receive the praise of man (Mt 5:14-16, 6:1-18). He was pointing to the ultimate in rewards – “I am your very great reward [blessing]” (Gen 15:1). God rewards those who obey His Word and promises; He will be found by those who call, pray and seek Him (Ps 19:8,11; Jer 29:12-14; Mt 7:7-11; Heb 11:6). Mature people can see beyond enticement or compensation to the intrinsic satisfaction of a job well done or an enriching relationship. The ‘crown of righteousness’ is God’s gift or reward for faithful service (2 Tim 4:8).
Scripture specifically mentions rewards for a variety of activities – honouring our parents, obeying His commands, honesty, returning good for evil, being a good mother, denying selfish goals, doing good works and showing love (Ex 20:12; Lev 26:3-13; Deut 25:15; Prov 25:21,22, 31:28; Mt 25:34-40; Heb 6:10). Great is our reward in heaven when we respond in a loving godly manner to those who oppose and hate us because of our Christian witness, as it is for leaving home and family in obedience to His call – it is a ‘crown’ that lasts forever (Lk 6:22,23,35; Mk 10:29,30; 1 Cor 9:25). Being martyred for Christ results in a victor’s crown (Rev 2:10).
In the natural realm, any major undertaking requires numerous individuals each with their own area of expertise to contribute to the overall success and, provided each person fulfills their part, they should be reimbursed equally (1 Sam 30:24). A wise leader recognises and rewards good efforts, appreciating those who have performed well, for even a spoken ‘well done’ encourages the person who receives it so “Keep up the good works, for you will be rewarded” (2 Chr 15:7). While we are to honour and work diligently for our earthly boss, our motivation should be to do it for the Lord with our eyes on the eternal rewards, not the vanity and short-lived earthly rewards (Mt 6:19-21; Col 3:23,24).
In the midst of trials try to focus on the end result, the future reward, the blessing that will come through responding to the testing correctly as Jesus did (Rom 8:18; 2 Cor 4:17; Heb 10:35,36, 12:2; 1 Pet 1:6,7). Challenges and testing times of life are unavoidable; with a strong faith in God and a right attitude allow them to accomplish something of eternal significance in your character and for His glory.
The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness, faithfulness, living by His Word and outworking the principles of His Kingdom. Will I receive a “Well done good and faithful servant” commendation from the Lord? (1 Sam 26:23; Ps 18:20,24, 19:11; Isa 40:10; Mt 25:21,23; Lk 6:35).