God Rewards the Faithful

John 7:16-18 WEB

Jesus therefore answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. [17] If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself. [18] He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.


These verses help us accurately discern the motives of Christian teachers. In the above verse, Jesus said to see who is being glorified. He taught if the glory falls on the teacher, what they are saying is not from God. However, if the glory goes to God, the teacher is trustworthy.  

It is dangerous to take God’s glory. Those who take God’s glory are in imminent danger of the Lord breaking out against them (Isa 10:15, Acts 12:21-23). God jealously guards his glory. Furthermore, God clothes who he wants with his glory, for his own purposes (Isa 48:11). Not that it is some sort of lottery (Heb 11:6). If we want to be chosen for God’s glory, we must bear God’s shame (Mat 16:24-25). Any one of us can pick up our cross and carry it with joy (1 Pet 2:20-21). To rejoice in shame and suffering is a holy thing (Rom 5:2-3). It’s the type of faith that God wants to plant in the hearts of others (Isa 61).

God wants to glorify people who willingly serve without glory (1 Cor 15:43). There are stories in the Old Testament that show people chosen for service in a seemingly random manner (Jud 4:4, 6:14, 13:25,). Take Moses for example, his family showed faith when they saved Moses (Exo 2:1-3). Then, Moses showed great faith when God spoke to him (Exo 3:4). Through faith, Moses’ family won the Levites an inheritance guarding the Lord’s glory (Exo 28:1-3). We can clearly see by the example of Moses and his family, God rewards the faithful (Psa 27:13).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for talking so much about what I have done and so little about what you have done. Teach me to honor you and give you all the glory. Humble my heart, Lord, that I will joyfully carry my cross. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saving Some

John 4:36-38 WEB

He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. [37] For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ [38] I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”


Jesus is telling his disciples they are about to reap a harvest that another planted. Jesus and the disciples are waiting for the Samaritan woman and her countrymen to return. While they are waiting Jesus lets the disciples know what is about to happen (Jeremiah 33:3). In the preceding verses, we get the idea that the disciples do not like what Jesus is doing (John 4:27). The disciples’ prejudice towards Samaritans would have caused them to walk through the area without stopping. That same prejudice has their minds dulled but Jesus tells them plainly what is about to happen (John 4:33). Namely, the disciples’ are about to reap a harvest of souls that they did not sow (John 4:39-42).  

This passage brings so much hope to those who labor to see the lost won for Jesus. It does not matter if we are planting, watering, or reaping. We all share the joy with Jesus when a lost soul is saved from damnation (Romans 2:7, Proverbs 11:23-25). For this reason, we must both wait and labor with patience. How we wait matters. We should be in a posture of readiness as we wait (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Thus, we present ourselves ready to labor in every situation so that some may be saved. That interaction with the sales clerk matters. That interaction with the postal worker matters. That interaction with the person who cut you off in traffic matters.

It matters that we do not uproot the work in the lives of people that others have planted and watered. It is important that we recognize God desires all people to be saved (John 3:16). So, how we treat all people matters. Holiness matters. We should be putting our best selves out for all people, not just those who can do something for us. Our most significant contributions may be bringing smiles to those that serve us out in the marketplace. You are meant to be sharing Christ, so it seems reasonable that many of the people you interact with recognize you are a Christian (Matthew 6:20-21).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not recognizing the immeasurable worth of the people around me both at home and in the marketplace. Please help me represent you well and have a word of salvation for all people. Please help me not uproot what others have planted and watered. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Suffering with Benefits

John 3:22-24 WEB

After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. [23] John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. [24] For John was not yet thrown into prison.   

John was not yet thrown into prison and Jesus was not yet crucified. So, they baptized. They served the Father’s will with humility and truth such that they both died horrific deaths. John was beheaded at the request of the daughter of an evil queen (Matthew 14:8-12 WEB). Jesus was crucified at the hands of the Roman government, at the request of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (John 19:15-18 WEB). Do you regularly see baptisms at your church? Do you ever see baptisms at your church? If people are regularly being saved and baptized, you probably have leadership that has experienced difficulties and has chosen not to draw back from obeying the Lord. On the other hand, if you have a group of leaders that is regularly bringing a message of wealth, health, and joy without the balancing message of suffering and pain in obedience, something is wrong. This group may have salvations, but the saved will probably fall away when the Father begins to discipline the new believer. Discipline will always come (Hebrews 12:7). The Father has an interest in growing people from the new birth in Christ to mature Christian walking and living the Christian life. The Father will convict of sin and will bring challenges to provoke change. He knows how to bend a twig. However, when a church only preaches the benefits of the kingdom and neglects to preach the obligations of the kingdom you will not see lasting fruit.  Attrition will be high. Being in obedience to the Father will bring great joy, with tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:6 WEB.)

Lord Jesus, I want to follow your example. Please help me to be bold and willing to suffer when necessary for the gospel. Let my life bring lasting fruit. Help me to be bold unto suffering while I rejoice in all the goodness that comes from walking with you. Please make me a holy vessel. In Jesus’ name, amen.