Rewards That Come From Righteous Living

October 8, 2013

Rewards That Come From Righteous Living

Faithful Christians aren’t justified in feeling superior to others.  Neither do they have reason to live with guilt or shame.  They are at peace with God and have no reason to fear that others will have an unfavorable opinion of them.  They should consider themselves fortunate and give God the glory.

From the life of Joseph, in the Bible, we can learn some valuable lessons about the favorable results that come from living a virtuous life.  At times he faced adversity and temptations, but he always pitched his tent in God’s camp.  In the end he won favor with God and man.

In this wicked world we live in the righteous can’t always escape adversity.  At times they are deceived, swindled, and incriminated.  They are often protected by knowledge and seeking the will of God.  Like Joseph, they sometimes suffer at the hands of wicked men

Joseph was thrown into a pit and left to die.  Later he was sold into slavery.  There he was tempted to commit adultery by Potiphar’s wife.  He was then falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison.  Some might ask, “Where was God when all that was happening?”

Those who know the righteous hold them in esteem.  They set them apart from the rest.  They are respected and honored for who they are, and what they do.  That can’t be said of all who know them.  Some are so wicked and poorly educated that they don’t respect the righteous.

The virtuous are also favored in that many around them are quick to come to their defense if they are falsely accused or in some affliction.  Their commendable character draws people to them.  Even some who don’t know them personally will be willing to come to their aid.  Those in their church will testify in their favor.

Let’s suppose that something atrocious   happens.  Take for instance the case of a virtuous missionary who is captured by cannibals.  They have him tied hand and foot.  He watches while they sharpen the knife with which they intend to kill and slaughter him.  Can God deliver him?  Yes he can, but what if he doesn’t?  Was he abandoned by God?  The Apostle Paul gives us the answer to that question in Romans 8:38-39.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,   Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To our way of thinking, it might look like the martyr was abandoned by God.  No, he goes directly to heaven and no doubt there he will be numbered among the most worthy of praise and honor.

We do well to keep in mind the fact that the things that threaten our creature comforts and honor among men are not the greatest dangers.  To be unfaithful to God will leave us with regrets for all eternity.   We will lose eternal rewards.

Many are saved, but they don’t give much indication of it by the way they live.  Instead of choosing God’s way, they most often choose the way of the world.  They let their worldly friends pull them away from church.  What will be their final destiny?  God’s word assures us that those who are truly God’s children will never lose their salvation.  I Corinthians 3:15 says, that some shall be saved “yet so as by fire.” That same chapter tells us that any good they have done will be as wood, hay and stubble.  It will be consumed by fire.  I Corinthians 3:8 says, “every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” We aren’t told what those rewards will be, but no doubt those who receive them will be highly honored.  Daniel 12:3 says that some will shine as stars forever.

We are frequently influenced by those who try to pull us down to their level.  They may criticize us for having such high standards.  If we refuse to let down our standards, in the end  they  will be the losers, and we will be the winners.

Some things that are powerful temptations to people of this world may not tempt you at all.  Never the less, you will still be tempted.  It may be the temptation to seek fame, pleasure or material possessions.     We should thank God for temptations.  They are a means by which we can receive rewards in heaven.

We need to keep our heart with all diligence as it says in Proverbs 4:23.  “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  If we do, we will have power to resist temptations when they come.  Hebrews 10:35-36 exhorts us with these words, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.   For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

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