Children aren't the only ones who like to get rewards. Our Creator knows that adults are also motivated by incentives. His Word makes exciting promises for those who walk in His way.
Some of these benefits are available here on earth--like fulfillment, joy, and good favor--and other blessings will be bestowed in heaven. As believers, we need never fear the judgment (Rom. 8:1); we are clothed in righteousness through the blood of Jesus and will not face divine wrath. But the Lord will weigh the substance of our works and decide upon the reward we deserve.
To help us understand this, Scripture describes four crowns. The first, which is called incorruptible, is given to those whose great desire is to walk obediently before God. Through struggles and even failures, they continue to die to the flesh and follow the Spirit. Second, the crown of life is granted to believers who stand firm, enduring trials without giving up or losing heart. Third, the crown of righteousness is bestowed upon those who long for Christ's appearing and walk godly lives through Him. Fourth, God will give the crown of glory to those who share His Word with others. And as the Bible tells us, we will be awed by Jesus' glory and honored just to lay our crowns at His feet.
The supreme reward is for us to manifest God's glory throughout eternity. We will experience ultimate joy in His presence forever, but we don't have to wait: we can invest today by serving Him obediently and humbly. Done with the right motive, service blesses us now and in our life to come.
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