Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
If you had asked me right now, on a scale of 1-10 how excited am I about heaven? My answers would make myself sad. But studies have shown that 95% of American Christians would choose not to leave their families today if they were given the chance to join Jesus in heaven. Why is that? Is it because we want to watch our kids grow up? Is it because our marriage is just starting? Is it because we want more time on this earth with our aging parents? Is it because we simply haven’t had enough yet?
In Francis Chan’s book about marriage and relationships, “You and Me Forever”, he talks about how God has blessed us with rewards for any sacrifices we make lovingly for His kingdom. Jesus tells us to store our treasures in heaven. God guarantees these rewards, and He loves it when we pursue them. At first this seemed very counter-intuitive to me. Why is the Bible telling me that we are earning rewards by serving God, as if that is our sole purpose for serving and loving Him? But then Francis teaches that these heavenly blessings actually keep us from becoming self-righteous. It takes the attention off our sacrifice and puts it instead on God’s generosity. In other words, God wants us to marvel at His promise and His immeasurable riches!
So how can we live with a more heavenly perspective and pursue God’s rewards? I came up with two changes in my life that could help me. First of all, I don’t have a disciplined prayer life with Christ. In order to build it up, I can make it a point to pray about my desire for heaven and for God to give me an eternal perspective. Secondly, I can also make it a goal every week to give up some of my time, which is one of my most prized possessions, to serve someone else around me. I know it sounds very insignificant, but by just doing one act of sacrificial service each week, I can remind myself how Christ has given up His most prized possession for me.
How are you pursuing Christ’s rewards in heaven? Please do share your tips and life experiences!