This morning the readings are difficult for us because we are very British. We are a self-depreciating bunch and appear to find it difficult to accept praise and compliments very easily.
So this morning when we read the words of Jesus that we will be rewarded for the good things we have done in our lives I wonder how you feel about that?
It’s not something we in this culture major on in our communication of the message of Jesus. I imagine most people in our country would say they hear more about judgement than reward from the Church.
But Jesus talked a great deal about rewards and being rewarded. St Paul also reminds the Church again and again of the rewards and prize that will be given to those who run the race well. So we should not move on to quickly from focusing on this fact. Because it is a great source of hope and comfort and encouragement for us isn’t it?
The things you are going through .. the trials you face .. the struggles you encounter … the frustrations you have to manage when you work out your faith in this world .. all this has a purpose and a meaning .. it will bring you a reward. An eternal reward. A reward from God.
Let’s not loose this great source of joy and encouragement in life because of a false sense of modesty or self- effacement. It is part of our faith as much as any message of judgement.
Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven. Build a house that has eternal worth. Your Father who sees in secret all you have done will reward you. Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great.
This morning let us believe and trust that our journey through life is not meaningless. It is not all about sacrifice and struggle without reward. Let us pass this message on to others. God knows they need to hear it. Do the right thing and it will not go unnoticed. Give things up now and it will be the right decision for you will receive it back a hundredfold
Jesus says everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.
Ours is not forever a foolish message. Ours is a message of hope and joy and praise because we trust that all things work together for good. Let us encourage one another this morning that there is a prize for running the race we have chosen. There is a purchase that comes from the cost. There is a victory in every fight we face. There is a reward for the service we give to God. What service are you prepared to give then in light of the promise of eternal treasures?
It is the question Jesus asked His disciples and which he asks us this morning. Come follow me … will we follow as they did counting the cost but also receiving the reward.