Improving Your Serve Lesson 16 First Corinthians 3:10-14; Eph 6:7-8

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1 Improving Your Serve Lesson 16 First Corinthians 3:10-14; Eph 6:7-8 The Rewards of Serving Our study of Chuck Swindoll s book, Improving Your Serve, taught us that serving has its own set of guiding principles. Principles that start with transparency, humility, and honesty which take us down the road of giving and forgiving while teaching us how to think. Principles that show us our true nature, giving us spiritual influence, keeping us through danger and demanding obedience. Finally, these principles identify some undeserved and sometimes unexpected consequences. Improving our serve uncovers the true Art of Unselfish Living as indicated in the book s subtitle. The study of improving our serve has been an adventure in breaking through the surface of our otherwise self-righteous attitudes, and teaching us that serving others is our life long spiritual journey, not a destination; it is somewhere we are going not a place we have just come to occupy. This lesson concludes our study of the book Improving Your Serve and it challenges us in this life long journey to keep our eye on the prize of the servants call inherent in our surrender to Jesus knowing that our labor in the Lord will never be in vain. In this last chapter, Swindoll declares that serving, even with its many challenges, has even greater rewards for the faithful servant. He reminds us that the rewards of serving far outweigh the consequences we might encounter. Swindoll suggests that as we think about the rewards and the thought of hearing our Savior say well done, it motivates us to keep going through the thankless days and long difficult nights of serving when no one seems to notice us. One of the great satisfactions in serving is demonstrated by the entertainment industry when they recognize individuals for a job well done. This industry presents Oscars at the Academy Awards, Grammys at the Music Awards, and Emmys for Television Excellence. Many of us will receive recognition and rewards from our secular professions, our communities, our Nation, and even our churches for excellence and faithful service. However, the Bible teaches that God also will recognize and reward our faithful service unto Him.

2 I. What the Bible says about Salvation and Rewards The Scriptures clearly teach that God will give eternal rewards to His people for faithful service. However, as believers we must never confuse God s meritorious service awards with His free gift of salvation. Salvation (eternal life) is the free gift God gives, through Jesus Christ, to all who simply believe and receive the gift. Salvation and rewards are different and we must distinguish them as such. 1. What scripture says about Salvation. Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish John 3:16 Eternal life is the gift of God Rom 6:23 By Grace are Ye Saved Eph 2:8-9 Salvation is always a present possession Luke 23:43 2. What scripture says about Rewards. Some rewards are revealed in Heaven 1Cor 3:13-14 Rewards are earned base on faithfulness 1Cor 3:13b No act of service will be forgotten 1Cor 3: 14 II. God s Promises to His Servants Now that we have made the distinction between salvation and rewards, let look at God s promises to faithful servants. The book states that the Bible contains over 7,000 promises from God, promises of success, assurance, wellbeing, prosperity, strength, wisdom and so much more. Swindoll claims that some of these promises are available to God s servants today. That is the good news of serving. As servants, we have an anchor that we can hold onto when the serving gets tough. When we learn faithfully to hold on to the promises of God, it strengthens our resolve to keep on serving in the battles of life. We are encouraged to see God s promises from the two perspectives described below. 2

3 1. God Faithfulness In Deuteronomy 7:9 Moses tells us of that God is always faithfulness that He keeps His promises both now and to a thousand generations to come of those who love him and keep his commandments. These are just a few of the promises that assure us of God s faithfulness. God will not forsake us Isa 41:10; Isa 49:14-16 God will strengthen us 2Cor 4:16-18 God will supply our needs Phil 4:19 God will encourage us Heb 6:10-12 God has a future planned for us Rev 21:1-4; Rev 22: Our Faithfulness Our service to God is not wasted 1Cor 15:58 Our service to the Lord will be returned Gal 6:9-10 Our service for the kingdom will be rewarded Eph 6:7-8 III. God s Reward Systems While, our love for God and our gratitude to Jesus for saving us should be our primary reasons for serving. The Bible makes it clear that God has a reward system for those us faithfully service. Paul in Hebrews 11:6 says that God Is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. While God Himself is our ultimate rewards, Swindoll points out that God s reward system offers both rewards for our faithfulness in this life and in the life to come. 1. Rewards in this life. In this life, all believers will receive the life of Christ through transformation and the presence of the Holy Spirit alive in us, and we will be given the opportunity to live out that life through these mortal body. We model Christ to others 2Cor 4:10-11 We inspire others to glorify God 2Cor 4:15) 3

4 We represent the presence of Christ in the earth Gal 2:20 We make Christ known to the world Col 1:27 We sacrifice to service Christ Mark 10: Rewards in the life to come. In the life-to-come, we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of how we lived-out His lives on earth. Paul said in 2Cor 5:10, That every one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad. He goes on to say in 1Cor 3:10-15, that every believers works done in the body will be put through the judgment fire and any works that maintain their eternal value will receive a reward. Prophet s Reward Mark 10:41-42 Works Reward Rev 22:12 The Imperishable Crown 1Cor 9:24-27 These rewards will also include the crowns given to those who love God and devote themselves to Him in every area of their lives. The Incorruptible Crown 1Cor 9:24-27 This crown is for those who lived a disciplined Christian life. The Crown of Rejoicing 1Thess 2:17-20 This crown is for those who led other people to Jesus. (The soul winners Crown.) The Crown of Righteousness 2Tim 4:6-9) This crown is for those who lived with determined faith, anticipating Christ is coming. The Crown of Life James 1:12-14 This crown is for those who suffered for Christ during their earthly life. The Crown of Glory 1Pet 5:1-4 This crown is for those who faithfully minister the word. (The Pastor s Crown.) 4

5 IV. Encouragement to Servants This last chapter has touched on many eternal truths for us to absorb. As we conclude this study on rewards, the one thing that all of us can rejoice about is that God rewards faithfulness, and salvation and eternal life are the free gifts of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, no one can boast as we approach God through Jesus. Swindoll closes his book with three thoughts that will help us put all we have learned in proper perspective. No matter how small or large, God remembers our acts of service to Him. He knows the heart and motive behind the action, so take special note of every task. As we service one another, we demonstrate the life of Christ and stimulate thankfulness toward God. 5

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