The Jesus Awards Ceremony
And 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.
Hebrews 11:6, ESV
Did you know that in Heaven there will be a special awards ceremony? As a Christian, this ought to motivate us not to seek earthy awards but Heavenly ones.
What’s tough, is that in our world we give incredible recognition to the celebrities, but don’t really pay much attention to honorable working citizens, like police officers, firefighters, first responders, or teachers, parents, or pastors. But celebrities, well they are special! I mean we have all sorts of awards and ceremonies for the celebrities but there are no award ceremonies for the people who matter the most. I mean think about Hollywood. It’s the one place on the planet you will find the prettiest people in the world, yet you look closer and you see they have the ugliest lives. Their lives are often stained with scandals, abuse and adultery, licentious living and lying, prescription addictions, and alcoholism abuse. And what’s shocking, It seems like every time we turn on the TV we are celebrating these people? We all watch the award ceremonies for them. The movie stars, the musicians, and the producers. I mean, how does Hollywood get anything done? Note what one author said about this…
“We are awash in the Academy Awards, the Oscars, The Emmy’s, The Producers Guild Award, The Screen Actors Guild Award, The Grammy’s, The Academy of Country Music Awards, The Tony Awards, The Peabody Awards, The Day Time Emmy Awards, The BET Awards, The MTV Video Music Awards, The Golden Globes, The E-peoples choice Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, The Critics Choice Awards and a host of others! These awards aren’t worth as much as you think. Suppose you win an Oscar, for example, While it may boost your career, the actual value of the statue isn’t going to fund your retirement. Since 1951 every Oscar recipient has signed an agreement giving the Academy the first right of refusal should the actor decide to sell the statue. If you or your heirs want to sell your award, you will get a call from lawyers representing the Academy informing you that by law they have first dibs on it and the price they pay is a whopping one dollar!”
- Dr. David Jeremiah, The Book of Signs
As believers, we need to realize that all the awards, prizes, certificates, and honors we could receive aren’t really worth that much either. Not from an eternal perspective. While we ought to be grateful to be recognized for whatever we’ve accomplished and honored those who deserve the honor. Our chief concern shouldn’t be seeking earthly awards but eternal ones. It’s not the approval of man we need, it’s the approval of God we need to be looking for! (Colossians 3:23)
Some may be concerned about this idea of seeking reward? Thinking that one's motivation for Christian living ought to be driven by a simple devotion to serve God and do good to others. While this is true, it’s sort of what the Bible teaches. The Bible repeatedly teaches us to look forward, to live with an expectation of a future reward for a life well-lived. Take note of the following passages throughout the Bible. While the list is not comprehensive it ought to be compelling evidence to believe it’s important for the believer to live with an expectation of rewards in Heaven.
- Genesis 15:1 - After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
- Proverbs 11:18 - The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
- Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the LORD and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
- Matthew 6:3 - But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
- Matthew 16:27 - For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done
- Revelation 22:12–13 - Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
God’s goal for this future Awards Ceremony is to motivate the Christian. It’s to help us to live here and now with a Christ-centered ambition. Not a self-centered ambition. It is meant to inspire us. It is meant to motivate us. God wants us to keep looking to Him for approval, not to man. God knows so much of our acts on earth are going unnoticed and he promises to do something about it. He not only is willing to acknowledge these unseen acts of service, but he’s planning to hold an Awards Ceremony for us! That’s amazing! Tomorrow we will look at one of the five crowns that Jesus himself promises to give in heaven for sharing one's faith.
If others were to comment about your ambition in life. Would it be described as a Christ-centered ambition or self-centered ambition? Explain.
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