Jesus, Our Reward

Ephesians 6:8

“knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.”

Eliza Hewitt probably won’t be remembered in the history books. No movie will be written about her, or any plays or songs. Born in 1851 in Philadelphia, she grew up in the local school system, became valedictorian of her school, and ended up teaching in the same school system in which she was educated.

But her career came to an abrupt halt. A reckless student in the school struck her with a piece of slate, causing a painful spiral problem that left her a bedridden invalid. If there ever were a cocktail for bitterness, it would be the end of a promising career, a painful injury, and a bedridden lifestyle. But instead, she sang and wrote, cultivating a dynamic relationship with Jesus. One of the songs that she wrote during this time is still sung in traditional churches all over the world. The song has been covered by Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Pat Boone, and Crystal Lewis. And I would be hard pressed to say that the songs isn’t being sung at some church each week.

When We All Get To Heaven

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus
Sing His mercy and His grace
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place

When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory

Let us then be true and faithful
Trusting, serving every day
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay

Onward to the prize before us
Soon His beauty we’ll behold
Soon the pearly gates will open
We shall tread the streets of gold

Eliza Hewitt, in penning these hopeful words of heavenly expectation of reward, affirms the words of Paul in Ephesians 6:8: Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.

Paul writes these words to the slaves in their daily drudgery existence. Harsh treatment, malnourishment, feeling purposeless, Paul calls on serving as unto the Lord, and expectation of future reward. Serving is hard. I’ll throw you one better: Life is hard. We toil, we sweat, we work, and at times we struggle seeing the fruit of our labor. We hear words like Eliza Hewitt writes: “Let us then be true and faithful, trusting, serving every day; Just one glimpse of Him in glory, will the toil of life repay,” and it falls on deaf ears.

We are not made for this life. We are made for eternity. We struggle in this life, giving God glory along the way, living a life pleasing to Him, until our faith becomes sight. Jesus is our reward, our most valued possession. More precious than gold and silver, is Jesus. More precious than the raise, the bigger house, your spouse and children, your car, your physical appearance, is Jesus and your relationship to Him. God can repay our work tenfold in this life with provision, with money, with happiness, if He wants to. But He rewards us with something better – Himself.

Don’t think I’m just referring to heaven. I’m not saying to work hard and wait until you see Jesus, although that enough would be great motivation. Your faithfulness to following Jesus, and obeying Him in this life is rewarded as well – with intimacy with your Savior. One thing that you will carry from this life to the next is your relationship with Jesus.

We have the privilege of walking with Jesus day by day, experiencing a dynamic relationship with Jesus. He rewards us ultimately with our greatest, most sweet satisfaction – Himself. I don’t mean just set time where you pray, read, and sing, before you go to bed or when you wake up. I mean walking day by day, minute by minute, cultivating a relationship with Jesus, praying without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances, being sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, meditating on His word, saying “no” to sin and “yes” to righteousness, singing aloud and in your heart to Him, having every thought, action, and word declare His glory.

We are rewarded with greater intimacy with Jesus as we walk this walk of faith. We are rewarded with intimacy with the Prince of Peace in the midst of turmoil, the Bright and Morning Star in the middle of darkness, the Cornerstone while around the sinking sand of worldviews and philosophies, the Deliverer while surrounded by bondage, the Everlasting Father in a city of fatherlessness, the Resurrection and the Life in a world of death and decay, the Healer for a life of pain, and the Bread of Life in a world longing for satisfaction.

Serve until your feet get tired; work until your hands give out. You are ultimately serving your Savior who will reward you in this life and the next with the opportunity to experience Him daily and for eternity for our utmost good and His greatest glory.