Not Applauded Yet Rewarded
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Hebrews 11:6, Hebrews 11:23–11:31, 2 Corinthians 5:7, 1 John 2:15–2:17, 1 John 3:2–3:3
Not Applauded Yet Rewarde
A four-week series about persevering with faith through tough times with life lessons from Hebrews 11.
Motivated by Rewards
Just like human parents, the Creator God Himself isn’t beneath using rewards as an incentive to motivate us to do His will. While this notion might sound demeaning to the God who on His own is worthy of worship, the Bible doesn’t shy away from also portraying this same God as One who blesses our obedience.
Hebrews 11:6 NIV
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
(1) "Not Seeing Yet Believing"
Just because you can’t something doesn’t mean it’s not real. Faith knows that there’s more to life than meets the eye and that the invisible is often more real than the visible.
(2) "Not Knowing Yet Trusting"
The life of Abraham shows us that you don’t need to know everything before you trust God with something. Faith means taking the next step without always knowing the four or five steps after that. It's taking a leap of faith into an unknown future, breaking every control freak instinct we have and forcing us to rely solely on God.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
Hebrews 11:23-31 NIV
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
(3) "Not Applauded Yet Rewarded"
This world and the people around you are not going to pat you on the back every single time you make a choice of faith in the One True God, because the life of faith is neither a life of universal affirmation nor is it a life of instant gratification. Yet if you can keep hanging on to your faith in God, it will one day be rewarded.
Hebrews 11:24-25 NIV
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
The Power of Choice
While none of us will ever live in a palace like Moses did growing up, we do share something in common with him: The power of choice. Every choice we make shapes both “who we’re becoming” and “where we’re heading.”
Moses chose mistreatment instead of enjoyment, which sounds crazy on the surface until you see the enjoyment for what it really is—“the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
1 John 2:15-17 NIV
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Hebrews 11:26 NIV
26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
The Greater Reward of Faith
Why did Moses turn his back on the treasures of Egypt and choose disgrace instead? Moses is just like the rest of us—he chose what was most valuable and what would eventually be the most beneficial to him in the long-run in light of eternity. The treasures of greatest value weren’t found in Egypt nor are they found in America today either. No, the treasures of greatest value lie in heaven and in God Himself.
1 John 3:2-3 NIV
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
The Example of Jesus
Jesus, when tempted in the wilderness by Satan himself, was not just offered the treasures of Egypt, He was offered all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. Even still, we see Jesus living by faith, both in His refusing and choosing, because He kept His eyes on the reward of greatest value.
Faith is not just having a stronger “no,” we also need a better “yes.”
Keep chasing the greater reward of heaven & the glory of God.
This is where many Christians get it wrong. They keep trying to resist temptation simply by saying "no" over and over again. While the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to refuse what is harmful, He also gives us the power to choose what is hopeful.
So a big part of growing our faith is to keep chasing the greater reward of heaven and the glory of our God. That’s why church matters. That’s why worship matters. That’s why encouraging friends matter. If you find yourself going through a hard stretch and you feel like your faith is faltering, don’t back away from church. Instead, double down on those people, experiences, and environments that are going to remind your heart of the treasures that matter most.
God never told us that following Jesus was gonna to be easy, but by faith, we can be confident that it’s going to be worth it.
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