God Will Judge Our Deeds
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Not only does God see everything we do, but he knows our every thought. Moreover, he keeps records: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Revelation 20:12). We’ll be judged and rewarded accordingly. Scary?
Look up reward in the Bible. Blue Letter Bible says it occurs 54 times in 53 verses in the NIV. Yet I can’t remember ever hearing a sermon on “rewards”— “judgment,” yes, but not rewards. Recently when I attended a conference workshop on not being afraid of Judgment Day, I was amazed at how much the Bible has to say about rewards.
I love reading the Hebrews 11 Hall of Heroes which says “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” (Hebrews 11:6). The list includes people whose lives weren’t always exemplary, and whose faith wasn’t perfect. Yet God only mentions the good things they did: Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and others.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. . . longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (from Hebrews 11:13-16).
Note, our reward doesn’t usually come here on earth. In fact, we may be rewarded here with ridicule or worse (like Abel in Genesis 4:4-8). We won’t always know the result of our actions.
Hebrews 11 lists only a shining moment or two of faith in each life. Instead of looking at the failures and bad attitudes in our own lives, we should look for the shining moments of faith. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
What deeds is God recording in the book about your life?
Read Hebrews 11:1-40. You don’t have to be perfect to make it into God’s “Hall of Faith.” Note the variety of people and the deeds done. Where would you fit into this list? What would God say about your reward?
In Matthew 5:11-12, who is being rewarded? Can you identify with these people based on something from your own life?
For more on rewards, read Will We Receive Crowns in Heaven?
Nancy J. Baker
This devotion is part of our series on Heaven.