As most of you know, I grew up in a Catholic country.
You may also be aware that one of the main doctrines of the Catholic Church is that one needs good works to be accepted by God.
At the same time, my family was Baptist, so I learned that we become acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, when we accept His redeeming death and resurrection. Not by works. Not with any personal merit.
Conclusion: we don’t need to do good works, right? Wrong.
The difference is that we don’t do good works to be accepted by God, we do good works because we were accepted by God, and now we want to leave a life of obedience that pleases Him.
Isn’t that a natural sequence? We were destined to eternal separation from God, but He came and purchased us back. We are grateful, and we love Him for that. We accept Him as our Lord and Savior, not just the later.
Now, the Bible does promise rewards associated with the way we live our life here on earth. In many passages it is called a crown.
It is nice to know that God is planning to reward us, but I want to watch myself that the reward doesn’t become my main motivator.
Understanding who God is, and what He has done for us should be enough motivation to pursue a life of righteousness.
I loved what I heard from Pastor David Jeremiah on Moody Radio sometime ago:
“When I get to Heaven, and I am in line waiting to meet my Savior, I don’t want to be empty handed. I want to have a nice crown, not for my honor, but to place it at His feet, for His glory.”
Can you imagine that moment when you will meet Him?
Don’t you get cold chills just thinking about it?
To Him be all the glory!