Chapter 27—Reward of Service
It is not a vain thing to serve God. There is a priceless reward for those who devote their life to His service.—Testimonies for the Church 4:107.Every sacrifice that is made in His ministry will be recompensed according to “the exceeding riches of His grace.”—The Desire of Ages, 249.Our reward for working with Christ in this world is the greater power and wider privilege of working with Him in the world to come.—Christ's Object Lessons, 361.
Basis of Valuation
The value of service to God is measured by the spirit in which it is rendered, rather than by the length of time spent in labor.—Testimonies for the Church 9:74.Their success in advancement in the divine life depends upon the improvement of the talents lent them. Their future reward will be proportioned to the integrity and earnestness with which they serve the Master.—The Review and Herald, March 1, 1887.The Lord has a great work to be done, and He will bequeath the most in the future life to those who do the most faithful, willing service in the present life.—Christ's Object Lessons, 330.Those who came into the vineyard at the eleventh hour were thankful for an opportunity to work. Their hearts were full of gratitude to the one who had accepted them; and when at the close of the day the householder paid them for a full day's work, they were greatly surprised. They knew they had not earned such wages. And the kindness expressed in the countenance of their employer filled them with joy. They never forgot the goodness of the householder, or the generous compensation they had received.Thus it is with the sinner, who, knowing his unworthiness, has entered the Master's vineyard at the eleventh hour. His time of service seems so short, he feels that he is undeserving of reward; but he is filled with joy that God has accepted him at all. He works with a humble, trusting spirit, thankful for the privilege of being a coworker with Christ. This spirit God delights to honor.—Christ's Object Lessons, 397, 398.
He who has appointed “to every man his work,” according to his ability, will never let the faithful performance of duty go unrewarded. Every act of loyalty and faith will be crowned with special tokens of God's favor and approbation. To every worker is given the promise, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:395.However short our service or humble our work, if in simple faith we follow Christ, we shall not be disappointed of the reward. That which even the greatest and wisest cannot earn, the weakest and most humble may receive. Heaven's golden gate opens not to the self-exalted. It is not lifted up to the proud in spirit. But the everlasting portals will open wide to the trembling touch of a little child. Blessed will be the recompense of grace to those who have wrought for God in the simplicity of faith and love.—Christ's Object Lessons, 404.The brows of those who do this work will wear the crown of sacrifice. But they will receive their reward.—Testimonies for the Church 6:348.To every worker for God this thought should be a stimulus and an encouragement. In this life our work for God often seems to be almost fruitless. Our efforts to do good may be earnest and persevering, yet we may not be permitted to witness their results. To us the effort may seem to be lost. But the Saviour assures us that our work is noted in heaven, and that the recompense cannot fail.—Testimonies for the Church 6:305.Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes music in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds and numbers the performer of them with His most precious treasures. “And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, when I make up My jewels.” Every merciful act to the needy or the suffering is as though done to Jesus. Whoever succors the poor, or sympathizes with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriends the orphan, brings himself into a more close relationship to Jesus.—The Review and Herald, August 16, 1881.Christ regards all acts of mercy, benevolence, and thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan, as done to Himself; and these works are preserved in the heavenly records, and will be rewarded.—Testimonies for the Church 3:512, 513.
A Just Reward
The Lord is good. He is merciful and tender-hearted. He is acquainted with every one of His children. He knows just what each one of us is doing. He knows just how much credit to give to each one. Will you not lay down your credit list and your condemnation list, and leave God to do His own work? You will be given the crown of glory if you will attend to the work that God has given you.—The Southern Watchman, May 14, 1903 (The General Conference Bulletin, April 14, 1903).The Lord desires us to rest in Him without a question as to our measure of reward. When Christ abides in the soul, the thought of reward is not uppermost. This is not the motive that actuates our service.—Christ's Object Lessons, 398.From garrets, from hovels, from dungeons, from scaffolds, from mountains and deserts, from the caves of the earth and the caverns of the sea, Christ will gather His children to Himself. On earth they have been destitute, afflicted, and tormented. Millions have gone down to the grave loaded with infamy because they refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By human tribunals the children of God have been adjudged the vilest criminals. But the day is near when “God is judge Himself.” Then the decisions of earth shall be reversed. “The rebuke of His people shall He take away.” White robes will be given to every one of them. And “they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord.”—Christ's Object Lessons, 179, 180.
Happiness—Those who give their lives to Christlike ministry know the meaning of true happiness. Their interests and their prayers reach far beyond self. They themselves are growing as they try to help others. They become familiar with the largest plans, the most stirring enterprises, and how can they but grow when they place themselves in the divine channel of light and blessing? Such ones receive wisdom from heaven. They become more and more identified with Christ in all His plans. There is no opportunity for spiritual stagnation.—Testimonies for the Church 9:42.The church that engages successfully in this work, is a happy church. That man or that woman whose soul is drawn out in compassion and love for the erring, and who labors to bring them to the fold of the great Shepherd, is engaged in a blessed work. And, oh, what a soul-enrapturing thought, that when one sinner is thus reclaimed, there is more joy in heaven than over ninety and nine just persons!—Testimonies for the Church 2:22.Nothing is drudgery to the one who submits to the will of God. “Doing it unto the Lord” is a thought that throws a charm over whatever work God gives him to do.—Testimonies for the Church 9:150.The Christian laborer knows no drudgery in his heaven-appointed work. He enters into the joy of His Lord in seeing souls emancipated from the slavery of sin; and this joy repays him for every self-denial.—The Southern Watchman, April 2, 1903.To become a toiler, to continue patiently in well-doing which calls for self-denying labor, is a glorious work, which Heaven smiles upon.—Testimonies for the Church 2:24.Christ delights to take apparently hopeless material, those whom Satan has debased and through whom he has worked and make them the subjects of His grace.... He makes His children His agents in the accomplishment of his work, and in its success, even in this life, they find a precious reward.—Testimonies for the Church 6:308, 309.Blessing—Every effort made for Christ will react in blessing upon ourselves.—Christ's Object Lessons, 354.Every duty performed, every sacrifice made in the name of Jesus, brings an exceeding great reward. In the very act of duty, God speaks, and gives His blessing.—Testimonies for the Church 4:145.We should live in this world to win souls to the Saviour. If we injure others, we injure ourselves also. If we bless others, we also bless ourselves; for the influence of every good deed is reflected upon our own hearts.—Testimonies for the Church 4:72.Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings, given or done with an eye to God's glory, will result in blessings to the giver. Those who are thus working are obeying a law of heaven, and will receive the approval of God.—Testimonies for the Church 4:56.While the great final reward is given at Christ's coming, true-hearted service for God brings a reward, even in this life. Obstacles, opposition, and bitter, heartbreaking discouragements, the worker will have to meet. He may not see the fruit of his toil. But in face of all this he finds in his labor a blessed recompense. All who surrender themselves to God in unselfish service for humanity are in cooperation with the Lord of glory. This thought sweetens all toil, it braces the will, it nerves the spirit for whatever may befall.—Testimonies for the Church 6:305, 306.Health—Doing good is an excellent remedy for disease. Those who engage in the work are invited to call upon God, and He has pledged Himself to answer them. Their soul shall be satisfied in drouth, and they shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not.—Testimonies for the Church 2:29.In fellowship with God, with Christ, and with holy angels, they are surrounded with a heavenly atmosphere, an atmosphere that brings health to the body, vigor to the intellect, and joy to the soul.—Testimonies for the Church 6:306.The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.—Testimonies for the Church 4:56.Strength—Let a strong man be shut away from labor, and he becomes feeble. That church or those persons who shut themselves away from bearing burdens for others, who shut themselves up to themselves, will soon suffer spiritual feebleness. It is labor that keeps the strong man strong. And spiritual labor, toil, and burden-bearing, is what will give strength to the church of Christ.—Testimonies for the Church 2:22.Peace—In doing for others, a sweet satisfaction will be experienced, an inward peace which will be a sufficient reward. When actuated by a high and noble desire to do others good, they will find true happiness in a faithful discharge of life's manifold duties. This will bring more than an earthly reward; for every faithful, unselfish performance of duty is noticed by the angels, and shines in the life record.—Testimonies for the Church 2:132.
Eternal Life—By earnest, thoughtful efforts to help where help is needed, the true Christian shows his love for God and for his fellow beings. He may lose his life in service; but when Christ comes to gather His jewels to Himself, he will find it again.—Testimonies for the Church 9:56.A Gracious Welcome Home—Stand on the threshold of eternity, and hear the gracious welcome given to those who in this life have co-operated with Christ, regarding it as a privilege and an honor to suffer for His sake.... There the redeemed ones greet those who directed them to the uplifted Saviour. They unite in praising Him who died that human beings might have the life that measures with the life of God. The conflict is over. All tribulation and strife are at an end. Songs of victory fill all heaven, as the redeemed stand around the throne of God. All take up the joyful strain, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain,” and hath redeemed us to God.—The Ministry of Healing, 506, 507.If the record shows that this has been their life, that their characters have been marked with tenderness, self-denial, and benevolence, they will receive the blessed assurance and benediction from Christ, “Well done.” “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”—Testimonies for the Church 3:525.Heavenly Environment—Now the church is militant. Now we are confronted with a world in darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. But the day is coming when the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving,—the robe of Christ's righteousness. All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. The years will move on in gladness. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming, “There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.”—The Ministry of Healing, 504.Joy—It is the reward of Christ's workers to enter into His joy. That joy, to which Christ Himself looks forward with eager desire, is presented in His request to His Father, “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:309.In our life here, earthly, sin-restricted, though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service. And in the future state, untrammeled by the limitations of sinful humanity, it is in service that our greatest joy and our highest education will be found,—witnessing, and ever as we witness learning anew “the riches of the glory of this mystery,” “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”—Education, 309.They share in the sufferings of Christ, and they will share also in the glory that shall be revealed. One with Him in His work, drinking with Him the cup of sorrow, they are partakers also of His joy.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 12.Fruitage of Seed-Sowing—Every impulse of the Holy Spirit leading men to goodness and to God, is noted in the books of heaven, and in the day of God every one who has given himself as an instrument for the Holy Spirit's working will be permitted to behold what his life has wrought.—Testimonies for the Church 6:310.When the redeemed stand before God, precious souls will respond to their names who are there because of the faithful, patient efforts put forth in their behalf, the entreaties and earnest persuasions to flee to the Stronghold. Thus those who in this world have been laborers together with God will receive their reward.—Testimonies for the Church 8:196, 197.What rejoicing there will be as these redeemed ones meet and greet those who have had a burden in their behalf! And those who have lived, not to please themselves, but to be a blessing to the unfortunate who have so few blessings,—how their hearts will thrill with satisfaction! They will realize the promise, “Thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”—Gospel Workers, 519.In heaven we shall see the youth whom we helped, those whom we invited to our homes, whom we led from temptation. We shall see their faces reflecting the radiance of the glory of God.—Testimonies for the Church 6:348.To be a coworker with Christ and the heavenly angels in the great plan of salvation! What work can bear any comparison with this! From every soul saved, there comes to God a revenue of glory, to be reflected upon the one saved, and also upon the one instrumental in his salvation.—Testimonies for the Church 2:232.The redeemed will meet and recognize those whose attention they have directed to the uplifted Saviour. What blessed converse they will have with these souls! “I was a sinner,” it will be said, “without God and without hope in the world; and you came to me, and drew my attention to the precious Saviour as my only hope. And I believed in Him. I repented of my sins, and was made to sit together with His saints in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Others will say: “I was a heathen in heathen lands. You left your friends and comfortable home, and came to teach me how to find Jesus, and believe in Him as the only true God. I demolished my idols, and worshiped God, and now I see Him face to face. I am saved, eternally saved, ever to behold Him whom I love. I then saw Him only with the eye of faith, but now I see Him as He is. I can now express my gratitude for His redeeming mercy to Him who loved me, and washed me from my sins in His own blood.”—Gospel Workers, 518.Others will express their gratitude to those who fed the hungry and clothed the naked. “When despair bound my soul in unbelief, the Lord sent you to me,” they say, “to speak words of hope and comfort. You brought me food for my physical necessities, and you opened to me the Word of God, awakening me to my spiritual needs. You treated me as a brother. You sympathized with me in my sorrows, and restored my bruised and wounded soul, so that I could grasp the hand of Christ that was reached out to save me. In my ignorance you taught me patiently that I had a Father in heaven who cared for me. You read to me the precious promises of God's Word. You inspired in me faith that He would save me. My heart was softened, subdued, broken, as I contemplated the sacrifice which Christ had made for me. I became hungry for the bread of life, and the truth was precious to my soul. I am here, saved, eternally saved, ever to live in His presence, and to praise Him who gave His life for me.”—Gospel Workers, 518, 519.
Patiently Wait for the Reward
If the time seems long to wait for our Deliverer to come; if, bowed by affliction and worn with toil, we feel impatient for our commission to close, and to receive an honorable release from the warfare, let us remember—and let the remembrance check every murmur—that God leaves us on earth to encounter storms and conflicts, to perfect Christian character, to become better acquainted with God our Father and Christ our Elder Brother, and to do work for the Master in winning many souls to Christ, that with glad heart we may hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”—The Review and Herald, October 25, 1881.Be patient, Christian soldier. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come. The night of weary waiting, and watching, and mourning is nearly over. The reward will soon be given; the eternal day will dawn. There is no time to sleep now,—no time to indulge in useless regrets. He who ventures to slumber now will miss precious opportunities of doing good. We are granted the blessed privilege of gathering sheaves in the great harvest; and every soul saved will be an additional star in the crown of Jesus, our adorable Redeemer. Who is eager to lay off the armor, when by pushing the battle a little longer, he will achieve new victories and gather new trophies for eternity?—The Review and Herald, October 25, 1881.
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