North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Childhood can bring many fond memories and one of mine was going to church on Wednesday nights. My parents were both counselors in a boy’s mission education program called Royal Ambassadors (RAs). We met weekly and participated in special events and completed age appropriate workbooks that led to service pins and patches. But mainly we learned about missionaries and how we could perform mission work in our local communities. Our class motto was “Help Others in Jesus Name”. This was the challenge and was to be the motivating force that characterized our behavior at school, home, and on the playground. We cleaned the yards of the elderly, cut grass for those who couldn’t, visited the sick, and picked up trash in public areas. We coordinated “Hunger Hike” fundraisers to help fight world hunger, sang at nursing homes, and we were taught to always leave a place cleaner than when we found it. We earned service pins and patches for putting into action what we learned from the Bible about helping others. Simply put, as a group and as individuals we were rewarded for our service. The rewards helped us stay motivated and the more we did for others “In Jesus’ Name”, the more pins, bars, and stars we would receive.

The Bible says in Titus 3:5, “It’s not the works we do that save us. It’s because of His-loving kindness that He washed our sins away. He gave us new life when the Holy Spirit came into our lives.” Most all evangelical Christians believe that our good works don’t save us. But we mustn’t forget that God carefully records and rewards the service we provide for Him. A verse found in Hebrews 6:10 explains God’s stance on our positive acts; it says, “God is not unfair. He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for Him in the help you gave and are still giving to others.” So, what are the reward-able works? Jesus made it easy for us to do things that count. He said, “You can be sure that whoever gives a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because he is my follower, will certainly receive a reward.” The smallest and simplest burden done for Jesus’ sake will be rewarded in this life and in the next.

Some people think the idea of being rewarded by God is too greedy or self-centered. And some Christians are a bit uncomfortable about the idea of being rewarded by God. Those of us that feel that way should learn to get over it and get in the daily habit of thanking God for what He does for us. God has repeatedly said in His Word that He plans to reward our service here on earth and in heaven. I have full confidence that God wants to motivate us by the promise of a reward for a job well done. It’s in His nature to want to bless us in return for what we do for Him. All throughout the Bible it’s clearly stated that God gives good gifts (rewards) to His children: (Matt. 7:11, Luke 11:13, James 1:17).

Seek out every opportunity to accomplish the good works for which God created you, and your rewards will accumulate in heaven. This is the best and most biblical motivation for doing good and helping others in Jesus’ name. There’s no need to try and be more spiritual than anyone else. God knows what you do and why you do it. And His resources and treasures will never run dry. Every good and perfect gift will come from Him to you. God rewards His faithful followers.

What acts will God reward here on earth? They’re too numerous to count, but here are a few suggestions: speak words of affirmation to your kids, support missionaries in the field, visit a friend who is grieving or seems discouraged, mentor a young person, do the dishes, invite someone to coffee and listen to them, love your wife, love your husband, buy groceries for someone out of work, give tithes to your church, buy someone a book that will encourage them, and pray for others.

Compile your own meaningful, enjoyable, and personal ways to serve God. Be sure to throw yourself into them and watch God richly reward you for helping others in Jesus’ name. Joy can be found in positive living, even if it’s inconvenient. The Bible says, “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). Every Christian is in the ministry. This is both a privilege and a responsibility. Let us do our best to make “our ministry” what God wants it to be.

This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Mar 16 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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