God has given you the gift of salvation.  Ephesians 2:4-9 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  You could never earn your salvation; that is why God chose to make it a gift.  You are also given the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and eternal life (Romans 6:23).  What wonderful gifts God has given! 

However, Jesus spoke about rewards and laying up treasures in heaven.  Matthew 6:16-21 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   

The word translated “reward” means wage or hire.  It is not a gift as salvation is a gift.  The reward or treasure that you receive is something you receive based upon what your actions are in this life.  Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”  Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”  Your reward is based upon your works. 

In writing to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul used himself and Apollos as examples in describing the rewards they would receive.  1 Corinthians 3:6-8 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15  “Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”  Each one’s work will be tested by fire to see if his work endures; if it does endure, he will receive a reward.  If it doesn’t endure, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved if he endures the testing by fire.  Although there are details about rewards that have not been revealed to us, even so, it is clear that you will receive a reward based upon your works and that your work will be tested to see if it endures.

Consider these additional scriptures about rewards.  Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Luke 6:35  “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”  2 John 8 “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”  1 Corinthians 9:17 “For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.”  From these scriptures you can learn that your reward is great if you are persecuted, love you enemies and freely give.  It is possible to lose your reward.  Paul would receive a reward if he served willingly. 

If your treasures are here on earth, you heart will also be here on earth.  If you treasures are in heaven, your heart will be in heaven.  My encouragement to you is the same as Jesus gave.  Matthew 6:20-21 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

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