Message From Matt| June 8, 2018

No Rewards Today…”

 I wasn’t planning on mentioning Panera two weeks in a row, but the cashier said something during my weekly visit that really caught my attention.  As I gave my order and swiped my rewards card, she saw my information on the screen and said, “looks like you don’t have any rewards today Matt” and continued on with the transaction.  Although I was “bummed” that I didn’t get a $1 off my drink, that phrase was worth much more than the discount.  It was worth more because it got me thinking that even though many things that we do during our daily routine seem unrewarding, we shouldn’t let that distract us from living godly, excellent lives! 

We live in an “instant gratification” culture, but as Christians, we are called to live above the negative aspects of this world (Romans 12:1-2) and press on (Philippians 3:13-14) day in and day out for the high calling of God whether we get rewarded now or not! For the believer, there will be rewards (or loss of rewards) at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:13-15, Romans 14:10-12) and the eternal inheritance of being with God for eternity (Revelation 21-22), but we can easily get distracted from this and only focus on being rewarded now, but that mindset comes with a cost. 
The cost of putting priority on rewards now is that this life doesn’t always go as you plan for it to go and we can feel empty because our expectations of rewards are not met!  
This is where spiritual and physical fathers, mothers, mentors and teachers are very important!  They are needed to encourage us to keep going during hard times!  They are needed to help keep us on track!   They are needed to pray for us to live excellent lives…no matter the benefits now!  This is what Paul was praying for the Church at Philippi in Philippians 1:9-11.  He prayed that their love would increase in knowledge and judgment.  That they would “approve” (do) things that were excellent.  That they would show the fruits of righteousness in their lives!  They were already doing good things in their church, but Paul wanted them to get better each day at displaying these things.

I feel like our church is similar to the church of Philippi!  We have love towards one another and work together for the common cause of  spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, but I pray that we continually get better (“abound”) in these things! 

Let us love one another better!

Let us serve one another more excellently!

Let us greet one another more sincerely!

Let us teach with more passion!

Let us show the fruits of righteousness more openly! 

This is my prayer for you today!  This is my encouragement and motivational speech for you today…keep on pressing on!  Keep on moving forward in your faith!  Keep on living an excellent life!  You are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ and you can be assured that He will never leave you or forsake you!  

If you do all of this and nobody seems to notice and you get no earthly rewards, don’t worry about it!   Just know that God sees and will reward you one day! 
Matt Roller