“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19, NIV)
Paul is talking to Christians about this life and the one to come. When we exhibit these virtues, God promises a life filled with meaning here on the earth as well as heavenly reward hereafter. I don’t think the church talks enough about this future reward.
I’m reminded of a story about a Christian couple in their 80’s who had been married for 60 years. After a medical scare, they became very active and healthy due to the wife’s insistence on a strict diet and exercise regimen. Sadly, there was an automobile accident and they both went to heaven together. As they arrived at the Pearly Gates, Peter welcomed them and gave them a tour.
They marveled at the beauty and splendor of heaven. They were most amazed at the banquet table. Every rich and delightful food could be found in abundance. “Where’s the low-fat/low cholesterol table?” the man asked Peter. Peter replied: “We don’t have one up here. This is heaven. You can eat as much as you want and you’ll never get fat!”
The man turned red and threw his hat on the ground. He turned to his wife: “If it weren’t for your bran muffins and forced marches, I could’ve been here 10 years ago!”
There are rewards in heaven! I’m pretty sure they won’t be exactly like this story, but they are very real. I’ve enjoyed studying the Bible on this subject for the last couple of weeks. I was surprised to discover the different types of rewards we’re promised (for instance, five various crowns are listed). Besides these crowns, there’s “treasure” and “glory” and many more types of rewards.
But what I found even more amazing is just how easy it is to get these rewards. Most of us feel that heavenly rewards are hard to come by and rarely given—rewards are for people like Billy Graham and Mother Theresa. But look at Paul’s statement to Timothy again. Gaining heavenly treasure is as simple as doing good, being generous and being willing to share.
I know…you’re not convinced. Sounds too easy. But listen to this statement Jesus made about heavenly reward: “And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple—I assure you: He will never lose his reward!” (Matthew 10:42)
It’s really that simple. So, get out there and start laying up treasure for yourself!
Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit New Life’s website: www.NewLifeDenton.org for more information.