2 Corinthians 5:9…
So now that you’ve given your life to Jesus and become a part of the body of Christ, what’s next?
It shouldn’t surprise anyone we are to go to work for Jesus.
Think of it. You have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is a serving Spirit. Jesus said, “even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Since we are indwelt with the Spirit of Christ, and are part of the body of Christ, doesn’t it make perfect sense we serve and give our lives a ransom as Jesus has encouraged us? In fact, His internal word to us should be a greater motivating factor than reading what He told His disciples about serving in Mark 10. (Quoted above.)
Further, shouldn’t it also make sense Jesus would judge our service on the basis of how much of our service is for Him and how much is for ourselves?
This is the ‘bema seat judgment’ for reward spoken of by Paul here. He had previously presented this reality to this carnal church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 3. The teaching here is whatever is done of an impure motive will not be counted for reward. In fact, it will be the “wood, hay, and stubble,” consumed by fire in the judgment for reward.
The reality of what we have NOT done correctly for Jesus should not be our major concern. Our major concern should be the great opportunity Christ has provided TO serve. Sometimes our focus is on the penalty, but the emphasis should be on the potential to join with Jesus in serving those who need Jesus to serve them.
If we keep our eyes on Jesus and follow His leading to serve those around us in His name, we will be serving Jesus, and He will assure our service is genuine and not of hypocrisy, because His name is involved. The name of Jesus has power, and He will never lead us to serve without enabling us to serve by His power.
Where we go wrong is to name the name of Jesus, and then go right on serving in our own strength and ability. All this does is glorify the vessel rather than the glory the vessel is designed to contain. Since the vessel is going to burn, the glory given to the vessel will also burn.
Some may think it odd to seek to gain eternal reward, as though this begins implies some sort of heavenly selfishness being involved. Think instead of Jesus’ eternal reward for faithfully fulfilling His Divine calling. His eternal reward is you. And, me. He did ALL for the sake of the joy that was set before Him. We must do likewise when we are led by His Holy Spirit.