[The original title to this post was: “A Heavenly Reward”]
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Mat. 10:42
Today I have four stories to narrate and they are all related. They all point to the same moral.
The first story involves the biggest mansion (actually, the only one-storied mansion) in my town.
It belongs to the bishop of the lagest Pentecostal denomination in our region.
End of story.
The second story is about another bishop of that same denomination who resides in a neighboring district. His mansion, which happens to be the biggest personally-owned building in his town, is currently under construction. But this story stretches out a bit. The bishop also has two vehicles, both 6-cylinder SUVs. Actually, one is a Range Rover.
This minister’s church, however, is heavily tasked to contribute to the construction of his big mansion. The church also takes care of the running of the bishop’s two cars. Every parishioner has been allocated a large portion of money to contribute, and the deacons have been instructed to enforce it.
A friend of mine who used to worship in this minister’s church once asked him why he needed to build such a big house. The man replied, “Our God is a big God. We should be able to enjoy the big life because all things belong to God.”
When he asked him why he had to task God’s people to pay for his house instead of receiving directly from God, the minister replied, “God has put them there to serve me. That is how they will receive their reward, while I receive mine by preaching to them.”
At about the same time, a friend of mine from the U.S. sent me a video clip of a church that had rioted against the pastor during a church service because they were asked to tithe 1,000 U.S. dollars each. (The tithe goes directly to the pastor.)
Those who could not afford the 1,000 dollars were coolly asked to give not less than 300 dollars.
And yet this pastor drives a Rolls Royce, he owns a number of mansions, and he has satellite churches from which he “reaps” tons of cash every Sunday. But the community that he “serves” is dirt poor and there are families who cannot afford a decent meal.
Finally, the “sheep” had woken up to the fact that they were being pimped and they decided to do something about it.
The Bible does not say we pay back evil for evil, nor that we should riot in church. But these people did not know any better, so they rioted.
The last story is about our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus talked about a reward. He did not say that we would receive a reward by building a mansion for ourselves or by driving the most expensive cars in His name. Jesus, however, said that we would be rewarded by giving a cup of cold water to one of God’s servants (children).
Imagine that. Not even warmed water, but cold. A cup of cold water is worth nothing. And yet, the littlest thing we could do for God’s Kingdom and for His children will get us an eternal reward in heaven.
“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
We can serve God’s people with the littlest thing we have and expect a reward; or we can serve ourselves by pampering our flesh, for which the Lord made no promise.
I am trying to calculate how many cups of water this American preacher could get from selling his Rolls Royce. According to our Lord Jesus Christ, each cup of water that this man would give to a saint has a reward in heaven. Now do your maths and tell me what kind of reward this preacher would have in heaven. But he is wasting it away on self.
“19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Mat. 6:19-20)
Self (the love for this world) is the saint’s biggest enemy. That is why God gives us the revelation of the cross, to the end that we might crucify the flesh and move on and serve God in the Spirit, where there is a reward. The revelation of “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” gives us a spiritual vision and we lose sight of the pleasures and glories of this world.
[“But we preach Christ crucified… Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Cor. 1:23-24]