How Many Cups Of Water?

[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 largest 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 owns 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.

Jesus said,

“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]

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Heads Or Tails?

And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them. Deu 28:13

God is so rich! In fact, God is infinitely rich. There is so much richness in His Word! People are looking for all kinds of riches in this world, but the most exciting riches I have come to discover are not in the world, but in the Word of God. You can open any scripture and literally get blown away by the power of the revealed Word that you find there. At such times, earthly treasures pale into nothingness. You begin to understand why David would say in Psalm 119:72, “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.”

And in verse 127 he says, “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”

Here was a truly spiritual person talking!

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the modern Church. Deuteronomy 28 is probably the most-quoted chapter of the Bible among born-again believers; and yet, in the majority of cases it is done in the wrong spirit and God’s people are completely missing out on the real riches that God has for them.

You see, we cannot take the Old Testament literally, simply because everything in the Old Testament was a ‘type’ of the real thing. The real blessing came with Jesus Christ, and especially after His death and resurrection.

Deuteronomy 28:13 is not what many believers have been taught to ‘claim’ it as. In fact, it is one of many scriptures talking about our victory in the spirit after we have laid down our lives, taken our cross and followed Jesus. When we are living that kind of lifestyle, we will have victory in every area of our lives.

Today Christians are taking this scripture and using it to seek for promotion in their places of work; to claim ‘victory’ over their perceived enemies; and a host of other self-glorifications and the fulfilment of their fleshly lusts. When we consider the way Deuteronomy 28:13 is applied in much of today’s Church teachings, we realize how far the Church has removed its focus from obtaining the true riches of God in their lives. There is no denying the fact that the Church appears to be seeking after something else. As a result we end up being the tail and not the head!

May God help us to align our lives  with the true, living gospel that will enable us to lay claim to the victorious New Testament inheritance that is ours.