James 1:12




Lev. chapter 19 is recommended reading, as part of this topic.

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

When we all come before the Father in the final judgment, our hope is to hear the Master say, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’” (Matt.25:21); but what is it that will enable us to hear those complimentary Words?

“Amen, I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much in this age; and in the olam ha-ba, eternal life”(Lk.18:29,30). “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:10). Those who have been able to give up self, who have laid their lives down for the sake of the Kingdom will receive such a greeting. Those who sacrificed self/self-life/self-will/self-focus and considered not their lives on this earth more important than glorifying God, will be rewarded for their obedience and faithfulness.And indeed, some are last who shall be first, and some are first who shall be last” (Lk.13:30). There will be those in high profile positions, highly esteemed by others, as well as in their own view, who will not hear those words; there will be unknowns who carried out God’s instructions, neither seeking nor receiving status, prestige, position, or reward, who will hear those words.

“Adonai, who may dwell in Your tent? Who may live on Your holy mountain? The one who walks with integrity, who does what is right, and speaks truth in his heart” (Ps.15:1,2). Notice three very important qualifications identified in this passage: (1) living out one’s life with integrity; (2) Doing that which is right – i.e., not just talking about what is right, but doing it; (3) Speaking the truth from the HEART – not just lip service. One little passage, but ever so loaded . . .

“Who may go up on the mountain of Adonai? Who may stand in His holy place? One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully. He will receive a blessing from Adonai, (Ps.24:3-5). See the parallels with the previously quoted passage: (1) Clean hands – has to do with what we “do,” not what we “say” we are going to do; isn’t this what integrity is about? (2) Pure HEART – here again, it’s a heart issue – it’s not what you “say;” it’s not even only what you “do;” whether speaking or doing, it only qualifies if it is coming from a pure heart. (3) “not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully” pretty much combines, and integrates the integrity and the heart issue. “Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). In this passage we see that another qualifying factor involved is submitting to and enduring whatever testing God puts us through. Yeshua said that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundred times as much, and will inherit eternal life” (Matt.19:29). Great rewards await those who walk in integrity, speak/do from a pure heart, and submit to God’s tests.

“Amen, I tell you,” Yeshua replied, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for My sake and for the sake of the Good News, who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and property, along with persecutions; and in the olam ha-ba, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first”(Mk.10:29-31). During our time on earth, we may endure many injustices, where those who are less deserving surpass us and seem to be unfairly rewarded. It is often tempting to bring justice to the situation, but we are called to a higher standard: “He will bring out your vindication as light, and your cause will shine as noonday. Be still before Adonai and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret over one prospering in his way, over one carrying out wicked schemes. Put away anger and turn from wrath. Do not fret—it only leads to doing evil. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for Adonai— they will inherit the land”(Ps.37:6-9). “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’” (Matt.25:23).

Although we do not earn our salvation, we do very much earn our rewards: “many who are first will be last, and the last first”(Matt.19:30).

© 2017, revised 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.


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