Let’s read Acts 10:1-4.
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” (KJV).
In considering the story of Cornelius, I have always been fascinated by verse four – and this declaration from the angel.
“Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
God knows everything and nothing is lost. In God’s plan, it was time for Cornelius to be rewarded.
We often forget that even the little things we do to further the cause of Christ are remembered.
“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.” – Matthew 10:42 (KJV).
We are required to be sacrificial in our service for Christ, and Cornelius was a lovely example. All that we do for Christ is saved, all other things are subject to test.
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV).
God promises us that all that we do for Him will be remembered. We often forget what we
have done in the past and think nothing of it, but God knows the heart and mind of those who truly love Him.
“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” – Ruth 2:12 (KJV).
God rewards all people for their works. The Bible often speaks about sheep and goats and the fact that in the end they are separated to different fates.
Jesus laid down His life for the sheep, and ensures that none of His will be lost. There is no protection for those outside of Christ.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” – John 10:11 (KJV).
As Christians, our service should always be as if we are working directly for our Lord and seeking to please Him.
“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” – Colossians 3:22-25 (KJV).
Interesting that at the end of these verses there is a warning that rewards go both ways. We often think of rewards as being positive but, everything in our lives is known by God and there are consequences for all our actions whether good or bad.
Second John 1:6-9 tells us, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (KJV).
The Bible tells us that Christ can return at any time, and we must be ready to receive our Lord and King.
What a precious thought that unworthy as we are, He loves us and wants to reward us for our faith in Him and all that we do in His service.
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” – Revelation 22:11-14 (KJV).
And finally, a verse of great comfort to all who serve.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint Not.” – Galatians 6:9 (KJV).
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About the author
Barrie Hanson lives in Bluff, Southland. He has been a Christian for over 40 years and in that time he has been a preacher, Pastor and a church helper in both Auckland and Hamilton.
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