39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
As we lose our lives in this world and then find our lives in Christ and in the pursuits of his kingdom, we are going to treat people much, much differently. Losing our lives means that we willingly give up our own goals for greatness, for pleasure, for retirement, and so on in exchange for giving ourselves to the care of others in God’s kingdom. (When I speak of God’s kingdom I speak of the kingdom of never-dying souls who need to hear and believe the gospel of God which alone leads to eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.) When we are living apart from the goals of this life for the goals of Christ we will find ourselves seeing others differently and determining to care for them.
Verse s 40-41 teaches us the benefits in God’s kingdom of caring for others. When we receive the Lord Jesus, we also receive God the Father. The two are inseparable. Religions that deny the deity of Christ are also missing out on the presence of the Father. When we receive the Son, we are also receiving the Father. When we deny the Son we are also denying the Father. John makes this clearer in his letter that we call 1 John.
If we consider that the messengers of God, the prophets, the pastors, the evangelists, and other righteous people, are going to receive a special reward from God for their lives lived for God, then pay close attention here. Jesus taught that when we receive a prophet or a righteous man we will receive the same reward from God that they will receive. You see, those who are life-time ministers of the gospel need the care of those who work jobs in the community. Paul often spoke of those who cared for him along the way of his missionary journeys. Every one who cared for Paul will receive the same eternal rewards that Paul receives. Do you invite ministers and missionaries and evangelists into your home to receive them there? Do you take time and effort to care for those who don’t have community jobs but as ministers to the church rely on the church for their well-being? Every time you receive a messenger of God you are preparing yourself to receive the same blessings that they will receive.
But Jesus goes one step further when he says that even if we give a cup of cold water to a thirst person we will not lose our reward in heaven. This verse has taught me that no gift is too small when given from a sincere heart of care. All of us need water to live. When we care for others we are laying up rewards in heaven. Ask God to give you a chance to care for someone today.
Last night Stefani and Andrew taught the youth group lesson. They have been concerned about seeing their church friends begin down paths that lead to failure so they prepared a lesson to bring these paths, and their ends, to light. Do pray for our teens as they are facing extreme pressures both at home and at school. These pressures lead to all kinds of negative places and we know that when young people follow Christ the dead ends are avoidable.
Pray for my lunch appointment today. I am meeting with a friend from the community.
Have a great day in the Lord,