• *

      *

      *

      *

      *

      *

      *

      *

      Gratitude has Rewards

       

      How many like Rewards? Reward: Something desirable given in return for what someone has done. 

       

      There are all kinds of Rewards programs out there with Credit Card companies, Dept Stores, Gas Stations, Rewarding you for a behavior…

       

      A REWARD is really a thankful response from something or someone, and it affects each of us differently based on who says it and what they mean to us, and the context in which it’s given.

       

      • IA waiter in a restaurant that gives good service knows my “Thank you” may have something attached to it. 

       

       

      Based on who likes and appreciates what you do, a Thank You can have huge and positive impact on your life.

       

      Our God is far more wealthy than any Sheik or multi-billionaire and the Bible gives us some clear specifics of what moves His Heart to Reward us 

       

      For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matt 16:27 NKJV

       

      This is the moment when God Gives Thanks; Heavens Record Books are opened and everyone gives account for their thoughts, decisions and actions.

       

      • We are not saved or loved because of our actions; we are judged and rewarded for our actions.
      • You won’t be rewarded for your gifts, but for your works

       

      CMA’s AMA’s & HMA’s Welcome to Heaven’s Ministry Awards:

      This is the moment that you want to hear God call your name and speak of something you did on the earth that captured the Applause of Heaven. Well Done Good & Faithful

       

      Ps.119:135Msg

      Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live.

       

      Cause your Face to Shine on me, Favor me, Show Kindness. David understood when if I can live the way you instruct me, your smile, favor, kindness is the result.

       

      If you ever sense God Smiling or saying “Thank You” you will never be the same.  When God gives thanks for something you’ve done, joy will flood your soul in a way that will forever have you addicted to recapturing the sense of His Gratitude on your life.

       

      LOVING & HELPING PEOPLE are at the center of what opens God’s Heart of Gratitude!

       

      Are there things that we do in this life that can cause God go to go “WOW?”

      Something that will start stacking up the awards and the Rewards in heaven?

       

      1. God Releases Rewards when we love difficult people

       

      If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don't know God are nice to their friends.

      Matt 5:43-47 NCV

       

      So important to God that Jesus says it’s equally important to the greatest commandment. Love the Lord with all heart, soul, mind. 2nd Love your neighbor as yourself! All the law and prophets hinge on these two!

       

      1. God Rewards Courageous Christianity

       

      Matthew 10:32-36 (TLB)

      “If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend, I will openly acknowledge him as my friend before my Father in heaven. But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven.

       

      • Want to make a guy or girl mad… show affection privately, ignore them publicly
      • Want to experience God withholding Rewards? 
      • Pretend you know Him in Church and live as though you don’t know Him in public!

       

      …Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me… You can be glad when that happens — give a cheer, even! — for though they don't like it, I do!  And all heaven applauds... Matt 5:11-12 (THE MESSAGE)

       

      David’s Courageous Faith with Goliath released Rewards; promoted to the palace, exempt from taxes, the kings daughter. Daniel after a lions den promoted, 3 Hebrew Boys massive promotions & big influence… Huge Rewards were God’s Smile of Favor

       

      1. God Rewards 2nd Mile Mentality

       

      In Matthew 5 we’re all body slammed in Jesus most famous Sermon on the Mount, one that seems to be filled with such contradictions like “Bless those who curse you, Do good to those who take advantage of you, when someone steals your shirt gift wrap a matching coat, if you’re asked to carry something for someone a mile, carry it 2 miles.

       

      I

      The 2nd Mile challenges us to lay down our rights and privileges and to prefer others. 

      Also called the Beatitudes… it is Christ way of saying BE these ATTITUDES!!! 

       

      “A person wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.”

       

      It’s amazing how much you can think about yourself when you’re left with your own thoughts. Everyone is against you, nobody loves you or understands you, no one treats you fairly, nobody notices you, you’re always overlooked, you’re always taken advantage of, no one cares you I feel, you always get the shaft… and the list goes on.

       

      The Narcissist believes everyone owes them something; But since no one will pay them what they feel they’re worth they usually just feel worthless!

       

      The Sermon on the Mount crushes narcissism by introducing the 2nd Mile Mentality! 

       

      The Second Mile attracts the Smile of God’s Favor because it most closely reflects Him!  God does Exceedingly above all we could ask or imagine.

       

      • The 2nd Mile is doing more than you were asked w/o feeling taken advantage of
      • The 2nd Mile is Thinking of others more that you think of yourself
      • The 2nd Mile is where true Leaders start to surface
      • The 2nd Mile is where you realize “It’s not all about you!”
      • The 2nd Mile is where you understand the need for Comfort can cripple your dreams
      • Going the 2nd Mile liberates U from self-obsession & releases the rewards of Heaven!

       

      The 2nd Mile is Inconvenient Love that Releases Rewards

       

      Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)

      Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

       

      The Good Samaritan… was preceded by 2 others who didn’t get it!

       

      2nd Mile Opportunities

      • Christmas Baskets, Angel Tree
      • Benevolence; many needs
      • Every week the Bridge Ministry, 2 grade schools feeding hundreds of kids

       

       

      Matthew 10:42 ESV

      And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.