Morning Devotional

Now or Later
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[Matthew 5:10]

In the seventies, a TV commercial for an automobile oil filter made this line famous: “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” The same principle—now or later—also applies to rewards promised to followers of Christ.

Jesus suggested that we have a choice when it comes to rewards: We can receive rewards now in the form of the adulation of men, or we can receive rewards in eternity from God who sees what we do for Him (Colossians 3:23-24). Jesus also said that those who suffer persecution for His sake will receive the Kingdom of heaven, that those who leave the riches and relationships of this life will be rewarded a hundred times over in eternity. Sometimes we don’t choose to give up comfort in this life; it is taken from us by persecutors of the Church. The same promise applies: God stands ready to reward those who suffer for Christ’s sake in this life. Heaven is a time when rewards will replace what was lost.

Whatever you lose for Christ’s sake—property, reputation, comfort, your good name—does not go unnoticed by God. Nor will it go unrewarded (Romans 8:18).

In the second advent [God] will manifest His glory to reward their faith.
~ John Chrysostom

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