God is The Greatest Rewarder, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye
It is a sweet thing to be rewarded. There is a good feeling that comes with when one is rewarded for a good deed. It means one effort is acknowledged, and there is a greater tendency that such a fellow would want to repeat the same feat or even better.
One of my special rewards I can easily remember was sometimes in 1990/1991. I was then in the Army, my Battalion had just registered for a football league in the State. So, 30 best footballers in the Battalion were selected to play soccer only, which I happened to be one of them, as such we were exempted from every other military duties in order to concentrate on the league. What a great reward it was for me. All the hardships of Army life was set aside for a while!
Life will somehow become uninteresting without the concept of reward. Many will lack the motivation or enthusiasm to aspire and deliver without it. That is why in every facet of life, there is usually a reward for people that distinguished themselves.
At times, reward could be a word of commendation, a certificate given, a gift, a price sum, a set record, an honour bestowed, etc. Whatever it is, it is to say well done to the fellow, encouraged them to do more, and challenge others to emulate them.
Interestingly, God started the concept/doctrine of reward and it will end with Him.
While Adam and Eve were obedient to God, they enjoyed the rewards of fellowship with God, but when they disobeyed, they were thrown out.
Abel used the firstfruits and the best of his animals to sacrifice to God, he was rewarded with acceptance. But because Cain used just any proceeds of his farm, his offering was rejected.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The people of Bible times are familiar with the word ‘reward’. So God declared to Abram in Genesis 15:1
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Amongst all things that are given as reward by Man, to be given another human being is out of the question. Only God can offer such as a reward. However, God is making a statement here that human mind cannot comprehend. How can God offered Himself as a reward to a mortal? What sort of reward can God become to a human being?
How will it show that God has become someone’s reward? All these are too deep to understand. The easier question will be why would God promised to be a reward to Abram?
In Gen. 13:18, there ensued quarrels between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. Abram told his nephew Lot that they need to separate to avoid clashes. So he asked Lot to choose which portion of Canaan to dwell. Lot chose the watered plains of Jordan towards Sodom. Abram had to go to the opposite direction, which were the rocky patches of Canaan. As a man, one will be fearful of what the family will eat and what the herds will graze. At this time Abram might have up to 500 servants.
– Have you been rendered disadvantaged? God will be your exceeding great reward. Abram’s livestock didn’t die. He was at all times richer than Lot. God will not let you suffer.
In Gen. 14:1-24, there came a time that certain kings came and raided Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot lived. They went with the occupants of the city and everything in it, with Lot and his family too.
Abram and 318 of his trained servants pursued these kings, rescued the king and the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, together with Lot and his family. He returned all that belong to the people of Sodom and only took the spoil the invading kings got from other lands. Abram did not want anyone to take the glory of God upon his life, despite the enticement and temptation to go with all the spoils, especially as he retrieved them back, and the king of Sodom pressed him to have them.
And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
God saw how Abram cherished Him, and then He assured him that He will be his exceeding great reward.
Many years ago, my father was appointed as a Vehicle Inspection Officer in Ibadan City.
It was an appointment that could make one rich very quickly. He was to conduct routine checks on commercial vehicles on the roads of Ibadan, and maintenance service checks on Civil Service vehicles. This he did without any compromise. Though he was never rich financially, yet he was very rich towards God and honoured among men. God never forsook him nor allowed us to beg for bread.
– Are certain ‘Sodom’ gifts been flaunted at you to tempt you? Hold unto God, He will be your exceeding great reward. Whatever you gave up for the excellency of God, shall be given to you in exceeding measure.
As Abram was coming back from the war with the kings, he met Someone on the way called Melchisedek, king of Salem, and priest of the Most High. Abram recognised that this Person was greater than himself, and so he gave Him the tenth of all he had. At this time, there was no law on tithing. This action of Abram must have again triggered the exceeding greatness of God upon his life.
Offering is easy, tithe is hard. It can be tempting for a believer to eat his/her tithe. Tithe must not be missed. It comes with a promise to prove God for overwhelming blessings if obeyed; it also comes with a curse if disobeyed.
Are you afraid of paying your tithe? I can assure you that if you pay all and not some in good faith, God will grant you exceeding great rewards. I am not asking you to prove me; God said you should prove Him now and see for yourself.
All the while, Abram was living in Canaan as a stranger. He had no portion of his own. Even when his wife died, he had to beg the people to sell a small portion to him to bury Sarah (Gen. 23:1-2). It must have been a tough time for someone that must have been established in Mesopotamia. God however told him that all the land will belong to him and his seed.
May be you are squatting, renting, leasing, or on mortgage. That is not your final stop. God will give you total ownership of His heritage.
Are you disappointed because people never rewarded you adequately? God shall be your exceeding great reward. No one can pay your worth, only God can.
What do people do to their special rewards? They make special showpiece for them. They cherish them and jealously guide them. God is our exceeding great reward. Let us cherish Him and hold fast to Him (Rev. 3:11).
Almighty Father, demonstrate to the whole world that you are mine and that I am Yours.
God is The Greatest Rewarder, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on July 5, 2015 Thanksgiving Service