Random Blog Clay Feet: December 17, 2008
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heaven's Reward System - 1

Over the last couple days I have been getting rather fascinated with another epiphany of sorts that has struck me. Pieces of information from various sources over the past few years have suddenly come together in my understanding to give me a whole new perspective on the rewards that the righteous are going to receive in heaven. When this new understanding began to really sink in I again got very excited about the goodness and fairness of God in contrast to the assumptions about Him that I got from religion for most of my life.

I talked about these assumptions with a good friend of mine today on the phone and she verbalized my discomfort with the old thoughts that we both had about the idea of differential rewards being handed out in heaven. The way that it is typically presented by teachers and preachers smacks too much of the reward and motivation systems that we are so familiar with here on earth that depend to some extent or another on some level of selfishness. Also inherent in almost all reward systems is the presumption that some kind of performance has to be achieved to earn the reception of a reward chosen by some other entity. We are all very familiar with this way of thinking about rewards and I am afraid that our paradigms about rewards usually infect our thinking of heaven's system so much that it is very difficult to objectively consider that maybe it is quite different than what we assume it is.

But as I thought about some of the verses in the Bible and the words of Jesus about rewards and some other important aspects related to rewards, it began to dawn on me that far from being an arbitrary assignment of kudos for good behavior or great accomplishments for God, the rewards that we will enjoy in heaven are going to be totally of our own creating while here on earth. It is just that we are going to realize the full magnitude of the effects of the things we have chosen here on earth to invest our time and lives into. That is what is going to determine the wide variations between the rewards that some will receive in comparison to others.

I went to my Bible software and did some searches on key words in this study and found that the Bible was strongly supportive and informative about my new premonitions of this subject. Since I had never viewed it from this perspective before I had not noticed the impact and implications of many of these verses until I brought the light from some key previous insights to bear on the list of verses that emerged from my word searches.

I am still taking more time to carefully analyze the numerous verses dealing with this subject, but the revelation that it is already bringing to my heart is once again causing me to want to worship and appreciate even more a God who is much better than I have ever thought He was. It is fresh revelations of His glory like this that continue to draw me to want to find out even more about Him as quickly as I can.

I do not want to try to explain everything I am discovering right now. But I will start by saying that one of the key elements to what I am finding is the word joy. And I believe that this is giving me a much more correct perspective on heaven's type of rewards. I am coming to see clearly that very likely joy is the main ingredient of these things we describe as rewards in heaven. At first that may seem like almost a disappointment to some, but the more I investigate this and the more I have learned about the true meaning of the word joy, the more sense this all makes and the better I see it correlating with everything I see about these two concepts, particularly in the New Testament.

I will take time later to further explore this. But for now I am going to rejoice in the Lord greatly for He is worthy to be praised for His great wisdom, kindness and fairness beyond what any of us ever give Him credit for. Praise the Lord for the way He has set up reality so that both our punishments and our rewards are simply natural outgrowths of the choices we make in our lives.