The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

How Can We Earn Our Greatest Reward?

Posted on: September 20, 2016



A number of years ago a friend of mine asked his pre-teen son if he would rather receive hundred dollars a day for a month, or receive a penny on the first day of the month, and then have that amount doubled every day for 30 days. For example, he would receive one penny the first day, two pennies the second day, four pennies the third, day eight pennies fourth day, 16 pennies the fifth day, and so on… each day doubling the amount of the day before for 30 days.

His son jumped at $100 a day for a month, an inconceivable amount of money.

His father wasn’t offering that choice… it was a hypothetical situation. But he explained that if his son had chosen the $100 a day, at the end of 30 days he would receive $3000.

However, if he had taken the offer of a penny a day for the first day, and had that amount double every day for 30 days, he would receive $5,368,709.12!  A truly inconceivable amount of money!

At that age, our brains simply aren’t able to grasp reality. We jump at lesser options because we can’t comprehend greater options.

The same thing is true with us spiritually. We jump at lesser options in life that we can comprehend, because cannot comprehend greater options.

The world offers us $100 a day (modest happiness based on temporal things) – initially appealing, but ultimately worthless.

Jesus offers us a penny the first day, doubling the amount every day for 30 days (joy and purpose based on eternal things) – initially less appealing, but ultimately much more rewarding.

We often take the temporal $100 a day, trying to wring what we can out of this world, because our minds can’t imagine the benefit of the eternal “pennies.”

This is the point that C.S. Lewis made in The Weight of Glory, when he said: “If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from [philosophers] and is no part of the Christian faith.  Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.” (p. 26)

That’s one reason why Scripture says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 ~ NIV) As long as we continue to believe that He will reward us as we seek Him, we remain faithful to pursuing Him. When we stop believing, we stop pursuing Him and look for other alternatives.

The goal of this blog post is to encourage us to continue to believe that God rewards our pursuit of Him… and believing, continue to be faithful to the process. The reward may seem meager, initially, but begins to accrue exponentially as we persist.

The flip-side of that truth is that half-hearted effort always yields half-hearted results.

Again, Lewis wrote, “Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’” (Mere Christianity, p. 196)

The return for giving Christ “All”, the Apostle Paul wrote, is increasing peace, love and joy in this life (Galatians 5:22-23), as well as disproportionate eternal reward in the next: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

So, our challenge is to abandon ourselves to the pursuit of God… trusting that God will “reward those who seek Him.”   Not a dollar a day, but eternal pennies doubled every day!

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