Does all of our loving earn a reward?

I worked through a set of verses with some women lately and am struck with this question:

Does all of our loving earn reward?

Let’s read Matthew 6:32-36 together to seek an answer.

32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?

The implication is there is no credit.

Even sinners love those who love them.

33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?

The implication is there is no credit.

After all, “Even sinners do that.”

34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?

The implication is no credit.

After all, “Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.”

So far, all the love and good deeds describe what someone who does not know God can do.

35 But…

But what?

But love your enemies,

What does that look like?

do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.

Then what?

Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High,

Why is the answer different this time? 

because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Because we look like we know God instead of looking like someone who doesn’t.

36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:32-26)

As I examine these verses carefully, I notice the first three examples are transactional. Someone in each example is giving or doing for someone and getting something back. But in the last example, the person doesn’t get anything back: and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Ah, as my saying goes, “Love dies.” God’s love always requires sacrifice for someone else.

I also notice the words, then your reward will be great. I wonder if that means there is a small reward for all the other examples, just not a great one. That is possible because God sees degrees of sin in other places in the Bible. He notices Solomon’s commitment to God in some areas, but not others as I blogged about HERE.

There are no definitive answers today, but some good things to consider. One thing is crystal clear, however. We are to love our enemies by lending to them without expecting anything in return. I assume that means lending them our stuff, our time, our energy, our positive words, our effort, our prayers. Anything at all.

We can all be practicing expecting nothing in return.

Picture Explanation: In the blazing heat of record high temperatures, some still bloom their beauty. I can only hope that with God’s strength, I can do the same in the heat of the battles of life.

Speaking of loving people well: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.   

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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