PRECIOUS PROMISES

     What an amazing relationship Father Abraham had with God. It lies in the fact that Abraham believed and obeyed God. After passing every test God sent his way, things then began to change for Abraham. He now has favor with God and blessings just overtake him. "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".(Gen. 15:1)  Beginning now with this "exceeding great reward", lets examine some of God's "precious promises". There are rewards for the here and now, not just after death. Rewards are also translated as "compensation" and "wages". It meant all these things and much more to Abraham. He told the earthly kings: "That I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:"(Gen.14:23)  Abraham was certainly rich, but he made sure it was from the hand of God. This clearly shows the "great reward"was blessings, benefits and riches. However, God also said; "I am thy shield" so with this "great reward" there also came God's covering and protection. Just as the old song says: "HE'S ALL I NEED".

     Another reward is found in the book of Ruth, as Boaz sees the qualities of faithfulness and loyalty in Ruth. She immediately finds favor in the eyes of Boaz, and likewise her recompense of reward starts with material blessings and grows from there. Boaz says: "The Lord recompense thy work, and a "full reward" be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust". (Ruth 2:12)  Now the word "trust" appears, which is another quality needed to qualify for God's promises. In our day we can also call this "full reward"  what the epistles call "the fullness of God". This involves being able to operate from the mind of Christ, allowing the works of God to automatically follow. Once again the blessings of God overtake us and nothing is withheld and even leads to the union of a Bride for our Heavenly Bridegroom! In the same way as Boaz and Ruth became one and eventually produced the "seed of God".

     "The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a "sure reward".(Prov. 11:18) How sure is our "sure reward"? During Roman Crucifixion the hands of the victim were most usually tied to the cross. Not so with Jesus, the revelation is this; It was divinely settled by prophecy that Jesus' hands and feet would be nailed. "And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house".(Isa. 22:23) Aren't you glad true prophecy can't be broken ! This nail in a sure place ensures the ultimate sacrifice. This in turn ensures a "sure resurrection" which establishes a "sure foundation" Now the purpose of God is forever settled and you and I have a "sure reward". Praise His Name!!

     "But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly".(Matt. 6:6)  This "open reward" speaks of  visible progress made due to time spent seeking the Lord. After showing yourself faithful, fighting the good fight of faith and maintaining that one on one relationship with the Father, the "open reward" represents victory. Once again the blessings, benefits and riches of the Kingdom become our portion as we seek not the gift but rather the giver. The opposite of this reward, are those who do things to be seen and that becomes their reward , they get seen.

     In closing, let's examine Isaiah's prophecy since this is the text Jesus was drawing from both in Matthew and Revelation. "Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand and his arm shall rule for him : behold his reward is with him, and his work before him".(Isa.40:10)  This Messianic prophecy is full of divine meaning. The rewards Jesus has already given to us are priceless. He came as the "prophet of God" and declared if any man would receive a prophet in the name of a prophet he could have a "prophets reward".(see Matt. 10:41) This is a mighty promise when you understand a "prophets reward" is having our ears opened to hear Spirit, and our eyes opened to see Spirit. With a strong hand and strong arm Jesus revealed the five-fold ministry of which He was all Five ! Being our "Chief Apostle" He brought authority and strength and rules supreme. His work was and is before Him and as a mighty evangelist He shall perform it to it's fullest. "And behold I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be". (Rev. 22:12) Our challenge is to join with Jesus in this work that is before Him; "Thy Kingdom come thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven". I see the same scenario, just as Abraham's faithfulness and obedience brought him an exceeding great reward, those in this hour who remain faithful and obedient shall see an exceeding great reward at the appearing of Jesus!!   HALLELUJAH !      In-Christ Always  Elmer Hart 

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