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What Motivates You?

(1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.

Weve seen that there is an aspect of knowing Jesus

That is more than just knowing about Him,

Or even knowing Him in a personal relationship

To know Him savingly means to have His image being formed in you,

It means to become like Him

To share His desires,

To think His thoughts,

To do His works.

It means to do this first and foremost out of love for God,

And secondly, out of love for your neighbor.

It means that you want the things God has promised so much

That youre willing to deny what you might otherwise gain in this world for

And use your life to gain what you can for Him

No matter what the cost including what others might think about you.

We saw last week that knowing Jesus means you will enjoy doing what He enjoyed

Not the least of which was serving:

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a
ransom for many (Matt. 20:28).

We all do what we want to do at all times.

And what we want to do is what will bring us the greatest pleasure.

Jesus was the same He did what pleased Him the most,

And what pleased Him the most was serving His Father and you,

In coming to lay down His life for you.

And He was rewarded for it

Because He humbled Himself to become the least of all,

He was exalted to become the greatest of all.

Jesus says if you will follow His example,

If you will humble yourself and serve others,

You also will be exalted

To the degree that you, to that degree He will exalt you.

B. Preview.

Understanding that what you do with your life

At least that part of it you spend here on earth,

By far the shortest part of it

Will determine how happy you will be forever,

You should do your best here to make sure it will be the best there.

This should be the motivation behind everything you do.

This morning, lets consider two things:

1. First, that the Bible does teach there are greater and lesser rewards in heaven.

2. And second, this should give you the motivation you need to serve Him as much
as you can.

II. Sermon.
A. First, lets consider that the Bible does teach there are greater and lesser rewards in

Thats what Paul tells us in our passage.

First, he says by Gods grace, he laid a foundation in the lives of the Corinthians (v.
10), which is Jesus Christ (v. 11).

He went to Corinth, preached the Gospel,

And those who believed by Gods grace who turned from their sins and trusted
Jesus Christ

Had a new foundation laid for their lives.

They were made new creatures who began to go the right direction.

This is also true of you,

If you have heard the Gospel,

Turned from your sins,

And trusted Jesus Christ to save you.

You are a new creation with a new heart and purpose.

Second, since that foundation was laid, they and you have been building on it

That is, since youve been saved, youve been doing different things with your life.

Some of these things have value

The things you do for the Lord,

That are according to His Word,

Because you love Him,

And because you want to honor Him

These are represented by the gold, silver, precious stones

But some of these things are worthless

The things you do for yourself

Not necessarily things that are wrong/sin,

Because the Lord has cleansed you of all that (Jude 1:24),

But the things you do that are purely for yourself

For your own pleasure, with only yourself in mind

Or for Him, but with the wrong motives

Out of love for yourself alone,

Or for your own honor, rather than Gods.

Finally, one day what youve built is going to be examined (v. 13).

Jesus will go through it to see what youve done with your life.

Paul pictures it as His putting a fire to your building to see what will burn and what

Everything youve done thats worthless will be burned up.

But everything that has value wont,

And that is what He will reward (v. 14).

What if everything youve built is destroyed?

What if it all burns?

Thankfully, the foundation is still there.

Youll still be saved by the free gift of Gods grace in Jesus Christ (v. 15).

But you wont have a reward.

Paul teaches here that there are rewards.

Every believer doesnt get the same thing in heaven.

Some will have a greater reward, because theyve done more for the Lord;

Some will have a lesser reward, because theyve done less;

And some will get no reward,

Because they couldnt overcome their sins and this world enough

To get down to actually doing what the Lord wanted them to do,

Or doing it in a way that would honor Him.

I realize some places in Scripture seem to teach that we will all get the same prize

Such as the Parable of the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16),

Where each worker gets a denarius for the day regardless of when in the day he
began to work

And sadly, some professing Christians use this as an excuse not to serve Him.

But Paul clearly teaches us otherwise.

Jesus taught the same, as weve seen, when He told His disciples,

Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever
wishes to be first among you shall be your slave (Matt. 20:26-27).

Great means there are those who are less; first means there are those who will be
second, third, fourth, last.

He says in the Sermon on the Mount,

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others
to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever
keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven

He tells us in the parables of the Talents (25:14-30) and the Minas (Luke 19:12-27)
those who do more will have a greater reward.

And He said there are two places of honor

One at Jesus right hand and one at His left

That are reserved for the two greatest servants in Gods kingdom (Matt. 20:23).

The Parable of the Vineyard is only meant to tell us that it doesnt matter when you
come to faith in Christ, you will still enter Gods rest if you trust in Jesus.

It wasnt meant to tell us everyone receives the same reward.

The Lord wants you to know that He intends to reward you for everything you do
for Him in this world

The more you do, the greater your reward.

B. Second, since this is true, it should give you the motivation you need to serve Him
as much as you can.

Why does the Lord promise to give you a reward?

Whats His purpose behind it?

Because He wants to motivate you to do the right thing

To do what needs to be done,

For your wellbeing,

For the wellbeing of your neighbor,

And for the advancement of His kingdom.

The Lord knows we need motivation.

Even Jesus, because He was a man, needed motivation

Which is one reason the Father set that joy/reward in front of Him.

The Lord has set a reward in front of you as well,

And tells you that its greatness depends on what you do for Him in this world.

What kind of reward are we talking about here? Glory and honor.

If theres one thing we all crave its glory.

We like recognition

We want to do something great,

To have our moment of glory

When others look at us and see how special we are.

Remember the last awards ceremony you were a part of,

Or the last athletic competition,

Or the last time you applied for a job,

Or maybe a scholarship to a college,

Or entered some competition at the Faire

You were hoping that youd be the one singled out,

That you would win the award, the race, the job, the scholarship, the blue ribbon.

All of these are simply different kinds of honor.

Thats what God promises to give you, if you serve Him faithfully

Not just any honor, but the honor that comes from Him;

Jesus says thats what everyone who knows Him and knows the value of this honor
will seek from Him:

He says, How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you
do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? (John 5:44).

This is what He sought

This is what moved Him to humble Himself to serve

And because of this, He received the greatest honor.

If you humble yourself and obey, He will also honor you.

Dont forget as well that this is glory you can keep.

The glory the world gives is only temporary

When you die, you will have to leave it behind forever.

But the honor He gives you can keep forever.

What else can you expect to have in heaven?

Besides seeing God, in all His beauty and glory,

And the Lord Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand

Which is the greatest blessing anyone can have

And the blessing of being with the glorified and perfected saints and angels,

You can expect to have a heart that is purified, perfected, and filled with the Spirit,

And all the love God has for you.

Love is one of the greatest things you will ever experience in this life

Love from family and friends is good.

Love from the body of Christ is ever better.

But the love God has for you is best.

It is the most fulfilling, rewarding and satisfying experience you will ever have.

Here, you have only a taste of that love

Only a down payment

But it was all you needed to turn you to Him

And to keep you going in His direction.

If that taste was so good, just think how good the whole must be

Thats what you will experience in heaven.

Does the thought of this much love, the honors God has promised, being with Him
and His Son, and with the saints and angels affect you?

Do they motivate you to seek Him more?

To do your very best to do all you can to honor Him

During your short stay on earth

So that He might honor you for the rest of time?

If they dont, maybe its because youve never really tasted His love.

Maybe youve never seen how glorious these things are.

Only the Lord can show you by His Holy Spirit.

If you havent tasted, ask the Lord to give you that taste.

If you havent seen His glory, ask Him to open your eyes.

If He does, your life will immediately and permanently change.

You will not be the person you were,

You will not keep going the same direction you have,

But you will begin to seek the things the Lord has for you in heaven.

Maybe you have seen them, but not as clearly and as powerfully as you should.

If thats the case with you,

You wont find the kind of motivation you need

To seek Gods kingdom and to serve Him as you should.

You need more of His Spirit,

And you can only get that in two ways:

Use the means He has given you,

And stop doing the things you know weaken His influence.

Jesus saw the reward clearly and powerfully.

He lived with the reality of that joy always in His view.

If you know Jesus, that is what your heart will move you to do as well.

Your time in this world is so short;

Eternity will be determined by how you use it,

And that makes it very precious.

Be sure that youre using it as best as you can

To receive as much honor as you can in heaven. Amen.