Many times in the gospels, Jesus lifts up the hope of future rewards as a legitimate motivation for good works. And the reward theme continues in the rest of the New Testament. Let’s see what Jesus and the apostles had to say about keeping our eye on the prize.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Mt 5:11-12). Persecuted for your faith = REWARD.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven…when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you…when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Mt 6:1,3,4,6). Practice your righteousness with humility = REWARD.
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great” (Lk 6:35). Love, good works, generosity = REWARD.
“Now he who plants and he who waters are on one mission; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (I Cor 3:8). Planting and watering = REWARD.
“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward” (I Cor 9:16-17). Preaching the gospel = REWARD.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col 3:23-24). Diligence in your work = REWARD.
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you will receive a full reward” (II Jn 1:7-8). Staying true to the gospel message = REWARD.
And finally, “Behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me to render to every man according to what he has done…Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gate into the city” (Rev 22:12,14). Heaven is our ultimate reward!