Stewardship 16 – rewards

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the stewardship and God’s eternal rewards for faithfulness.


1 Corinthians 3:5-15

5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

9  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

13  each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  14  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  15  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.


  1. Summarize Pauls’ arguments in your own words in each of the following sections:
    1. Verses 5-8
    2. Verses 9-11
    3. Verses 12-15
  2. Paul speaks of Spiritual ministry in wo metaphors in this section:
    1. Describe the metaphor he uses in verses 5-9a (the believer’s spiritual life and the spiritual worker’s “vocation” – what is good in this metaphor, why is it lacking?)
    2. Describe the metaphor he uses in verses 9b-15 (the believer’s spiritual life and the spiritual worker’s “vocation” – what is good in this metaphor, why is it lacking?)
  3. In both these metaphors Paul refers to “the reward” for good work (verse 8 and verses 13-15).
    1. What does “the Day” refer to? (verse 13)
    2. What “test of fire” do you understand Paul speaks about in context here [hint: he is talking about “builders”…]?
    3. What do you make of verse 15, also referring to “builders”: If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

Application and Prayer

In this section Paul refers to apostles specifically, and spiritual minsters in general who use their gifts to build into believers (churches and individuals); he promises that their ministry will be revealed for truthfulness when Jesus returns and they will receive a reward; they will not be saved by the truthfulness of their ministry, but rewarded for its sincerity.  This is certainly true for every calling: you will receive a reward, as Paul writes elsewhere:

Colossians 3:22-25

22  Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25  But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

  1. Stewardship promises rewards – good or bad, according to your faithfulness.
    1. Stop and reflect for a while on your work. Are you a good worker (or mother, or student, or… – depending on your main daily activity)?  Are you faithful with what the Lord has entrusted to you?  Write your thoughts down.
    2. Ask the Lord how you are doing with what he has entrusted to you. Ask Him about the rewards he has for you.  Write it down.
    3. What can you do to remind yourself daily that your faithfulness at work [your main daily activity] will have eternal consequences – that it will be rewarded eternally?

[This concludes the series on Stewardship]

Eternal Judgment 5

The aim of this devotional study is to remind oneself of how God rewards our everyday acts of kindness.

To prepare your heart with visual images for the Scripture reading, enjoy this beautiful demonstration of kindness in action by Thai Good Stories.



Matthew 25:31-46

31  “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  32  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  33  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  34  Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  36  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37  “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41  “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42  for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43  I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’  44  “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

45  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46  And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Observations and reflection

  1. How many people does one need to do an act of mercy / kindness before God notices? (v40)
  2. How do you know Jesus takes the acts of kindness to people in need very personal? (v40)
  3. List the types of kindness Jesus highlighted in this text. (v35-36) Which similar acts do you think Jesus would also reward that are not listed here?


  1. What do Jesus call people who showed kindness to people in need? (v37, 46).  Why?  How does that change the perception of the acts?  (hint: we commonly refer to “acts of kindness” as “social justice”… why?)
  2. Prepare time, a gift and a kind word, and confident faith today to show kindness to someone TODAY, knowing Jesus will reward you in eternity for it as if you did it to Him! To whom and when will you do it today?
  3. How can you prepare yourself every week / every week to do kindness to people in need, so that you “store up for yourself treasures in heaven”? (consider signing up at soup kitchen / hospital or prison ministry; also reminders on cell phone, weekly routines, someone to do it with you…)


Prayerfully reflect on David’s Psalm below and ask God to give you the heart of compassion and kindness so you can receive these temporal and eternal blessings:

Psalms 41:1-3

1  To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  2  The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. 3  The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.