Friday, September 19, 2014


After two years, my favorite post on this blog is still one of the first.  When I thought about how different the fairy story of Cinderella is from the most romantic story in the Bible (Ruth), I learned so much about the kind of woman God wants me to be.  He wants workers.  When Ruth worked hard in the hot fields, gleaning grain so that she and her mother in law could eat, Boaz gave her this blessing:
May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.(Ruth 2:12)
Ruth was  rewarded beyond the extra grain Boaz left for her.  She went from being a poverty stricken foreigner to the wife of a rich man and the great grandmother of the future king of Israel.  God certainly listened to Boaz's wishes for Ruth.

I don't want to come across in an Osteen-like way.  God -- His kingdom and His purpose -- comes very first in our lives, and we never work for him with a sense of entitlement, expecting a reward or else.  But I don't think the inspired authors of the Bible would have spoken of rewards if they didn't expect us to look forward to them. When we do our work for the Lord, our reward from Him is often more than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20) and rarely material. 

I still have young children at home, so the work of parenting is near and dear to my heart right now.  My prayer each night is that my kids grow up to become Christians. Although Timothy was raised as a Jew, I bet his mother Eunice prayed for him to be a faithful servant of the Lord as well.  Like me, she would have been content with her child going to heaven.  Sometimes, though, God rewards our work as parents beyond what we can hope.  Timothy grew up not only to follow Christ, but to overcome his frequent ailments (1 Timothy 5:23) to be a missionary with Paul and a leader in the church. When we patiently teach our young ones Bible stories, when we live our faith in front of them, when we teach them how to pray and why, we may be training the next Timothy.

Like Paul, some women don't have children born to them, but they can still be rewarded in the mentoring they do with younger women.  All "older" women in the church are encouraged to teach the younger women how to live as Christians (Titus 2:3-5).  Don't consider yourself an older woman?  Ask a 10 year old how old she thinks you are, and you may change your mind! The point is, whether we have children or not, we can be richly rewarded by watching the women we mentor grow in the faith.

Those women might grow up to be like Tabitha, who did her good works among the needy.  While we won't be resurrected from the dead, we can have the other reward that she had, the respect and love of the people she ministered to (Acts 9:36-41).  Her work was ordinary, making garments for the widows, but she was paid back in friendships.  Do you have widows at church?  They may not need garments, but I bet they could use a visit.  I've found some wonderful friends among the older ladies at church.  Another good friend of mine picks up an older lady and her granddaughter for every church service.  We've all been rewarded by the little girl's sunny disposition. 

When I worked a nine to five job, I overlooked the fact that I could do that work for the Lord too.  I wonder what kind of rewards I missed in those years?  Maybe it's a stretch, but Esther's job as queen could be seen in a similar light.  God used her in her job, the Queen of Persia to save her entire nation.  Likewise, our jobs as teachers, house cleaners, and cashiers may not seem to intersect our lives as Christians, but we should always be looking for opportunities to obey our Savior in every job we do.  As Paul said,
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:17)
Esther was rewarded by being the instrument whereby her people were saved from destruction.  Perhaps we can be rewarded by watching a coworker become a Christian or changing a policy to make our environments more friendly to our faith.

When it comes down to it, though, our greatest reward will not be one we see here on Earth.  Jesus told us where our true treasure is.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21).
As women, we have tremendous opportunities to serve the Lord in every area of our lives.  Teaching our children, doing good works for the people around us, living our normal every day lives, when we do the work for Jesus, we are building up treasures in heaven, and we might even have rewards we can't anticipate here on Earth. 


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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