1 Corinthians 3:8 - The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
Rewards. Many believe that speaking of being rewarded for serving God is not appropriate. We should be altruistic and serve just to serve. That's a nice thought, but it is not in human's nature to always do this. In fact, since God created us, He knows and understands this.
In the Scriptures, there are a number of references to our receiving rewards. Let me give a few examples (all are from the ESV):
Hebrews 11:6 - "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Colossians 3:23-24 - "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
Matthew 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Jesus speaking)
Genesis 15:1 - "After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: 'Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.'”
Psalm 19:9-11 - "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward."
Revelation 22:12 - “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done."
Paul speaking to these believers assures them that when we serve the Lord - there is a payday someday, and we will receive rewards. The Bible speaks of 5 crowns given out to believers. I am going to list them and their Scripture references, and I challenge you to look at each of these crowns.
1. The Incorruptible Crown: 1 Corinthians 9:24, 25. This is also called the imperishable crown. This crown is given to believers who faithfully run the race, who crucify every selfish desire in the flesh and point men to Jesus.
2. The Crown of Rejoicing: 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20. & Daniel 12:3 To those who faithfully are witnesses to the saving grace of God and leads souls to Jesus. This crown has also been named the soul winner's crown.
3. The Crown of Life: James 1:12. For those believers who endure trials, tribulations, and severe suffering, even unto death Revelation 2:8-11. This crown is also referred to as the martyr's crown.
4. The Crown of Righteousness: 2 Timothy 4:8. To those who love the appearing of Christ, who anxiously wait and look forward to the day when He will return for His saints. This crown is given to those who have lived a good and righteous life for God while living down here on earth.
5. And finally, The Crown of Glory: 1 Peter 5:1-4. This is the pastor’s crown and will be given to the ministers who faithfully feed the flock of God. . This probably could also include preachers, teachers, Sunday School teachers, missionaries and all those who teach the Word of God in their respective ministries. This crown may signify the importance and sacrifices of bringing up others into the ways of God.
So, today, spend some time meditating on the teaching of rewards. Remember, a reward is not handed out for just sitting and soaking - they are given for those who go and grow. Check out the scriptures that go with each crown, and make a plan on how you can receive each one of these one day from the hands of the Savior.