When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat enough grapes to satisfy your appetite; but you are not to put any in your basket.

Deuteronomy 23:25

The rewards for work in the secular world are quite different than are the rewards from working for God. Let’s examine these differences.

In the secular world, we are rewarded according to the rules of man. These vary with the particular role assigned us. We could be working for an hourly wage, being paid just for the hours we spend on the job, or we could be paid a salary, being paid for the job to be completed. Our role may be temporary, able to be replaced without notice, or it may be permanent, moving from one contract to another seamlessly. We also may be paid on commission, that is, being paid for the number of units we sell, in a given time, or being paid for the number of contacts we turn over to a given salesman.

Even when we are self-employed, we adhere to a set of rules determined by men. We may pay ourselves according to the volume of sales, either by us or by others in our employ. We may take what we need to live on only, placing any additional funds back into the company. Or, we may leave everything within the company, as it is growing towards the goals we set for it. The scenarios are endless.

Very seldom do I have the opportunity to use my personal passage of Scripture in the teachings I write. But, here today, comes one of those opportunities. In Colossians 3:23,24 we find –

Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but Adonai. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from Adonai. You are slaving for Adonai, for the Messiah.

To what understanding do these verses lead us? One suggestion is ‘the work we do for Adonai is reward itself’. There is no greater reward than actually working for the King of the universe. While this is true, it does not provide an adequate answer to the question – what are our rewards from working for Adonai?

Verse 24 shares with us our reward will be ‘the inheritance from Adonai.’ The ‘inheritance’ mentioned in this verse is known to us as both the promise of eternal life with our King and the granting of our share of Israel, as equal partners with the Israelites. But is that all we are given? Let’s go back to our opening Scripture, Deuteronomy 23:25. Notice the phrase, you may eat enough grapes to satisfy your appetite. Herein we are given the understanding of continuous reward of life-sustenance, as we toil for Him. He will look after all our needs, physical and spiritual; we are His servants and He has taken on the obligation of caring for those who work for Him. But there is more.

Our Beloved Abba has ensured us of blessing, as we ‘slave’ for Him. We find this promise in Proverbs 24:12 – Yes, he who guards you will know it (what we have done) and repay each one as his deeds deserve. Thus, as we work for Him, He will ensure we receive blessings from His bountiful store. He will not neglect us nor will He abandon us in the work we do for Him.

Many of us work for honour and glory from man. This is useless and senseless work, as the glory and fame from man is temporary and fleeting. Very seldom do the works of man remain with him, following his death. Only in very rare cases will a man’s name rest with his works beyond his death.

We all know of William Hoover, after which the Hoover vacuum cleaner was named. But, do we know the names, Walter Griffiths, James B. Kirby or James Murray Spangler, all of whom designed and built the first electrically-powered vacuum cleaners? Hoover, who in 1908, bought the patent for Spangler’s invention, went on to become the name for a well-known brand of cleaner.

What many people do not know is William Henry Hoover was a strong leader in his congregation and a fierce follower of Adonai. For this he received much support, recognition and wealth, which he donated to many and varied causes.

As noted in volume 113 of the Living Church[1], William Hoover was awarded the William Henry Hoover Lectureship in Christian Leadership, a series of lectures given annually at the University of Chicago. This is the story of only one believer, who worked for Adonai and was rewarded.

Beloved, we have all been given the opportunity to work for our Master and, when we accept His invitation, we will be greatly rewarded. Some of us will be given much, as we will have done much for Him, while some of us will be given little. What is clear, though, when we work for Him, we will receive what we have earned in out toiling for Him, the Creator of the universe and the Lover of our souls.

CONSIDER: Are we doing what we can for Adonai, the Ruler of the Universe and the Lover of our souls? Are we doing what He has called us to do or are we working for the recognition of both Adonai and man?

ACT: I urge all of us to get on our knees and ask the Blessed Holy Spirit of the Living God, to help us recognize where our efforts are aimed. Ask Him to guide us all.

PRAY: Abba, Beloved Adonai, I seek your guidance and leadership. I ask for you to help me understand for whom I am working. Am I doing what you have asked me to do and am I doing this in the right way? B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, Mashichainu.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you fully and richly.

[1] The Living Church, Morehouse Gorham, Vol. 113, 1946.

By heartformessiah

Dr. Michael Wodlinger is a Messianic Jew, living in Quebec, Canada. He has been a university professor and a rabbi of a Messianic Fellowship.

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