2 Corinthians 5
We should live for the eternal rather than the temporal, and we will be rewarded accordingly.
One of the marks of maturity is the ability to put off immediate reward for the sake of a future goal. Likewise, the willingness to put off temporal reward for the sake of eternal reward is a good mark of Christian maturity. The Scriptures teach that someday we must all appear before the bema seat of Christ. In ancient Greece, the bema was the grandstand where judges gave out honors to the winners of athletic competitions. Thus, it is before the divine "bema" that we will all appear. If we compete according to the eternal rules, we will gain the honor of reward from the eternal Judge. As Paul wrote, we must set our minds "on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2).
Offer your praise to the Lord as you "set your mind on things above":
Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us. (Psalm 123:1-2)
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
As you seek to keep your life free from sin and in fellowship with Him, pray this confession to the Lord:
"My God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens" (Ezra 9:6).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
Then pray this affirmation to the Lord:
We make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
- Greater commitment to Him
- The work of specific Christian ministries
- Your activities for the day
Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:23-24)