Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. Revelation 22:12
With these and similar words God has forewarned us that we are accountable to him for what we have done in our flesh. By the same token his words amount to a form of Miranda rights that says every action done in the flesh will be used to defend or condemn your life. In other words your actions define the way you think consequently what you do is the outcome of your thoughts. Letís remember when we face God in his court God will determine where we will spend eternity in accordance with the way we lived.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment Hebrews 9:27
Everyone has a mandatory appointment with the judgment seat of God. The evidence accumulated about your life whether good or bad will be presented. Your outward appearance, your stature in the world, and what you consider important may not be considered for God is not interested in your outward appearance but in the condition of your heart.
Consequently the way we prepare ourselves for our appointment with the judgment seat of God demands we know more about God and what he hoped man would become. To begin with God has forewarned mankind of sinís penalty and the method he will use to judge every person. Throughout the inspired word of God he has made his thoughts and actions known to his creation.
At the same time God is the father of mankind who wants to rear his children according to his outlook on life. In the same way the discipline of you as a parent teaches your children to behave in the way you find acceptable. Within the disciplines we teach our children is a common respect for one another.
God is the father of mankind but man doesnít see him as their father. They see a father and mother responsible for their birth and over time became an adult under their leadership. However the birth of the flesh is not as important as the birth of our eternal spirit that was designed to live forever. Being born again is the birth of our spirit which is a new beginning changing our existence through a decision made by God (John 1:13).
This new beginning to life is where we were born into Godís kingdom and we became citizens of heaven. In this life we are no longer estranged to God but members of God's household (Ephesians 2:19-20). Now that our relationship with God has changed we have the responsibility of allowing God to rear us as he sees fit.
Fathers have an ordained place of authority in which his children consistently challenge whether it is a father of flesh or father of Spirits. Keep in mind that God disciplines his children and has their respect for it.
the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Hebrews 12:6
Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Job 5:17
Respect for one another is learned from the experiences of our parents. Yet respect for one another is embedded into our character when we obey our parents. The same is true in our relationship with our heavenly father. Love for our heavenly father compels us to obey him and through obedience his teaching molds our character.
However parents gain respect from their children through rewards and punishment. The reward may be an ice cream cone, the punishment means some privileges are taken away. At times it is the reward that gains our attention and obedience. Is going to heaven a reward for obeying God?
Jesus asked why do you call me Lord if you donít do as I ask (Luke 6:46). Our father said Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you that it may go well with you (Jeremiah 7:23).
Think of his demand as good advice as one who doesnít want his children to be harmed by what they do. If your son asks for food will you offer him poison (Luke 11:11)? If you know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to his children?
We have to assume that God will not ask us to do things that warrant punishment. Quite frankly punishing my child was something I did not want to do but I found essential in my childís development. Because of discipline my child is a respected person among her peers. At the same time God may not want to punish his child but knows his discipline will create right standing with God and our fellow man.
In time the discipline of our children becomes the teaching that our children pass down to their children. We discipline our children to teach them not everything comes your way but to restrain themselves from doing as they see fit. For restraint will prevent ruin from overtaking their lives.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
With wisdom and discipline comes knowledge of the wise that have experience in certain matters and knows the consequences of handling our lives poorly. God has given us knowledge that evil behavior has a consequence that no one in their right mind wants. On the other hand God has given us knowledge that good behavior has a reward that everyone wants.
Knowledge has an advantage that in obeying the almighty God you have the guarantee of eternal life. Still that guarantee has strings attached requiring you to repent from evil, accept Jesus as Lord, love one another and obey your heavenly father.
In the long run you donít find fault in those who do things exactly as you do. Will God find fault in you when you obey him or will you be rewarded?
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