Last summer I read a tantalizing article with this thought, plus a question for its readers.

“A lifetime without seeing a reward….”

Tremendous thought today from ______, based on Malachi 3:13. In his full page of meditations, he says, “The reluctant say that it is “futile” to serve Him. There is no “gain” in keeping His commands, Malachi 3:14,15. These people believe religion ought to pay big dividends now. It ought to bring great rewards immediately. The general feeling is that folks surely will not serve God for nothing, Job 1:9. In spite of that sentiment, the faithful may live a lifetime without seeing a reward, Hebrews 11:13.”

Focus question: When it seems there’s no advantage to faith, what’s wrong with my thinking?


New Testament encouragement does not promise earthly rewards for obedience, and if the Old Testament were given for our schoolmaster, why don’t we read to find answers there?

Even without consulting a concordance, we can remember details of God’s promises to Abraham along with Abraham’s faithfulness and belief in the Father and his promises—without doubting.

What about Job and his resolute affirmation, “I have not sinned?” Was God his defender? Who proved to be right about Job’s affliction, Job or the friends?

There are two Psalms I don’t like to read – by Heman and one other like him, considered to be wise compared to Solomon. They don’t have any hope throughout the entire Psalm. This may not be a necessary study, but here are some references in case you want to check who these men are (1 Chr. 2:4-61 Chr. 15:16-19).

Those who claim there is no reward from God seem to forget that all their ‘blessings’ or ‘rewards’ come from the one they despise (Psa. 73:1-28). They fail to see they are not plagued like others. Therefore, they are blinded – willingly so – and give credit to their own hands for all the good God gives them (see also Sennacharib, etc.).

Second, God put more joy in David’s heart than the others when their wine and oil were increased (Psa. 4:7). Note also from where David’s reward came (Psa. 19:7-11). Paul’s joy (of which he boasted) was in seeing himself growing in the image of Christ – for an eternal reward in the here and now. Actually, all the other joys that could come on Judgment Day pale in comparison to the fact that we are getting the major reward right now, through trials and tribulation, in which we grow in the image of Christ, the image of the Divine Nature (if we are indeed growing).

We are saved by hope, and if there is no ‘evidence’ of eternal reward here, it could make one wonder if there is any hope.

Yet, we still see hope and a grand lesson in Abraham’s promises and his not setting foot on the soil he was promised.

● Acts 7:5—Abraham didn’t inherit enough to put his foot on

5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

● Genesis 28:4—Abraham did walk in the land he was to inherit

4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.

● Hebrews 11:13

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

● Hebrews 11:39-40

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Jesus, nor Paul, saw their reward in this life, but they acknowledged that the resurrection was THE proof that they and we will inherit!


And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written (John 19:17-22).

The term, “King of the Jews” is used 18 times in the New Testament scriptures—each time referring to Jesus.  At the time of Jesus’ birth (Matt. 2:2), there was a common belief that some remarkable person was about to emerge in Judea. The Jews were anxiously looking for the coming of the Messiah. By computing the time mentioned by Daniel (Dan. 9:25-27), they knew that the period was approaching when He would appear. The person they were looking for was supposedly going to be a temporal prince, and they were expecting that He would deliver them from Roman bondage. It was natural that this expectation should spread into other countries. At the time, many Jews lived in Egypt, Rome or Greece.  Also, many had gone to Eastern countries, and in every place they carried their sacred writings, and talked of their expectation that some noteworthy person was about to arise.

The Jews were all looking for the kingdom of God (Luke 3:15; 17:20; John 1:41). Daniel had prophesied the world-ruling kingdom of God would be established in the days of Rome (Dan. 2:44). By the time Christ was born, Rome had ruled the world for about 80 years, and the Jews and even many in the world knew the kingdom could come any time. If the Jews could find the king, they could find the kingdom (John 1:41; John 3:28; John 4:28-29; John 4:42; John 7:41; John 10:24). Although the Jews looked for the kingdom, because of envy, they crucified the very one the multitudes identified as their king.

Whether or not Pilate was convinced of what he wrote, he used three languages to write for the world to see that Jesus was the king of the Jews (Luke 23:38)! Pilate rejected the Jews’ demand to alter the writing or remove it (John 19:22).

Even the thief testified that Jesus’ kingdom would be set up after His death (Luke 23:42). Peter accused the Jews of crucifying their king (Acts 4:10), and on the day of Pentecost, Peter proved that God had foreordained the king of the kingdom would be put to death (Act 2:23). It was not until after His death that Jesus was crowned with all power in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). Jesus is king over His spiritual kingdom. Only His citizens can claim Him as their king (John 18:36). Jesus was made both Lord and Christ. The name Christ means anointed one. Jesus is both Lord and king (Acts 2:36). He is Lord over all men (Acts 10:36).

Jesus has been exalted with authority above every authority not only on this earth but also in heaven (Matt. 28:18). He is approved as Lord not only in this life but also in that which to come (Eph. 4:21). Jesus is not seated as king of a physical nation (John 8:23). He is king of the Jews but only in a spiritual sense (Rom. 9:6-7). His kingdom is not of this world; it is not a physical kingdom (John 18:36). He is king of all people who are spiritual Jews (Rom. 2:28-29). He is king only of those who are translated into His marvelous kingdom (Col. 1:13).

The king of the Jews has made all His subjects priests to offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet. 2:5-9; Heb. 13:15). If His people suffer with Him, He will make them kings to reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12). If His citizens overcome the battle with Satan He will give them power over the nations as He received of His Father (Rev. 2:26-27). If His citizens overcome they will reign with Him forever and ever (Rev. 22:5).

Blessed be the King of the Jews! (Luke 19:38).

–Beth Johnson



Knowing the one true God and the Jesus he sent (John 17:3) requires faith that there is one true God.  To God’s chosen apostle, there was one God, the Father, from whom are all things (1 Cor. 8:6).  That same God and Father made all things through Jesus (Col. 1:15-18John 1:1-4).  That same Father gave Jesus all of his authority after the cross (Matthew 28:18).



For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat:
I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:
Naked, and ye clothed me not:
Sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me (Matt. 25:42-45).

Continue reading YE DID IT NOT TO ME


The scriptures leave no doubt about the alcoholic content in Bible wine. The testimony is virtually unanimous that their wine had an extremely low content of alcohol. Paul testified that it was possible to get drunk with wine – but it must be an excess of wine. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph. 5:18). How much excess did it take to become drunk in Bible times?