Read: Job 1:6-12 |
“Tipping”, for services provided, is practiced world-wide even though it is frowned upon in some cultures.
Historians believe that tipping began in the late Middle Ages when a master gave his servant a few coins as an expression of good will. By the 17th century in English taverns, drinkers adopted the practice and gave it a name. They would slip money to the waiter “To Insure Promptitude” or T.I.P. for short. The term caught on and spread world-wide.
When it arrived in the United States, tipping was not welcomed. In fact, it was initially seen as a way for the rich to show off and gain extra favor ahead of those who could not afford to tip. In 1904, the Anti-Tipping Society of America vigorously opposed it. Yet, it survived.
By the 1960’s, the laws began to acknowledge the entrenched practice as taxable income. Now, tipping has become an integral part of our society with recommended “tip” amounts posted everywhere. [Source: A Brief History of Tipping]
Do we “tip” God in hope of a reward?
My question for believers is, do we “tip” God in hope of a reward? Do we selectively serve Him in an effort to influence the promptitude of His favor?
In Job chapter one, Satan wonders aloud if Job only served God because God kept rewarding him! Admittedly, rewards can be a key stimulate in our service to God, which was Satan’s original point. The Bible record, however reveals that Job wasn’t guilty of such a selfish motive. Before we attempt to answer the question for ourselves, let us examine the gifts and rewards that God provides believers. In turn, we will examine the inherit motives behind our service.
Believers receive gifts and rewards
Believers receive gifts and rewards from God. The gifts we receive are given by God to the believer without payment, they are a free gift. We receive the gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit and a ticket to our eternal home in Heaven, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
God also rewards His children based on our daily walk with Him as faithful servants. The rewards include:
- Earthly Blessings
- Heavenly Rewards
Our earthly blessings include rewards for our faithfulness in carrying out the stewardship our time, talent and treasure. Psalms 84:11 notes that “..no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” It is easy to think of these rewards as financial blessings like Jobs, but they are just as valuable when He provides spiritual blessings such as peace, joy, assurance, comfort etc. Additional supporting scriptures include: 2 Chronicles 15:7; Psalm 18:24; Psalm 62:12; Psalm 17:14; Jeremiah 31:16; Matthew 6:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 6:35,38; Philippians 4:7; Ephesians 6:8; I Peter 1:8.
Our heavenly rewards are given at judgement for our works on earth. They include earning crowns in Heaven according to what we have done on earth. Matthew 16:27 notes that when Jesus returns, He will reward believers according to what they have done. Insightful scriptures include: Luke 6:22-23; Luke 14:12-14; I Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; I Peter 5:4; Revelations 2:10
Each of these rewards can reinforce our perseverance, elevate our faith and crystalize our resolve to serve God and follow His plan for our lives.
The fact that God’s rewards are available to us can be in the back of our minds. However, we have to be careful that our service to God is not primarily motivated to gain more rewards. We serve and obey God because He is God and is worthy of our praise and service. Serve Him as though no reward is available for following His plan for our lives.
After all, improperly motivated service is unworthy and neutralizes the pleasing fragrance from our worship and acts of service. Instead, let any of the rewards related to being a good servant, be your gratification and not your motivation.
– A Life God Rewards: Why Everything You Do Today Matters Forever – Bruce Wilkinson
Series Outline with links:
1. Reward – Serve Him for the reward of His fellowship and presence in your life
2. Fear – Serve Him with a reverent fear and respect for His power, presence and protection
3. Duty – Serve Him dutifully; we are called to serve Him
4. Love – Serve with all your heart, soul and mind
5. Joy – Serve Him joyfully; the joy of the Lord is our strength
1. Temptation and Sin – Cannot serve Him because I’m not “holy” enough
2. Burn-out Part 1 – Cannot serve Him because I’ve lost motivation and energy
3. Burn-out Part 2 – Cannot serve Him because I need to refuel and reload
4. Rationalization – Future – Cannot serve Him because I don’t have the time, talent, treasure necessary
5. Procrastination – Future – Cannot serve Him because I’m not able to find the right opportunity and follow through
1. Discover –
A. Does the reward that God might provide you ever cross your mind when you decide to serve Him?
B. Have you ever done something “for” God to impress someone else? How did it turn out?
C. Do you feel that the rewards that God offers are insufficient to stimulate you to serve Him? Explain, what would it take to stimulate you to serve Him daily?
2. Develop –
A. Have you considered reinvesting some of God’s rewards to you into the lives of others?
B. How do you react when you sense God’s blessings in your life? Do you testify to others? Say a prayer of gratefulness?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Does your life demonstrate a life of service filled with gratification for God’s blessings and rewards -OR- a life that is guided by quid pro quo – a favor or advantage granted or expectation in return for something?