Making application work

05 Jan 2022 12:32 PM | Josh Hunt (Administrator)


God is a rewarder

Hebrews 11:6 is my favorite verse:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.—Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

God is a rewarder. It is impossible for me to draw near to God except that I believe that God is a rewarder. If God is a rewarder, I will be rewarded for seeking Him. It is always in my best interest to live the Christian life. It is always good for me to follow God.

This is important because we are all irrevocably hardwired to do what we believe to be in our best interest. The key word is believe. This is why faith is so important to Christian living. What we believe determines what we do. If we believe that God is good; if we believe that He is smart; if we believe that He has our best interest at heart; then trusting Him is relatively easy.

But if in my heart of hearts I believe that God is not good, that He can’t be trusted, that He is not after my well-being, it is impossible—impossible for me to draw near to Him. Not because this belief that God is a rewarder is some kind of magic key that opens the door; it is simply the nature of things. I am irrevocably hardwired to do what I believe to be is in my best interest. I will only seek God if I really believe He is a rewarder.

I must come to love the Christian life or I will never come to live the Christian life.

The people you teach must come to love the Christian life or they will never come to live the Christian life.

Prayer must become for them a sweet hour of prayer, or I will bet they didn’t pray this morning.

Service is either a joy or a struggle.

Self-control will only get us so far. We will only make it so far forcing ourselves to do what we fundamentally don’t believe is in our best interest. Sooner or later we will do what we believe is best for us. We either come to believe that God is good, that God is a rewarder, that it is good for us to follow God, or we will not follow God very far.

There is a place in Christian living for self-control. There are times when we must force ourselves to do what we don’t feel like doing in the moment. There are times we must force ourselves to give even when it hurts. But, we either become joyful givers or we end up becoming stingy, selfish, people.

We must come to love the Christian life, or we will never come to live the Christian life. This is the key to application.

Josh Hunt, The Effective Bible Teacher (Josh Hunt, 2013).

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