Motivation and Reward

Motivation and Reward

Many people (Christians) say, “I am not going to worry about rewards. After all, what I am doing for God is out of love and not for personal gain.” Such reasoning may appear unselfish, but it is also unscriptural. As we have seen, the Scriptures admonish us repeatedly to take this whole matter of rewards seriously. We dare not ignore such exhortations from God’s Word. God has given them to motivate us to exchange our lives for things that will count for eternity rather than temporal things.

We must bear the eternal consequences if we fail to heed God’s instructions and warnings. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader, and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward, and now He sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2 (LB).

Jesus was motivated by the eternal rather than the temporal rewards, and he forsook the immediate rewards for the ultimate ones. We, as His followers, must also be motivated for the ultimate. It was by faith that Moses when he grew up, refused to be treated as the king’s grandson but chose to share ill-treatment with God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the promised Christ than to own all the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking forward to the splendid reward God would give him. – Hebrews 11:24-26 (LB).

Moses was also motivated by eternal rewards. As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he could have enjoyed “the good life” here on earth, but he realized that such pleasures were “fleeting” – only for a season. He was more concerned about the eternal rewards of God. As Jesus and Moses were, we must also be motivated by the ultimate. Each of us will take one Day account for the stewardship of our lives. 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 5:10

2 Corinthians 5:10 . τοὺς γὰρ πάντας κ . τ . λ .: for (explanatory of the reason of our desire to be “well-pleasing” to Him) we all ( τοὺς πάντας is emphatic, not only Paul who has been speaking of himself as ἡμεῖς , but “all of us” quick as well as dead ) must be made manifest . The A.V. “appear” weakens the force of the word; the Day of Judgment is to be a day when men’s characters shall be made patent to the world, and to themselves, as they have always been to God;

There are three words in the Greek language for the word “bad.” The Greek word in the verse above refers to the worth of something. It is not a word used to describe something ethically or morally wrong but rather something of little or no value. Paul is saying in this passage that one day Christ will judge the works and accomplishments of Christians to see if they are worth or worthless in light of the building of His Kingdom.

Judgment Seat of Christ

The preceding verse speaks of Christ’s “Judgment Seat,” where only believers will appear (Non-Christians will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment recorded in Revelation 20:11-15). In 1 Corinthians, we find Christ’s Judgment Seat described for us. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field and building. According to the grace of God, which was given to me as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and other builds on it. But let each one take heed of how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ?

 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw, each one’s work will become manifest; for the day will declare it because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work, which he has built on it, endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he will be saved, yet so as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:9-15. Paul says that as fellow workers, we may use two sets of materials to build upon this foundation, which is Jesus Christ: One set is indestructible: gold, silver, and precious stones. This set will stand the test of fire and only be purified by it.

The other set is very perishable: wood, hay, and straw. Such materials have a shallow kindling point and will not endure the test of fire. Peter describes the test of fire for us as he warns us about the end of the age. But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in It will be burned up. – 2 Peter 3:10. With what are you building? Are you using eternal material to build His Kingdom—that which has worth in the eyes of God (gold, silver, precious stones)? Or are you using temporal things to build your Kingdom (hay, wood, straw)? The Bible tells us that if our works do not stand the test, we will still be saved but suffer eternal loss (see 1 Corinthians 3:9-15).

What Is Eternal:

God, Himself is Eternal

In the beginning, you (God) laid the earth’s foundations, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing, you will change them, and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Psalm 102:25-27 (NIV)

God’s Word is Eternal

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not. – Mark 13:31

The Souls of Men and Women Are Eternal

People will last forever—either in HeavenHeaven or with God, for the Lord Himself will descend from HeavenHeaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who remain alive shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord.  1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 or separated from God in hell. And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from HeavenHeaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power when He comes, on that day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe because our testimony among you was believed. – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

 Jesus said:

Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him. – John 6:27

Discovering Spiritual Gifts:

  1. Explore the possibilities. Learn the gifts and how they function in the Body of Christ.
  2. Experiment: with as many gifts as possible. Get involved in ministries that require different spiritual gifts that you think you may have or desire.
  3. Examine your response toward ministries that you have tried. You will feel personal fulfillment when you exercise the gift that God has given you. Therefore, honestly examine your feelings after serving in an area of ministry.
  4. Evaluate your effectiveness in a ministry. Since God gifts to benefit others, you can expect to see positive results as you use your gifts.
  5. Expect confirmation from other Christians. Gifts are given to build up the other members of the body of Christ. You cannot discover and develop a gift without other members of the Body of Christ recognizing and confirming the gifts they see.

*****Let me celebrate my second daughter, who celebrates her 45th birthday today, Sunday, April 30, 2023.


Today, Sunday. April 30, 2023, is a unique Day of a Landmark and Milestone. Precisely, 45 years ago, On a Sunday, like this, I gave birth to my second daughter, a star child. We named her Olubukola Folasade. I called her Bubi and sang a particular song to and for her,” Flying High and High”. The song became prophetic in her Life. Today, she is known more as Folafayo, a well-known Transition & Leadership Coach specializing in Perception Shaping & DISC Profiling, a motivational speaker, and an Executive MBA in-view (Hult International Business School, United Arab Emirates). She runs the Polished Lens.

I wish my beloved daughter, Bukola Ogunfayo, a happy birthday @ 45. I rejoice with her and her family (husband & children). I also celebrate her for her achievements so far. I wish you, dear Bubi, more landmark achievements. I am very proud of you, and Mom loves you. I pray that you continue enjoying God’s Abundance and Fullness of Grace—long Life coupled with excellent health in Jesus’s Name. Congratulations Bubi @ 45

Christian Soteriology, the Human Soul and Eternity: Challenges of Modern Heresies


On Sale on Amazon. Grab a Copy Today

This Festschrift marks the 70th birthday Anniversary of Dr. Josephine O. Soboyejo, a deserving academic icon who has proved herself a worthy ambassador in the Philosophy of Religion & Theology. It contains the perspectives of Twenty-One Biblical Scholars, Theologians, and Christian Philosophers on the Immortality of the human soul and the role of Jesus Christ in the salvation story. The thrust of the Festschrift, in a well-written and researched Eighteen Chapters, is to marshal philosophical arguments and scientific and historical evidence for the Christian faith and develop an apologetic case for the Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the human soul. In essence, it clarifies the misunderstandings and misrepresentation of some people and unsettling specific objections, criticisms, or questions about Jesus Christ. This book, therefore, provides the eternal and settled truth of the Bible on soteriology as opposed to human thoughts, beliefs, and propositions that many times are agents or errors. The book is a must-read for contemporary theologians and the faithful who should give informed reasons for their lives and beliefs, including pastors and ministers of God. Still, it will also serve as a resource material for teachers, lecturers, and students in Seminaries and Universities. It will also assist growing Christians and leaders of Christian churches who may doubt the authenticity of God’s words as it relates to the theme of this book.

Spiritual Rewards and Works

Spiritual Rewards and Works:

The Bible shows that our rewards are closely related to our good works. For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works – Matthew 16:27.

Here, we can see that rewards are the result of our work. Because of this, we can conclude our reward is NOT salvation, for we can never earn salvation. For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast – Ephesians 2:8,9. Since salvation is a gift of God obtained through faith, our reward must be something other than salvation. We know God’s plan was for every Christian to give himself to good works.

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10. We also know our good works are to be maintained carefully, and they will result in profit for us. That is a faithful saying, and I want you to constantly affirm that those who believe in God should be careful to maintain good works.

 These things are excellent and profitable to men. Titus 3:8. If our works cannot save us and our reward is not salvation, to what end are our good works profitable? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to His works. – Matthew 16:27. We see that rewards result from our works. Because of this, we can conclude our reward is NOT salvation, for we can never earn salvation. For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. – Ephesians 2:8,9.

 The Five Crowns Reward:

The Bible mentions five different crowns or rewards which a child of God may win as he passes through this life. As we study these, we will mainly take note of three things: How the crowns are won! The area of life they refer to and God’s commands for each of these areas.

  1. Crown of Life

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him – James 1:12.

The crown of life is a reward promised to those who genuinely love the Lord. Loving God and demonstrating that love by enduring trials and temptations win it. These are opposite sides of the same coin. Our love for God gives us the strength to endure our testing, trials, and temptations rather than become bitter, critical, or disillusioned. This crown deals with our discipleship. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us of Jesus’ endurance under the supreme test and urges us not to lose heart in our struggles. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls – Hebrews 12:2,3. Endurance wins the Crown of Life.

2. Crown Incorruptible

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I should become disqualified. – 1 Corinthians 9:25,27.

This crown also deals with personal discipleship and is won for self-denial, something this existential age knows nothing about. The challenge of Jesus: Then He said to them all, “It anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” – Luke 9:23. Though “self-denial” may be a dirty word for the existentialist, it is at the heart of personal discipleship for every follower of Jesus Christ. If we have disciplined our lives and have denied ourselves the pleasures of sin in this life, the crown incorruptible will be ours.

 3. Crown of Joy

For what is our hope, joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 1 Thessalonians 2:19.

Here, Paul says that the Thessalonian Christian, whom he had led to Christ, would be his crown of joy on the last day in Christ’s presence. This crown is given to those who have obeyed what the Scriptures teach about evangelism.

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of Men.” Matthew 4:19

If you are not a fisher of men, I don’t know whom you are following, but I would wonder if it is Jesus. He said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Evangelism may not be your primary gift, but at least you will know how to fish for men. If Jesus taught you to fish, you would not come home empty-handed. Men and women will be brought into the Kingdom because of the testimony, not only of your life but your lips as well. If you have been faithful to proclaim Christ to others during this life, this crown will belong to you on that last day.

 4. Crown of Glory

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5:2-4.

This crown is given as a reward to those who nurture the flock of God. It is not a unique crown reserved for the clergy, but one every Christian can win. It has to do with caring for the children of God, helping them to grow in Christ so they can serve in the building of God’s Kingdom—in other words, disciple-making.

Jesus said: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. – Matthew 28:19 (NASV).

Jesus’ last command is to be our first. We are charged with the responsibility of disciplining the nations. Jesus not only commands us to BE disciples but to MAKE disciples.

 5. Crown of Righteousness

Finally, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but to all who have loved His appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:8.

Those who live in anticipation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ win this crown. Many Christians have hopes, dreams, and aspirations that do not concern God or His Kingdom. For such people, Christ’s return would “ruin everything.” Jesus said: Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.

Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat and will come and serve them.” – Luke 12:37.

Jesus desired that we live life watching and waiting for His return, exchanging our lives for the building of His Kingdom. If we do, we will receive the crown of righteousness. Are you living for His coming?


 Crown                                        How Obtained                                     Area of Life

 Life                                   Enduring Trials & Temptations                   Discipleship

 Incorruptible                    Self-denial                                                    Discipleship

 Joy                                    Soul-Winning                                                Evangelism

 Glory                                 Under Shepherd.                                           Disciple-making

 Righteousness        Looking for the Second Coming of Christ   Second Coming of Christ 

The Crown of Life and Crown Incorruptible are vertical. These two crowns comprise the Vertical Spokes that deal with our personal discipleship and walk with God. They relate to the Great Commandment and demonstrate in a very tangible fashion our love for God (Matthew 22:27-38 – the First Commandment) and our willingness to make disciples.

The following two crowns (Joy & Glory) are horizontal. The Crown of Joy and the Crown of Glory relate to the Great Commission and engage us in what God has commanded us to do. We are to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19) and makers of disciples (Matthew 28:19).

The last crown (Righteousness) is related to the hub of our existence, which makes Jesus the Great Commander of our lives. All five crowns demonstrate the reality of obeying God’s Word.


Spiritual Growth and Transformation

Spiritual Growth and Transformation

 Spiritual Growth:

  1. Biblical Literacy – Knowing, understanding, and applying God’s word individually and corporately. (Psalm 119:10-16; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:16
  2. Spiritual Formation and Growth – Learning the value of humility, thankfulness, love, personal holiness, study, stewardship, and giving. Developing authenticity and a healthy balanced life. (Deu. 6:6-9; Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:22-26.
  3. Spiritual Vitality – Knowing the value of walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, being filled and consumed by His energy, power, and presence. (Is. 44:3-5; Eph. 5:15-21)


  1. Gift-Based – Discovering and exercising your unique spiritual gifts and offering sacrificial contributions in ministry. (Ps. 139:13-16, Rom. 12:3-8; 1Cor.12).
  2. Missions – Relational evangelism, church multiplication, international missions, and God-inspired ministry. Matt. 9:10-13; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:16.
  3. Justice – Upholding Christian worldview in all issues of life. Defending the cause of the weak, maintaining the rights of the poor and the oppressed. (Is. 1:17; Ps. 82:3; Luke 4:18-19).

Personal Spiritual Growth

 Personal Spirituality:

When people begin to see that their lives should be invested in eternal rather than temporal things, they first need Personal Spiritual Management. The first lesson in this subject area trains the student from God’s Word in how to manage the resource of time. Here, they learn that God has given them all the time they need to accomplish the tasks God has assigned them. When they have learned to live by this principle, it will give them time to invest in the matters of His Kingdom. Following that, we teach students how to organize their time using.

**Credits to Dave Dawson, Equipping The Saints, Book One – A, pp.3-24

“Personal and Spiritual Management Aid” (PSMA). It is divided into three parts. One-part deals with the students’ devotions—Day by Day, spending time with God, preparing their hearts to walk with Him, and receiving direction for what God wants them to do during the day. The next part focuses on the basics of the Christian life: Bible reading, Bible study, prayer, Scripture memory, witnessing, follow-up, and caring for God’s temple, the Body of Christ.

The final part is a time management aid on which the students make out a “do list,” rearranging their activities in keeping with their newly- formed Biblical priorities, arranged around the eternal. If people cannot manage their time, they will never correctly manage anything else!

The basic principle: God has provided us with time to invest in the eternal things of God; this is the heartbeat of spiritual formation.

Evangelism – The first lesson in this section is devoted to teaching students another principle from God’s Word: “If you follow me, I will make you fishers of men.” That is a worthy vocation, one that demands obedient application. Unfortunately, research reveals that only five percent of people in the Church ever share their faith with another person.

Basic Christian Living:

The lessons involving basic Christian living deal with the fundamental business of living out one’s Christianity, including such matters as having the assurance of one’s salvation, learning how to have a quiet time, the importance of prayer, walking in victory, understanding the importance of the Word of God and obedience, and coming to grips with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The imperative of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is “Go and make disciples.” At this moment, the whole world is talking about discipleship. If you’re not into discipleship, you’re missing it! There may be a difference between the discipleship Jesus talked about and the discipleship the Church talked about in the twentieth century.

The Importance of Scripture Memory:

Scripture memory is one of the most critical aspects of Basic Christian Living. If people know the Word of God and can quote it (“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart…”), they are more apt to apply it to their lives and share it with others. God’s original intention is outlined in Paul’s letter to Ephesians.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..”. Ephesians 4:11,12

In this passage, God gave the “full-time Christian workers” (the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) to the Church for a particular purpose. That purpose was NOT to do the work of the ministry themselves, but “… to get His holy people ready to serve as workers and build the body of Christ” (Beck translation). These special agents were to be coaches to train the disciples to be the players in the Great Commission. The ordinary saints of the Church were to be on the front lines—witnessing, leading their friends to Christ, and disciplining the nations. Scripture is so clear—the ministry and the edifying of the Body of Christ belong to the saints. These gifted leaders are responsible for equipping the saints so they can engage in the work of ministry.

Two Great Realities of Life:

  1. Cross-of-Christ/White Throne Judgment and
  2. Judgment Seat of Christ (Beama Seat)

 Issues                      Person’s sin                                  Person’s work

 Decisions.               Where I will spend eternity          What eternity will be like

  Results.                     Heaven or Hell.                                Reward or loss of reward

The First Reality: is the cross of Christ, from where He died for the sins of humankind over 2000 years ago. Each reality involves an issue. At the cross, the issue is our personal sin, those thoughts, and deeds that separate us from God. Each issue requires a decision. Our decision about sin in light of the cross will decide where we will spend eternity. God’s plan for each of us is that we spend eternity with Him in Heaven. However, if a person refuses to deal with the issue of sin in light of the cross, God has no recourse but to send him to hell. He refused to let Jesus’ blood from the cross cover his sin. All of this someday will culminate at the Great White Throne Judgment, where unbelievers will be judged at the end of the millennium. If there is no work of repentance for sin, their names will not be recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and this judgment is recorded in Revelation 20:11-15. They will be cast into the lake of fire because of their unwillingness to deal with this first reality.

The Second Reality – Judgment Seat of Christ: This is often called the Beama or reward seat. From here, the believers, or the Obeyers of Christ, will someday be rewarded for their faithful stewardship to the building of God’s Kingdom here on earth. The issue in this second reality is the believer’s works. It is not our sin since it was covered by Jesus’ substitutionary death upon the cross for our sin (the first reality).

Study on Rewards:

The Bible warns us many times that we are to be careful to both strive for and protect spiritual rewards. “Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast to what you have, that no one may take your crown”. – Revelation 3:11. It is possible that someone could take another’s crown away, or Jesus would not have warned us about it. Stay Alert and let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind – Colossians 2:18.

It is possible that someone could deceive another of his reward, or Paul would not have warned us about it. “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully” – 2 John 1:8 NIV. One could receive less than a full reward, or John would not have warned us.

Next Sunday, I will write about Spiritual Rewards and Works.