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A Life God Rewards

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Overview

What if every action you did today made a difference forever?After many years of intensive biblical study on this topic, Bruce Wilkinson has arrived at some astonishing conclusions about how we should live each day. A Life God Rewards builds on the two previous books in the BreakThrough series to continue the revelation of God’s extravagant best for His children. The Prayer of Jabez showed His plan for present blessing, Secrets of the Vine explained fruitfulness for a lifetime, and now Wilkinson clarifies the concept of rewards for eternity. For Christians who think there are no consequences to how they live, this book is a lightning bolt of motivation. Reading A Life God Rewards will inspire every Christian to run hard towards the finish line of this life, when they can finally hear the sweetest words imaginable: “Well done.” “You will see God’s tenacious love for you in a new light,” says Wilkinson. “You’ll understand more clearly His important expectations for your life. You will feel a growing motivation to invest your energies in doing what matters to God. And you’ll break free from the sins that sabotage your joy now and your potential for even greater joy in heaven.”

Details

  • SKU: 9781576739761
  • SKU10: 1576739767
  • Title: A Life God Rewards
  • Series: Breakthrough (Multnomah Hardcover)
  • Qty Remaining Online: 18
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books
  • Release Date: Sep 17, 2002
  • Pages: 128
  • Weight lbs: 0.40
  • Dimensions: 7.40" L x 5.20" W x 0.50" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product, Bibliography
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: CHRISTIAN LIVING
  • Subject: Christian Life - General
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Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One


Keyhole to the Stars


"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven."


Jesus, in Luke 6:23

What if today really was the first day of the rest of your life? Today you make your trade-everything you have accomplished and become for whatever God offers in exchange. There you are, poised on the brink, lifetime in hand, ready to step into eternity.

What a moment! And what an amazing exchange! Your blink in the sun for God's endless day. Your spoonful of water for His Amazon River.

You take your step. You put down your little handful of time and pick up your forever life

But what if I told you that the small choices you make today-like how you interact with your boss, or whom you invite to dinner-could change what happens next?

Would you be surprised?

In the little book you're holding, you're going to discover that Jesus revealed that our actions now will affect our future forever. Astoundingly, millions who follow Jesus seem to have missed what He said.

Could you be one?

I was. I grew up in a family that attended church regularly, and I was taught the Bible from the time I was young. Later I spent nine years pursuing theological training. But the clear teachings of Jesus on this subject remained lost to me, like overlooked treasures in my own house. When I finally discovered them, many things started to make sense for the first time.

Let's admit it: Any change in how we think about our future, even if it could radically improve our prospects, takes courage. We struggle to let go of comfortable assumptions, even when they're preventing us from seeing the whole truth. We're like toddlers peering through a keyhole at the night sky, trying to hold on to our tiny patch of stars.

But the keyhole is so small and the view is so great. Jesus wants to open the door and show us more.

Much more.

Prepare to Be Astonished

No one made more shocking statements about the afterlife than Jesus of Nazareth. His teachings often left His audiences amazed, dumbfounded, even outraged. Take His first public appearance at the age of twelve: "All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers" (Luke 2:47).

When Jesus formally began His ministry, His audience was again "astonished" (Matthew 7:28). In His teaching known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:


"Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man's sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!"


LUKE 6:22-23

You might know these verses well. I have to confess that I read them dozens, if not scores, of times before I really read them. Jesus' statement seems incredible, doesn't it? I used to think He was saying something like, "If you are persecuted on My behalf, you'll be so happy that you'll jump for sheer delight."

But if you read on, it's clear that that's not what Jesus meant. He continued:

"For indeed your reward is great in heaven."


V. 23

In those eight words, Jesus reveals why you and I can rejoice, even in the worst circumstances. Why? Because there is a direct connection between something you do for Him on earth and something "great" He will do for you in heaven.

Notice that Jesus describes it as a reward for doing, which would distinguish it, for example, from a gift you receive for believing. Also, the reward is specifically and personally yours if you behave in one way, but is not yours if you behave in another (for example, if you ran away under the pressure of persecution).

You see, Jesus isn't asking you and me to enjoy misery on His behalf. Instead He's saying that the consequences in heaven for certain actions on earth will be so wonderful that simply knowing they're coming-and knowing that they will be great-can transform how we live now. Yes, and even create spontaneous outbursts of joy!

This promise of reward in heaven isn't an isolated example of Jesus' teachings on the subject:

• "He will reward each according to his works"
(Matthew 16:27).

• "You will have treasure in heaven" (Matthew
19:21).

• "You will be blessed . for you shall be repaid at
the resurrection" (Luke 14:14).

As you're about to discover, the implications of these passages are enormous. For one thing, they suggest that God is keeping track of what you do for Him every day. For another, that you have more to gain by serving Him than you ever imagined.

Tracking Down the Promise

Let me tell you how I came to write this book. In 1985 when I first stumbled upon Jesus' teachings on reward in heaven, I was startled. What He was saying seemed to contradict much of what I had always been taught and believed.

So I began an intensive search for the truth, starting with every Bible verse on the subject of eternal rewards. I studied theological and scholarly works. I spent hours thinking about what Jesus seemed to be saying with such urgency. And I became convinced that spiritual seekers around the world, including millions of Jesus' followers, had mislaid a truth of great importance and promise-and it was time to get it back.

Five years of in-depth study and twelve thick binders later, my findings lined the shelves of my study.

One day I got a call from Dr. Earl Radmacher, president of Western Seminary in Oregon, inviting me to present my material in a weeklong graduate course at the seminary. I agreed, but only after he promised to assemble a panel of leading scholars, including some who had also been studying rewards, to sit in and evaluate every word.

On an April morning several months later, I walked across the seminary campus, lugging my teaching materials. I arrived at the lecture room, which was filled with some of the brightest individuals I had ever met: department chairpersons of the Greek and Hebrew languages, church historians, Bible teachers, seminarians, and pastors from a range of denominations.

I taught every morning for four hours. Each afternoon, a special group of scholars met at Dr. Radmacher's home and debated every point.

One day a church historian from Romania assured us that what we were studying was not new theology; it had been part of Christian beliefs and teaching from the first century on. To make his point he asked us, "What do the greats of church history such as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Spurgeon all have in common?"

When everyone hesitated, he told us his answer: "They all earnestly believed in and hoped for eternal rewards."

Toward the end of the week, I noticed a shift. The roomful of scholars was spending less time debating and more time responding personally to the material. One afternoon an older participant pulled me aside. "I thought God brought me here to learn more about eternal rewards," he said, "but I was wrong. He brought me here to change my heart-I'm leaving a changed professor!"

On the last day, I asked the group, "Are you convinced that what I've been teaching about rewards is consistent with what Jesus taught?"

"We're convinced," they replied. And I have never looked back.

The Two Keys

In the pages ahead, you'll encounter for yourself the findings we explored that week at Western Seminary. Whether you're familiar with Jesus' teachings about eternal rewards or you're coming upon them for the first time, I encourage you to read with great expectation. Important spiritual breakthroughs await you.

Starting with statements Jesus made, we'll carefully construct the biggest, truest view possible of your entire life. We'll be using a lot of familiar words- words like heaven, treasure, works, and faith. I urge you to be patient as we look beneath these familiar labels for hidden insights.

The teachings of Jesus show us that there are two keys that determine everything about your eternity.

The first key is your belief. This key unlocks the door to eternal life and determines where you will spend eternity.

The second key is your behavior. It unlocks the door to reward and determines how you will spend eternity.

This second key is the focus of A Life God Rewards. Although the role of behavior (we'll also use words like actions or works) isn't more important to your future than belief, it has been more overlooked in recent times. And the promise of rediscovering the truths it unlocks is enormous, especially for followers of Jesus.

In fact, by the time you're done reading, you'll approach daily life in a dramatically different way. Simple decisions, such as how you spend your time and money, will become opportunities of great promise. And you will begin to live with an unshakable certainty that everything you do today matters forever.

Rumors of Blue Whales

In the first book in this series, The Prayer of Jabez, we learned that God wants us to ask for His blessing and for greater influence, or "territory," in this world. The next book, Secrets of the Vine, showed that Jesus wants our territory to produce a great harvest of good works for Him.

In A Life God Rewards, I want to show you how the harvest you produce will directly impact your experience in eternity- and how that truth can change your life today for the better.

I'll admit that on a subject like eternity, we must proceed thoughtfully and humbly. We're like tadpoles swapping stories of blue whales. We're like one twin in the womb trying to convince his brother that it's only a matter of time before they're both breathing air and riding tricycles.

Fortunately for all of us, God sent His Son from heaven to help us see the whole truth. If you and I are willing to be surprised, unsettled, even shocked by His words, our prospects for living a life He rewards will change for the better, starting now.

Excerpt


Keyhole to the Stars

"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven."

Jesus, in Luke 6:23

What if today really was the first day of the rest of your life? Today you make your trade-everything you have accomplished and become for whatever God offers in exchange. There you are, poised on the brink, lifetime in hand, ready to step into eternity.

What a moment! And what an amazing exchange! Your blink in the sun for God's endless day. Your spoonful of water for His Amazon River.

You take your step. You put down your little handful of time and pick up your forever life

But what if I told you that the small choices you make today-like how you interact with your boss, or whom you invite to dinner-could change what happens next?

Would you be surprised?

In the little book you're holding, you're going to discover that Jesus revealed that our actions now will affect our future forever. Astoundingly, millions who follow Jesus seem to have missed what He said.

Could you be one?

I was. I grew up in a family that attended church regularly, and I was taught the Bible from the time I was young. Later I spent nine years pursuing theological training. But the clear teachings of Jesus on this subject remained lost to me, like overlooked treasures in my own house. When I finally discovered them, many things started to make sense for the first time.

Let's admit it: Any change in how we think about our future, even if it could radically improve our prospects, takes courage. We struggle to let go of comfortable assumptions, even when they're preventing us from seeing the whole truth. We're like toddlers peering through a keyhole at the night sky, trying to hold on to our tiny patch of stars.

But the keyhole is so small and the view is so great. Jesus wants to open the door and show us more.

Much more.

Prepare to Be Astonished

No one made more shocking statements about the afterlife than Jesus of Nazareth. His teachings often left His audiences amazed, dumbfounded, even outraged. Take His first public appearance at the age of twelve: "All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers" (Luke 2:47).

When Jesus formally began His ministry, His audience was again "astonished" (Matthew 7:28). In His teaching known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

"Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!"

LUKE 6:22-23

You might know these verses well. I have to confess that I read them dozens, if not scores, of times before I really read them. Jesus' statement seems incredible, doesn't it? I used to think He was saying something like, "If you are persecuted on My behalf, you'll be so happy that you'll jump for sheer delight."

But if you read on, it's clear that that's not what Jesus meant. He continued:

"For indeed your reward is great in heaven."

V. 23

In those eight words, Jesus reveals why you and I can rejoice, even in the worst circumstances. Why? Because there is a direct connection between something you do for Him on earth and something "great" He will do for you in heaven.

Notice that Jesus describes it as a reward for doing, which would distinguish it, for example, from a gift you receive for believing. Also, the reward is specifically and personally yours if you behave in one way, but is not yours if you behave in another (for example, if you ran away under the pressure of persecution).

You see, Jesus isn't asking you and me to enjoy misery on His behalf. Instead He's saying that the consequences in heaven for certain actions on earth will be so wonderful that simply knowing they're coming-and knowing that they will be great-can transform how we live now. Yes, and even create spontaneous outbursts of joy!

This promise of reward in heaven isn't an isolated example of Jesus' teachings on the subject:

• "He will reward each according to his works" (Matthew 16:27).

• "You will have treasure in heaven" (Matthew 19:21).

• "You will be blessed . for you shall be repaid at the resurrection" (Luke 14:14).

As you're about to discover, the implications of these passages are enormous. For one thing, they suggest that God is keeping track of what you do for Him every day. For another, that you have more to gain by serving Him than you ever imagined.

Tracking Down the Promise

Let me tell you how I came to write this book. In 1985 when I first stumbled upon Jesus' teachings on reward in heaven, I was startled. What He was saying seemed to contradict much of what I had always been taught and believed.

So I began an intensive search for the truth, starting with every Bible verse on the subject of eternal rewards. I studied theological and scholarly works. I spent hours thinking about what Jesus seemed to be saying with such urgency. And I became convinced that spiritual seekers around the world, including millions of Jesus' followers, had mislaid a truth of great importance and promise-and it was time to get it back.

Five years of in-depth study and twelve thick binders later, my findings lined the shelves of my study.

One day I got a call from Dr. Earl Radmacher, president of Western Seminary in Oregon, inviting me to present my material in a weeklong graduate course at the seminary. I agreed, but only after he promised to assemble a panel of leading scholars, including some who had also been studying rewards, to sit in and evaluate every word.

On an April morning several months later, I walked across the seminary campus, lugging my teaching materials. I arrived at the lecture room, which was filled with some of the brightest individuals I had ever met: department chairpersons of the Greek and Hebrew languages, church historians, Bible teachers, seminarians, and pastors from a range of denominations.

I taught every morning for four hours. Each afternoon, a special group of scholars met at Dr. Radmacher's home and debated every point.

One day a church historian from Romania assured us that what we were studying was not new theology; it had been part of Christian beliefs and teaching from the first century on. To make his point he asked us, "What do the greats of church history such as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Spurgeon all have in common?"

When everyone hesitated, he told us his answer: "They all earnestly believed in and hoped for eternal rewards."

Toward the end of the week, I noticed a shift. The roomful of scholars was spending less time debating and more time responding personally to the material. One afternoon an older participant pulled me aside. "I thought God brought me here to learn more about eternal rewards," he said, "but I was wrong. He brought me here to change my heart-I'm leaving a changed professor!"

On the last day, I asked the group, "Are you convinced that what I've been teaching about rewards is consistent with what Jesus taught?"

"We're convinced," they replied. And I have never looked back.

The Two Keys

In the pages ahead, you'll encounter for yourself the findings we explored that week at Western Seminary. Whether you're familiar with Jesus' teachings about eternal rewards or you're coming upon them for the first time, I encourage you to read with great expectation. Important spiritual breakthroughs await you.

Starting with statements Jesus made, we'll carefully construct the biggest, truest view possible of your entire life. We'll be using a lot of familiar words- words like heaven, treasure, works, and faith. I urge you to be patient as we look beneath these familiar labels for hidden insights.

The teachings of Jesus show us that there are two keys that determine everything about your eternity.

The first key is your belief. This key unlocks the door to eternal life and determines where you will spend eternity.

The second key is your behavior. It unlocks the door to reward and determines how you will spend eternity.

This second key is the focus of A Life God Rewards. Although the role of behavior (we'll also use words like actions or works) isn't more important to your future than belief, it has been more overlooked in recent times. And the promise of rediscovering the truths it unlocks is enormous, especially for followers of Jesus.

In fact, by the time you're done reading, you'll approach daily life in a dramatically different way. Simple decisions, such as how you spend your time and money, will become opportunities of great promise. And you will begin to live with an unshakable certainty that everything you do today matters forever.

Rumors of Blue Whales

In the first book in this series, The Prayer of Jabez, we learned that God wants us to ask for His blessing and for greater influence, or "territory," in this world. The next book, Secrets of the Vine, showed that Jesus wants our territory to produce a great harvest of good works for Him.

In A Life God Rewards, I want to show you how the harvest you produce will directly impact your experience in eternity- and how that truth can change your life today for the better.

I'll admit that on a subject like eternity, we must proceed thoughtfully and humbly. We're like tadpoles swapping stories of blue whales. We're like one twin in the womb trying to convince his brother that it's only a matter of time before they're both breathing air and riding tricycles.

Fortunately for all of us, God sent His Son from heaven to help us see the whole truth. If you and I are willing to be surprised, unsettled, even shocked by His words, our prospects for living a life He rewards will change for the better, starting now.



Excerpted from A Life God Rewardsby Bruce Wilkinson with David Kopp Copyright © 2002 by Exponential, Inc.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

More Info

ARE YOU LOOKING AT ETERNITY
THROUGH A KEYHOLE?

In the little book you’re holding, you’re going to discover that Jesus revealed a direct link between what you do today and what you will experience after you die. Astoundingly, the majority of spiritual seekers around the world—including millions who follow Jesus—seem to have missed what He said. Could you be one? If so, your picture of the future is missing about a billion stars. In this stirring follow-up to his bestsellers The Prayer of Jabez and Secrets of the Vine, Bruce Wilkinson shows you what Jesus said about God’s plan to reward you in eternity for what you do for Him today. What you’ll discover will unlock the power and potential of your life, starting now. And you’ll begin to live with the unshakable certainty that what you do today matters…forever!


Forever Begins Today

Jabez and Secrets Follow-Up:
Forever Begins Today

What if every action you did today made a difference forever?

After many years of intensive biblical study on this topic, Bruce Wilkinson has arrived at some astonishing conclusions about how we should live each day.

A Life God Rewards builds on the two previous books in the BreakThrough series to continue the revelation of God’s extravagant best for His children. The Prayer of Jabez showed His plan for present blessing, Secrets of the Vine explained fruitfulness for a lifetime, and now Wilkinson clarifies the concept of rewards for eternity.

For Christians who think there are no consequences to how they live, this book is a lightning bolt of motivation. Reading A Life God Rewards will inspire every Christian to run hard towards the finish line of this life, when they can finally hear the sweetest words imaginable: “Well done.”

“You will see God’s tenacious love for you in a new light,” says Wilkinson. “You’ll understand more clearly His important expectations for your life. You will feel a growing motivation to invest your energies in doing what matters to God. And you’ll break free from the sins that sabotage your joy now and your potential for even greater joy in heaven.”

Dr. Bruce Wilkinson is the author of the bestselling The Prayer of Jabez, Secrets of the Vine, Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs, and numerous other books. Bruce and his wife, Darlene, have three children and four grandsons.

Christian Living/ Practical Life/General • ISBN 1-57673-976-7 • U.S. $10.99 Can $17.99 4 1/2 x 6 1/4 Hardcover • 96 pages • September 2002

For More Information
Contact Multnomah Publishers Publicity
800-929-0910


Biography

Biography

Dr. Bruce Wilkinson
author of
A Life God Rewards

For over thirty years, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson has based his life on the principle of making himself available to God to do things far beyond his own ability. “Enlarge my territory” has been part of his daily prayer, and it’s clear that God has listened.

Dr. Wilkinson’s book The Prayer of Jabez has been named “the fastest-selling book of all time” by Publishers Weekly. His other books include A Life God Rewards, Secrets of the Vine (a #2 NY Times bestseller), Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs, 7 Laws of the Learner, and Victory Over Temptation. His books have sold over 15 million copies.

In 1972, while still a master’s student at graduate school, Wilkinson devised a unique method for teaching the big picture of the content of Scripture book by book. The young Bible teacher founded Walk Thru the Bible Ministries in 1976 with a teaching faculty of six. It is now the largest Christian seminar organization in the United States and conducts over 2,500 conferences each year. In 1998 he founded Walk Thru the Bible International, a global initiative to develop a Bible teacher for every 50,000 people in every nation of the world. WTB International is now in 75 nations with 25,000 teachers.

His career took a decisive new direction in 2002, when Dr. Wilkinson founded Global Vision Resources. GVR produces and distributes video and curriculum products to retail outlets, businesses, schools, and ministries around the world. He also launched a film company that produces high-quality, contemporary motion pictures.

A much-in-demand speaker worldwide, Wilkinson has been a featured guest on NBC’s Today Show Weekend Edition, Larry King Live, CNN’s TalkBack Live, 100 Huntley Street, The 700 Club, Life Today with James Robison, and Focus on the Family. His books have been featured on Good Morning America and National Public Radio as well as in The New York Times, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The L.A. Times, Publishers Weekly, and TIME.

Bruce and his wife, Darlene Marie, have two married children (David and Jennifer), one still at home (Jessica), and four grandsons. The Wilkinsons recently moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to help with famine, poverty, and the AIDS crisis.

For More Information
Contact Multnomah Publishers Publicity


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