PAINS WITHOUT GAIN
Memorise: For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Hebrews 6:10
Read: Nehemiah 5:14-19 (KJV)
14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants’ bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: PSALM 17-20, MATTHEW 21:12-27.
God desires that we boldly come before His throne of grace to express ourselves with sincerity of heart and purpose (Hebrews 4:16, Job 38:1-3).
Apostle Peter is one child of God who was sincere. He did not pretend as though he did not know what he wanted from God. After Jesus discussed the price of being His disciple, Peter boldly and sincerely asked Him what would be the gain of those who paid this high price.
Here is Jesus’ response in Matthew 19:28-29:“…Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
The Holy Spirit also corroborates this truth in today’s memory verse. The essence of these promises of reward is to encourage you not to be weary in well doing. In today’s Bible reading, there is another classic example of someone who would not settle for pains without gain. Nehemiah knew that the God he served was not unrighteous as to not reward him handsomely for his labour and sacrifice in His vineyard. For this reason, he consistently prayed to God to remember him for good.
He was not like the older brother of the prodigal son, who served his father without asking for his reward as a faithful son (Luke 15:11-31). Let’s take a closer look at Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah’s 5:18-19:“Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.”
This prayer reveals this sacrifice Nehemiah consciously made to get the project of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls done. He boldly stated his case to the One who alone could reward him richly. This is a great lesson for children of God who are labouring day and night in God’s vineyard and have nothing to show for it because they do not ask Him for a reward.
James 4:2 says “You have not, because you ask not.” I pray that the Almighty God will reward your labour of love as you begin to ask of Him today in Jesus’ Name.
Prayer Point: Father, as I labour in Your vineyard, please remember me for good in Jesus’ Name.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God