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Many parents motivate their children with rewards. I am sure you've heard this one: "If you clean your room, you can play outside."

Another common motivation that parents use is: "If you do your homework, you can watch television." But my all time favorite is: "If you eat all your dinner, you can have chocolate cake!" Now that's a reward!

Reward Day
A few years ago, I decided it was time for a reward day for Jesse and Cathy Duplantis. Both of us had been dieting pretty strong, eating all the right foods and staying away from sugar totally.

Our travel schedule had been hectic and we were at home enjoying a relaxing moment in front of the television. Just then a commercial interrupted the old movie we were watching and I was inspired.

Now just the fact that we were actually watching an entire commercial was an odd thing. Jesse is lightning fast with the remote control and always scans the channels during the commercial breaks looking for news, weather, or lions eating warthogs.

But this time he was instantly captured by a vision of a piece of chocolate cake that was so fresh and moist that it bounced. Both of us seemed to be frozen in time as we longingly watched the man put a forkful of that cake into his mouth.

Jesse and I licked our lips, looked each other in the eye and I said, "Would you like a chocolate cake, honey?" As soon as he nodded yes, I forgot about the movie, and was speeding down the street toward the store. I was on a mission! It was time for a reward!

And in less than an hour after watching that commercial, our home was filled with the most wonderful sugary smell and I was smoothing chocolate icing on our own fresh baked yellow cake layers. Can you say "Ymmmmm?"

We were so hyped up for this cake, we each took half and wolfed it down while it was still hot. It was our reward day and we enjoyed every delicious bite. Afterward we looked guiltily at each other and Jesse jokingly said, "Cathy, we have sinned!" It was a long time before we allowed ourselves to have another reward day like that one.

Reward: It's a God Idea
Have you noticed that every good idea is a God idea? His idea to send Jesus to die for the sins of the world has transported countless thousands out of the power of darkness and into His glorious light.

Jesus taught us in John 3:16 that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. That one good idea from God has established an eternal reward to whosoever believes in Jesus! Although this great God idea has taken care of the sweet by and by, He also has awesome ideas to help you in the nasty here and now. Here are a few for you to study:

Deuteronomy 30:19: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." (See also Deut. 28:13; Ps. 68:19; Ps. 103:2-5; Isa. 1:19; Jer. 29:11-14.)

Throughout the Word
Throughout the Word, we see a God that rewards obedience, faithfulness, and faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

In fact, the very first time the Bible mentions the word reward is when God described Himself to Abram. Genesis 15:1 says: "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, 'Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.'"

When I studied the events that occurred before Abram received this vision, I discovered that he had just returned from battle to rescue his nephew Lot from prison. Along with Lot, Abram also brought back all the women, Lot's goods, and all of the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah that had been stolen.

"Then, after hearing about Abram's victory, Melchizedek blessed him and blessed the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand. And he gave him tithes of all" (Gen. 14:18-21).

Now the King of Sodom was very impressed with old Abram and wanted to reward him for returning his stuff. But Abram refused and told him, "I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich." (Gen. 14:22-23).

You see Abram was a man of principle that was totally committed to God's plan for his life. At 75 years old, he left his country and kindred in obedience to God, because he looked for a city "which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10).

He had the blessing of the most High on his life and according to Genesis 13:2, Abram was already very rich in cattle, silver and in gold. He wasn't looking for rewards from the King of Sodom. It was at this moment that God revealed Himself to Abram as his Shield and his exceeding great reward.

Reward: The Result of Obedience
Jesse and I discovered the value of using a reward system with our daughter, Jodi. She did not always understand or agree with our ideas, but she learned the system early in life. Her first steps were made reaching for a toy that she wanted that I held just a step out of her reach.

When she took the step toward it on her own, I let her have the toy. Soon she was walking across the room carrying her toy. When Jodi was in high school, we applied the same system and faithfully rewarded obedience.

Jesse used to tell our daughter, "Jodi, always obey your Mom and Dad and you will be blessed in the city and blessed in the mall. Blessed will you be in your car because your gas tank will be full. But if you disobey us, you will have to push your car to the mall."

We weren't looking for ways to punish; we were looking for ways to bless! The Hebrew word for reward is defined as payment of contract, wages, salary, or compensation. God is looking for ways to reward and bless all those that walk in obedience to His Word!

Psalm 84:11 declares: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."

And Psalm 31:23 says, "O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer."

We should begin each day with a greater appreciation and expectancy for God to plentifully reward the church. Gone are the days of limitations. We have come too far to go back into lack. Jesus came that we can have abundant life, overflowing with God's best!

Hebrews 10:35-36 says, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."

This is not the time to be weary in well doing, passed out on the floor as due season approaches. God's promise of salvation, healing, deliverance, favor, wisdom and peace are available to you today. It is His "reward" idea. And it is a good one!

Copyright © Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Cathy Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
 
Rev. Cathy Duplantis is an anointed teacher of the Gospel who is dedicated to living by faith and inspiring others to do the same. The wife of Evangelist, Jesse Duplantis, Rev. Duplantis has worked continually with her husband in the ministry since it began in 1978 serving as Administrator, Editor-in-Chief of Voice of the Covenant magazine and television co-host.
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