By : Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr
Oftentimes we sigh and despair because we do not receive the rewards of the services we render to God quickly enough.
Brethren, I assure you by the mercies of the Living God that none of our services, rendered in the Name of the Lord, is a wasted effort. He has not forgotten a single one of them. Heb 6:10 brings us word of His assurance.
And 1 Cor 15:58 Corroborates:
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain" (NIV)
Yes, our labour in the Lord is not in vain because He has not forgotten our services to His Kingdom nor our sighs for rewards. He has recorded them in His scroll of remembrance in Heaven to reward us in due time. Gal 6:9 exhorts us, "And let us not weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not".
The record of our services to God is in the heavenly ‘book of remembrance, but we must keep adding to the tally until it reaches the number at which God has determined to reward us (2 John 1:8). Until that point, we must not weary in well doing! Otherwise, we will lose whatever credit we have, for the plowman who looks back and deserts his post is not fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).
As humans, it is only natural to pray and grumble occasionally as to why the rewards of our work in the Lord delay. But don’t give up yet; your reward is on the way!
"You have said harsh things against me; says the LORD. ‘Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you? "You have said, it is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirement and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?
"But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape’.
"Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name.
"They will be mine‘, says the LORD Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will SPARE THEM, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.
"And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not" (NIV Emphasis mine).
A "scroll of remembrance", being a record of faithful services rendered to a King or Lord, was kept, as a standard practice, in the royal courts of the great and mighty Kings of the ancient world.
The story of Mordecai, the Jew, readily comes to mind. When it was read to King Ahasuerus from the royal chronicle how Mordecai had saved him from an assasination plot, the King would not rest until he had done Mordecai royal honour.
By a chilling coincidence, on the very morning the King desired to honour Mordecai that same morning Haman, his great enemy, sought to have him hanged with the King’s permission! How critical and a blessing some records can be!
By a single entry in the royal annals of Persia, Mordecai’s fate was changed from a date with the hangman’s noose to public royal honour with splendour- all sumptuously recommended by Haman!
"Then the King said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the King’s gate, let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken" (Esther 6:10).
In the end, the gallows Haman had prepared for Mordecai became the very instrument of his dishonourabie dispatch to the world beyond! And all thanks to that one seemingly fortuitous entry in the royal records of King Ahasuerus! (Read Esther Chapters 5 – 7).
May you and I come in similar remembrance when our God sits in council (Ps 82:1, 89:6-7) and opens His book of remembrance; may our acts of loyalty and practical help to His Church be a defence against the accusations of the enemy (see Job 1:6-9, Rev. 12:10); and may the Lord reward us for our good stewardship of His manifold gifts in due time according to the tally of our good works in His scroll or remembrance.
May the incense of our prayers cause God not to ‘sleep’ over our plight till the morning brings us word of His faithfulness (Ps 141:2 / Rev. 5:8, 8:3, Ps.143:8).
King Hezekiah knowing that he had his righteous deeds in the Lord’s book of remembrance prayed thus, when the prophet Isaiah informed him of his imminent death:
God, ever gracious, opened His book of remembrance, saw Hezekiah’s deeds written in gold and put off his prophesied death by fifteen years! (vv. 4-8).
God is not unjust to ever forget our services to His Kingdom. That Nehemiah knew too well and so repeatedly implored the Lord to remember his good works and not blot them out of His book (Neh. 13:14, 22).
Our labour in the Lord is not in vain because faithful is He who calls us, He also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Amen!