Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm


The Reward of Following


As Jesus traveled throughout Israel urging people to repent and believe the gospel, “Follow me” was a constant refrain in His message. At the beginning of His ministry, He called His first disciples with the terse command, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” As His ministry progressed, He told the crowds, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me”  (Mark 8:34). At the end of His earthly ministry, He recommissioned the repentant Peter with the words, “Follow me” (John 21:19). But what are the rewards of following Jesus?

Bottom Line: The reward of following Jesus is an unshakeable life.

Something To Talk About:

Jesus teaches that God rewards people motivated by sincere devotion to Him. The Bible also teaches that God rewards believers for works done in obedience and faith. These rewards are called eternal or heavenly rewards because they are ours after death.

  1. The reward is for those who practice what Jesus said: Most of us would agree that our goal is to be Christlike. At the end of the day, if our lives don’t exemplify Jesus, then we are chasing the wrong things. And the way to exemplify Jesus is to put into practice what Jesus told us to do. “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). The two most important things Jesus asked us to do was (1) love God and (2) love people. It sounds so simple because it is – but it’s very difficult. Loving God with all of my heart, soul, and mind means letting go of my way of doing things.  The more I grow in loving God and keeping in step with Him, the more He strengthens my character so that I can love others well. Loving people means loving them exactly as they are. It’s not the version I agree with or get along with, but the potentially difficult version. It’s easy to love lovely people. God asks us to love all people. 
  2. The reward does not guarantee a life free of pain and suffering: Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy. On the contrary, He said that the way is going to be difficult and the gate very narrow, and that’s why few are going to find it (Matthew 7:14). The idea that trusting in Jesus and following Him would be easy and prosperous and make a person’s life happier is simply false. Jesus promised pain for everyone who would follow Him and that all who do would have to bear their cross, and everyone in those times knew that the cross was a symbol of death, pain, and suffering. Today it would be like picking up your lethal injection or electric chair to follow Him.  But we also must remember that the suffering we now endure cannot be compared to what is coming someday.  Romans 8:18 says, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”
  3. The reward promises a solid foundation for life: No one wants a fragile foundation, so what does a good foundation look like? What will stand the test of time and the storms of life? We must be constantly reminded of who God is and who we are in Him. That’s exactly what Paul does when he writes his letter to the Ephesians. Paul starts out his book by reminding the Ephesians of what they gained when they chose to follow Christ. God chose them. They were adopted into His family. They were redeemed, forgiven, and, most importantly, loved. (Ephesians 1:3-14).  Knowing that Jesus is with you is surely one of the key factors in us having a firm foundation.  But there is more to it than that. Jesus, in the introduction to the famous parable, says, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24, NIV). Jesus was referring to the importance of believing, studying, and teaching the Word of God and living and practicing its truths in our everyday lives. A rock-solid foundation can only be built on a personal relationship with Christ. Every other foundation will crumble if it is not built on that essential relationship, which includes the human relationships in our lives.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the rewards that Jesus promised to those who follow Him?
  2. Does following Christ mean receiving blessings in this life? In eternity?
  3. Why do you think God wants to reward you for your obedience?
  4. In what ways are you working for rewards on Earth? In what ways are you working for rewards in heaven?
  5. God is always at work in and through our sufferings. Agree or disagree and why?
  6. Suffering has an amazing ability to reveal what is inside of us. Agree or disagree and why?
  7. Think of a time when you faced a serious trial or suffering. What were the biggest questions you wrestled with? Did you feel closer to God or further from Him?
  8. In your life, what would represent a foundation made of sand? What would represent the rain, streams, and wind?
  9. Describe a time when you found Christ to be a sure foundation.
  10. What is life like with a firm foundation in Jesus and his words?
  11. How can you build a firmer foundation on the Rock, Jesus?
  12. What was your main takeaway from this week’s message?

Take One Thing Home with You:

James 1:12 it says, “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love Him” (TEV). In this verse, he is talking about eternal rewards in heaven that you will enjoy forever and ever. Our minds can’t even imagine what God has in store for us. It’s really beyond our human comprehension. The Bible says there is nothing on earth to compare heaven to. Every description of heaven is wholly inadequate because it’s so much greater, better, and more beautiful than we can begin to understand. Romans 8:18 says, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”