Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9 New King James Version).
In Part 1 of 1 Corinthians 2:9, we looked at ideas about the eternal life believers find when they die. I said, “Besides living in such an optimal place with our Father, Savior and the Holy Spirit, we’ll enjoy long conversations with loved ones and people from the Bible. God’s promises of eternal rewards occur throughout the New Testament. What a wonderful verse God provides about eternal life. I believe this verse also applies to the life we’re living now as well. That idea follows in Part 2.”
The fact that I’m not using all the potential life on this earth that Father God has for me chases me and creates a yearning for more. That means more discipline, more Scripture study and more prayer. I definitely believe that work is worthwhile, however. Imagine with me the life God plans for all His children to have while living in physical bodies:
- Knowing His presence with us throughout the day and night. No matter what we do, God guides us so that we exercise self-control in all areas of life. Will we make mistakes and miss this goal? Yes, of course, but then we confess the problem and return to that gladness of spirit we previously knew.
- Spiritual blessings are ours as we sit in heavenly places in Christ. (See Ephesians 1:6 and 2:6.) Practically, what does this mean? God loved and chose us – you, me – before the world was even made. Adopting us into His own family, he pours out great grace to us. God gives us wisdom and understanding besides giving us an inheritance eternally, as stated in Part 1. As if that weren’t enough, our loving Father makes everything work out according to His plan (see Romans 8:28 and Ephesians 1:7-11). The Holy Spirit works in us to guide, comfort and help us grow in understanding God’s will. As we live more and more like Jesus in our everyday lives, the fruit of the Spirit manifests, blessing all those around us.
- Physical Healing: A reward here on earth God grants is healing, both physical and emotional. Numerous passages in the Bible report this in the old and new Testaments, but one of my favorites is 1 Peter 2:24 (NASB & NKJV): By his wounds we were healed. When were we healed? When Christ was beaten and suffered on the cross – it’s already done!! We may not yet feel it in our bodies, but God says we are already healed. Faith is the substance (what it’s made out of) of things not seen; the evidence (proof) of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). We must have faith and believe that we already are healed. I know how difficult this becomes when we’re in pain, but I believe that if we keep on persisting in faith we’ll see our answer. Along with faith, our mouth must cooperate. If we constantly talk about being sick, the devil will help it to happen. The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21).
- Emotional healing: We also receive emotional healing here on earth. Everyone experiences deep hurts and pain, but God promises to take those from us so we can be like simple, joyful children – free to enjoy Him and life itself. Not too long ago I was reading Isaiah 53:4a in the New Living Translation: It was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. Our loving Father wants to heal all our emotional pains as well as the physical ones. All the curses people shouted previously God will turn into blessings. Again, our mouth helps or hinders us. In John 15:11 and 17:13 Jesus speaks about His joy being in us, making our joy full and complete.
- Serving others becomes an earthly reward when we do what God calls us to do and in the way He wants. Service doesn’t make us servile or less than others are but God does expect us to serve humbly, not thinking of ourselves as being better than others because of the gift God gives us. God gives spiritual gifts as well as talents we’re born with. We don’t get those because we want them or because we deserve them. When done with the correct attitude, then our service itself becomes a way of serving God and showing Him our love as well as helping and loving others. The very best way we can serve others is to truly care for them, no matter what our gift provides. Pupils learn much more from a teacher who cares about them than they do from one who’s working only for a paycheck. Either attitude rubs off on those taught.
- Attitude more than deeds: Whether full-time clergy or simply helping our neighbor, God sees and counts our service as an act for Him. Our rewards come more from our attitude of humility and love than they do from the actual deed itself. If we love others, we’ll be loved in return and that brings its own reward, whether or not we’re wealthy or well-known.
I really believe if we’re open to all God has for us in this life that we’ll find
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”