Summary: Last week we talked about what it means to lose our life for Christ. While we know that salvation is based on faith alone(Ephesians 2:8-9) and can not be lost (2 Timothy 2:13), we must acknowledge that each believer’s life varies greatly from one to another in terms of faithfulness to Christ. This week we take a look at how scripture links our faithfulness, and the suffering it produces, to rewards. Often people try to view the topic of rewards through a secular lens leaving them distracted by secular rewards such as material possessions, self promotion, power, etc.(e.g. When scripture talks about crowns, think about what a crown represents, not what it is made of.) It’s also helpful to think about what God created us for in the first place, and what we lost when sin entered the world.
Break the Ice
- What is your most cherished material possession?
Bring the Word
Read Matthew 16:24-28
- Is the reward talked about here our salvation? Why or why not? (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- When do we receive our reward? (Matthew 16:27)
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9
- What are the rewards listed here?(1 Peter 1:4,7)
- What are the rewards for? (1 Peter 1:6)
- Do the rewards come without suffering trials?
- Are there other scriptures that teach us about rewards and/or suffering? What are some of the rewards? (Romans 8:16-18, James 1:12, Revelations 2:10, 2 Timothy 2:12, 2 Corinthians 1:6-7, Philippians 1:29, 3:10, James 5:10-11, 1 Peter 2:19-21, 5:10)
Read Luke 19:11-27
- Why does the author say Jesus is telling this parable?
- What misunderstanding was Jesus trying to correct by telling this parable?
- Let’s find the parallels!
- Who is represented by the man of noble birth that is going away to be appointed king? (John 14:3,Daniel 7:13-14,Acts 1:9, Revelations 14:14)
- Who is represented by his servants? (John 12:25-26)
- Who is represented by those that reject him as king?(John 3:36)
- What is represented by the command given to his servants? (Matthew 28:18-20)
- What is represented by the Mina? What have we been trusted with to multiply? (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
- What happens to those that did not want him to be king?
- What was each servant given?
- Does the parable talk about the results of each of the servants?
- How do the results of the 3 servants cover the spectrum of possible results?
Bring it Home
- How is being given headship over cities a reward? (2 Timothy 2:12)
- Besides the number of cities, what is the difference between what the King tells the 1st and 2nd servant?
- Is praise from the king a reward? (Romans 8:17)
- Does everyone receive praise from the King?
- What is the third servant’s view of the King?
- Was the servant’s view of the King wrong or was the King truly “a hard man”?
- What are some misconceptions about God from people that do not earnestly seek him?
- How does the King’s response differ with the third servant versus the 1st and 2nd servants?
- Does the King still call the 3rd a servant? Is he put to death with the non believers?
- What implications does that have on a believer’s salvation?
- Does the third servant miss out on the reward of fellowship?
Begin a Discipline
Continue practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading, reflection, and journaling. This week, focus on one or more of the scriptures covered in this discussion or any questions that you may still have!