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Checklist for our Lives

Our Lives - A Boot Camp&Quiz

"This is just a test."

That's our lives on earth - spiritual boot camp and a short quiz, over before we know it. A puff of hot air…a quick burst of hairspray. That's life.

We are a Mere Breath

It's too bad. But, we ordinary humans think we're smarter and more important than we really are. God tells us we are just a shadow of things to come (Col. 2:17), a vapor - "You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14, NASB). "Man is like a mere breath. His days are like a passing shadow" (Ps. 144:4).

We tend to have an exaggerated sense of our own importance on this planet. Yet, during our short, earthly sojourn believers are:

Training for Reigning

And that IS important - training for reigning with the King of the Universe. That little spiritual boot camp and short quiz on this tiny planet is of infinite importance to our Creator. "So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).


Here's the schedule:

1. Classroom Test: : Our time on earth

2. Final Exam : The Judgment Seat of Christ

3. Graduation - The city of New Jerusalem where our reigning assignments begin in the new heavens and new earth as we rule over cities with Jesus Christ.

What is Judged?

In three general categories,

1. God Judges our Words

"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37).

"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops" (Luke 12:2-3).

2. God Judges our Motives - Why we do Things

"Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God" (1 Corinthians 4:5).

3. God Judges our Works

"For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do" (Hebrews 6:10).

Yes you Can Take it with You

We have often heard others say, "You can't take it with you." Or, we have heard, "He who dies with the most toys wins." But, both of these statements are false.

Jesus, in fact, tells us we CAN acquire things and send it on ahead. He also tells us in so many words to use leverage and "trade up."

Sending it Ahead

"Go, sell all that you have, give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me" (Mark 10:21).

Jesus wanted a rich man to "play the futures market" and "trade up" - to exchange his earthly treasure for heavenly treasure beforehand. But, the rich, young ruler wouldn't do it, and left dejected.

Using Leverage

"You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much" (Matthew 25:21).

In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus expects us to work with what He gives us while we are on earth. This is called "leverage," that we can be faithful in just a little yet receive so much in the days ahead.

There are many things for which we will be rewarded:

Doing Good

"With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord" (Ephesians 6:7-8, NASB).

Our employer is Yeshua, not men. Everything we do should be done as if we were working directly for Jesus Christ. God will reward us for every good deed we perform after we have been "born again." This understanding helps us to know that our earthly works have eternal purpose.

Supporting Ministries

"The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward" (Matthew 10:41, ESV).

This verse follows the words: "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me" (Mtt. 10:40). MacArthur points out, "this expands on the principle that to welcome Christ's emissaries is tantamount to welcoming Him" (MacArthur 1996, 1411).

Helping to support those ministries led by godly people who are over such things as missions, disaster aid, starving children, and planting churches fall into this category. Other support-ministries may include intercessory prayer, and encouraging those in full-time ministry. Jesus even says that giving a cup of cold water in His name will be rewarded (Mtt. 10:42).

Persecuted for Righteousness Sake

"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great" (Matthew 5:11-12).

This is hard to do when times are tough and people are rude. Yet, history tells us that some early Christian martyrs tried to deliberately get themselves thrown to the lions. Why? Because they believed that their reward in heaven would be exceedingly great!

This verse offers hope to all Christians throughout the world who are unfairly maligned, beaten, thrown in jail, or rejected because they are Christians.

In a world filled with hatred from Islamic Jihadists, hatred at the "religious right," hatred of Christians by some socialists, hatred of Christians in Hollywood, hatred from the advertising and media conglomerates, hatred from those who accept anything but Christianity - ABCs - this verse offers hope and consolation for persecuted Christians everywhere.

Giving Money to the Lord

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:20-21).

Playing the "Futures" Market

This is our investment in the "futures market" where we "trade-up" and use "leverage." When the poor widow put in her two little copper coins, Jesus said,

"Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury" (Mark 12:43).

This is called "Leverage!" It doesn't matter how much you have. What matters is what you do with what you DO have.

A Word to the Rich

"As for the rich in this present age…They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves…" (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Loving your Enemies

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them" (Luke 6:32).

"Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great" (Luke 6:35).

To love our enemies, we need the help of the Holy Spirit and obedience to God's Word. Loving our enemies is not something that comes naturally to us. Instead, we need to follow the example of Yeshua who said,

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" (Matthew 5:44-47, ESV).

Being Faithful in Work

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance" (Colossians 3:22-24).

Notes from the Life Application Study Bible say, "Since the creation, God has given us work to do. If we could regard our work as an act of worship or service to God, such an attitude would take some of the drudgery and boredom out of it. We could work without complaining or resentment if we would treat our job problems as the cost of discipleship" (2002, pg. 2571).

"Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all" (Mark 10:44).

Even though slaves were considered unimportant, God promised to reward them in Heaven if they would work for Him instead of for men.

Collection of Rewarded Deeds:

1. How we Treat other Believers

"God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people…" (Hebrews 6:10, NIV).

2. How we Use our Authority

"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account" (Heb. 13:17, James 3:1, ESV).

3. How much the 2nd. Coming or Rapture means to Us

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord…will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8, NIV).

4. Witnessing to Someone about Christ

"For what is our hope…or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?" (1 Thess. 2:19, 1 Cor. 9:16-17, Dan. 12:3, Prov. 11:30).

5. How we Use our Time

"if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…"(1 Pet. 1:17).

"Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time" (Col. 4:5, Eph. 5:16, Psalm 90:12).

6. How Much we Suffer for Christ

"But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ…" (1 Pet. 4:12-13, 2 Cor. 4:17, Romans 8:18, Matt. 5:11-12, Mark 10:29-30).

7. How we React to Temptation

"count it all joy when you fall into various trials…" (James 1:2-3, Rev. 3:10).

8. How we Control the Old Nature

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last. But, we do it to get a crown that will last forever" (1 Cor. 9:25-27, 2 Tim. 2:15, 1 Thess. 2:4, Phil. 1:10, 1 Cor. 16:3).

9. How we use Abilities God Gives Us

"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards…" (1 Pet. 4:10, 1 Cor. 12:4, 2 Tim. 1:6).

See parable of 10 pounds (Luke 19:11-26)
See parable of talents (Matt. 25:14-29)
Each believer has at least one talent (1 Cor. 7:12, Eph. 4:7, 1 Pet. 4:10)
There are 18 gifts (Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4).

10. How we Use Money

"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:6-7).

"On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save…so that no collections be made when I come" (1 Cor. 16:2, 1 Tim. 6:17-19).

11. How Faithful we are to God's Word&God's Flock

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…" (2 Tim. 4:1-4, 1 Peter 5:2-4).

"For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God…" (Acts 20:26-28).

12. Being Martyred for Christ

"Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life" (Hebrews 11:35-39).

13. Diligently Seeking God

"Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).

14. Praying

"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:6).

15. Fasting

"But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:17-18).

16. Living Righteously

"If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!" (Proverbs 11:31).

17. Visiting Widows&Orphans in Distress

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" (James 1:27).

18. Helping the Poor

"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed" (Proverbs 19:17).

19. Humbling Ourselves

"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4).

20. Having a Servant's Attitude

"whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all" (Mark 10:43-45).

21. Submitting to Unreasonable Employers

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly" (1 Peter 2:18-20).

22. Being a Godly Spouse, Parent or Child

"Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord…Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church…Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22, 25, 6:1, 6:4, 1 Peter 3:3-7).

Two Key Memory Verses:

"Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality" (Colossians 3:23-25, ESV).

"With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord" (Ephesians 6:7-8, NASB).



Alcorn, Randy. 2002. The law of rewards. Wheaton, ILL: Tyndale.

—- 2001. The treasure principle. Sisters, OR: Multnomah.

Crockett, Kent. 2001. Making today count for eternity. Sisters, OR: Multnomah.

Wilkinson, Bruce. 2001. A life God rewards. Sisters, OR: Multnomah.

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