Receiving the Reward

John the Beloved exhorts us to, “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for but may win a full reward” (2 John 8). John is telling us to pay careful attention and be ever watchful that we live in such a way to receive the full reward. This means that it is possible to lose our reward or receive no or partial reward. It is the Lord’s desire to give us the full reward, but we must be so in tune with His love for us that we would live in such a way to receive it.

We are exhorted in scripture to be wise stewards that build the kingdom, and every day of our lives we can either build on the eternal or temporal. Paul exhorts the Corinthian church, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels (eternal), wood, hay, or straw (temporal). But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames” (1 Corinthians 3:11–15).


Types of Rewards

The first is building the Kingdom in accordance with our gifts and calling. The second is how we built individual lives, ours and others. Here are 19 major categories that scripture tell us bring eternal rewards:


  • Doing good works

Ephesians 6:8 (NLT)
Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.”


  • Denying ourselves

Matthew 16:24-27 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”


  • Our Godliness

Jeremiah 32:19 (NKJV)
You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.”


  • Treating others kindly even when they take advantage of us

Luke 6:35 (NKJV)

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”


  • Our Motives

Proverbs 24:12 (NLT)
“Don’t try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn’t know about it. For God knows all hearts, and he sees you. He keeps watch over your soul, and he knows you knew! And he will judge all people according to what they have done.”


  • Rewards are promised to those who endure difficult circumstances out of their trust in God

Hebrews 10:34-36 (NLT)

“You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity. Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”


  • Our Attitude

Job 19:29 (NLT)

I warn you, you yourselves are in danger of punishment for your attitude. Then you will know that there is judgment.”


  • To Those Who Persevere Under Persecution

Luke 6:22-23 (NKJV)

“Blessed are you when men hate you,

And when they exclude you,

And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,

For the Son of Man’s sake.

Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!

For indeed your reward is great in heaven,

For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”


  • Our Integrity

Psalm 18:20 (NKJV)

“The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.”


  • Compassionate Obedience will be rewarded by the Lord

Matthew 25:20-21 (NKJV)

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”


  • Our Actions

Revelation 22:12 (NIV)

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.


  • Our Faithfulness

1 Samuel 26:23 (NLT)

“The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one.”


  • Our Humility

Luke 14:11

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank).”


  • Our Words

Proverbs 12:14 (NIV)

“From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.”


  • How We’ve Influenced People’s Lives

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 (NLT)

“After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus when he comes back again. For you are our pride and joy.”


  • Honoring, Receiving, Welcoming, or Caring for God’s Servants

Matthew 10:40-42 (NLT)

“Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”


  • Prayer

Matthew 6:6 (NLT)

“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”


  • How We Labored in Our Jobs

Proverbs 27:18 (NLT)

Workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat its fruit. In the same way, workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.”


  • Our Giving

Luke 16:9 (NLT)

“I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven.”


What we do with the cross determines where we are going to spend eternity. The way we live as believers determines how we are going to spend eternity. The Lord wants to reward us. Live in such a way, “so that you may not lose what you have worked for but may win a full reward” (2 John 8).