DAY 31 - Helping Those Who Can't Help You Back

Am I remembering to help those that can’t pay me back in this life, so that I will be repaid in heaven?

12  Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  13  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14  and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

INSIGHT:  Jesus does not mean for us to never invite our friends or loved ones to a party or celebration that we are throwing.  He is again using hyperbole, as in passages like Luke 14:26 (hate your family members) or Mat 5:30 (cut off your hand), to stress the point that we need to serve those who can't pay us back now, so we will receive a greater payback in heaven.   He is standing among people whose motive for giving was primarily to be seen by others (Mat 6:2).  It is also very likely that they gave with expectation of receiving something back.  These are both evil motives for giving (giving to get), that will earn no favor with God.  God wants us to depend on Him to reward us, not others.  He may use others from time to time, to bless us now, but notice that Jesus again emphasizes heavenly rewards (v.14), not earthly rewards. We see this same heavenly reward emphasis in Luke 6:23, 16:9, Matthew 6:20, 16:27.  Just like many stories and events in the Old Testament were types and shadows of principles in the New Testament, rewards down here must surely be just shadows of what is to come.  In the here and now, His greatest rewards are often His presence, peace, joy, and contentment in our life, not temporary happiness or more stuff that all burns in the end anyway.  We need to intentionally remind ourselves of this. Paybacks and rewards here are temporary, but paybacks in heaven are forever.  Which would you rather have?  Wisdom says choose the latter.