My wife and I recently got to spend a few days in Asheville, NC. In many ways it is similar to our hometown Athens, GA. We stopped in a local bookstore, and I was looking for a good book to read while sitting on the deck and looking out at the mountains. I made my way to the Religion section (which was proportionately larger than most) and then found the “Christian” section. Of the 100 or so authors to pick from C.S. Lewis was the ONLY one who’s writings were worth the paper they were printed on – and his much more than that. So I am very thankful for Lewis – because the truth of Scripture he reveals is put in bookstores even when every other book in the “Christian” section is there to fabricate history and/or present a different Jesus.

I wanted to share, summarize, and expand on some thoughts in his famous sermon “the Weight of Glory”. When approaching this subject of reward for how we live the Christian life, we often think of 2 possibilities on either end of a spectrum.
On the one side we have a reward (a glory) that seems to us self-centered and arrogant, and on the other side a reward that seems frivolous and all-together inconsequential. (I mean what does it matter as long as I make it to heaven.) As usual with these sort of spectrums the biblical truth is no where to be found on it. The biblical truth is distinct – not a degree between 2 falsehoods.

C.S. Lewis in his sermon “The Weight of Glory” speaks of these things and helps us see the glory that the Scriptures give us with clarity of sight. The glory that God gives us is indeed this, “Well done my good and faithful servant…” It is as Col. 3:23-24 states, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

The proper desire for this glory is healthy for all Christians to have. It is the natural desire of a child to hear her parents say, “Good job. I’m so proud of you!” and notice how she smiles and laughs and her face lights up like a jar of lightning bugs. It is this desire that is true and pure. (Lewis notes we are talking about the brats here.) It is very similar to the desire we should have to please our heavenly Father. It isn’t so that we can brag about our conquests and boast around like a peacock. It is so we can hear that strong Voice – the Voice we long for – say those precious and kind words to us… ”Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Lewis notes 5 basic promises we as followers of Jesus have been given. I will give Scripture to back each of these up and a call for how to live now in light of our future:

Future 1: we shall be with Christ (Colossians 3:1-4)
Now: don’t get stuck living for the temporary
Future 2: we shall be like Christ (I John 3:1-3)
Now: put away sin
Future 3: we shall have glory (Romans 2:6-11, 8:18)
Now: be persistent in doing good
Future 4: we shall feast with Christ (Revelation 19:6-10)
Now: be prepared to meet Jesus and rejoice
Future 5: we shall have some sort of ruling position in the universe (II Timothy 2:11-13)
Now: be faithful and endure

(Note that we have the primary promise – to be with Christ – and the other promises are descriptive promises of what that is like – so we don’t jump to our own (wrong) conclusions of what this will be like.)

Finally: Lewis concludes with such great power that we are to love God and love our neighbor. “There are no ORDINARY people…” His point is that we shouldn’t be overly concerned with our own glory, but we should be very concerned with the glory of others.  We are helping people become children of God or playing a part in moving them further away….that each person will ultimately be – eternally with Jesus or a hideous creature – eternally apart from God. We should take each other very seriously and should be burdened to help every one we can (as the Apostle paul would say) be presented complete in Christ Jesus.

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