Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Rev. 22:12)

WE DON’T KNOW MUCH about the return of Jesus other than it will be sudden. John recorded Jesus’ words: “Behold I am coming soon” (Rev. 12:22). Other references to His return include phrases like “twinkling of an eye” and “thief in the night.” We can also be sure of what Jesus said: “My reward is with me” (v. 12). This reminds me of my kids. When I come home after traveling, I often bring back something for them. After a while, they started asking me upon my arrival, “What did you bring me?”

Some people don’t like to talk about rewards because they think looking for rewards from God is a poor motive for serving Him. And while it is true that our love of Christ should be our greatest motive, God does give rewards. “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven,” Jesus said (Matt. 5:12). Several other passages of Scripture talk about specific crowns God will give. We read about the crown of life, the crown of righteousness, and a crown of rejoicing, just to name a few.

I bring home gifts because I missed my children and love them dearly. I have been thinking about them. I am so proud of them, and I want them to know it. Not only do I express my feelings in affirming words, but also in gifts of blessing. Such giving is a privilege of being a dad. In the same manner, God wants to bless us because He loves and cares for us. The Scriptures are clear: God will give to each person according to what he or she has done.

Thankfully and humbly receive God’s blessings.

Scott Simmons is the author of the youth discipleship series iFollow and was director of youth ministry for the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division of The Wesleyan Church.