When I was a child if I did anything against the rules I was threatened with punishment. What about you? Your punishment may have been having your allowance withheld, or no TV for a week; Children these days get their Facebook or phone privileges limited for an extended period of time. As for me, it was a spanking, and in my time any adult available felt free to administer it! My granddaddy spanked me for the simple sin of punching out the intriguing green light on the console radio, my grandmother for stepping on her toes, my dad for talking in church and my mother, well, you better not be “sassy”!
As you grow older you seem bent on punishing yourself, whether you realize it or not and there is the beginning of being afraid of the punishment of God. Yes I heard about hell fire, but I also heard about the love of God from a dad who explained why I was being punished and then prayed with me and then let it go, so I understood the difference between being rewarded and praised for something good I had done and being punished for my “evil” ways!
I thought I would bring you a few scriptures showing the reward side of God. Genesis 15:1 this word of GOD came to Abram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I’m your shield. Your reward will be grand!” Psalm 19:10-11The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous…By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Isaiah 40:10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power… See, his reward is with him. Jeremiah 31:16 But now this is what the LORD says: “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,” says the LORD. Matthew 6:4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 2 John 1:8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Rev. 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
These are only a few of the 103 references to “reward” in the Bible, compare that to the mere 25 times that the word “punishment” is used in the Bible! God loves us, His own dear children! 2 Chronicles 16:9 The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Psalm 33:18-19 Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together.
Seems like God loves us more than he wants to punish us, right?