06.3 John – Wages

What payment do you want?

Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death.  But in John 4:36, Jesus also tells us there is a wage for those who participate in “the harvest.”  Matthew 6:20 calls this treasures in heaven.  Throughout the scriptures we are admonished to focus our desires for wages on the long term.  If we “cash in” on our good deeds on earth, through acknowledgements, pride and recognition, then we have received our reward.  But if we do our work diligently, as for the Lord, then glory awaits us at the banquet in heaven.

But this is hard.  Delayed gratification is difficult, but always has its reward.  Carole Dweck’s work on the growth mindset provides a psychological example of a heavenly truth.  In her experiments with children and their ability to forego a reward of a marshmallow.  Those who successfully delayed gratification were found to do better in many stages of life, including standardized testing years later.  The successful children did this by changing their focus, from the immediate reward to something else.

In the same way, we can change our focus as well.  2 Cor 3:18 tells us to not focus on the problems all around us, but on the riches of heaven.  Philippines 4:5-8 calls us to focus on Godly things, things that are true, noble, right and pure, lovely, excellent, admirable and praiseworthy.  By focusing on these things, we see the big prize – eternity with our heavenly family.

My Answers:

5.
Jesus, already using the analogy of food to discuss spiritual joy, continues by transferring it to the harvest4 months left is the lull time for wheat (7-8 months).  There isn’t anything to do.  But Jesus says to look, others have already done the hard work and you  get to participate in the harvest of souls.  The sower is the word of God and the Holy Spirit, it is also those who prophesy, teach and speak the work (like JTB).  The field is the earth, all humans, God’s creation.  The crop is saved souls brought in to everlasting life in faith, the harvest is the time of decision, the choice to accept the gift.  The reaper is the one who brings the person to faith and witnesses for the good news of Christ.  The wages are joy and heavenly riches.

6.
I can get into the lull period.  I can not see / recognize those who are ready, but just go on with my normal day-to-day.

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