12/22 2 John 1:8

8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.

As an individual and as a congregation, we should pay attention to our spiritual condition. If we aren't going forward, we are going backward. We don't work for our salvation, but we do work for heavenly rewards. We do as Jesus commanded and lay up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20). John is telling us that we can fall short of the full reward God intended for us.

John and others had invested into the believers' lives so that they might be fruitful and advance God's kingdom. God has preplanned the good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). He equips us, sets the stage, and creates the conditions. All we have to do is be obedient, and He does the rest. For just being obedient, we are promised heavenly rewards (Matthew 10:41-42). God is pleased to reward us for bringing glory to His name.

We can choose to not accept God's invitation to serve. Making such a choice does not mean our soul is not saved, but it does mean we will fall short of a full reward. It's as if we had an opportunity to swap a piece of fruit that would soon decay for a gold bar that would only increase in value. We can eat it now or have something much more valuable forever. Jesus promised a hundred times as much in return-that's a 10,000 percent increase (Mark 10:30). Don't become so caught up in the temporal pleasures of this life that you miss the opportunity to trade the perishable for the eternal.

Remember: Watch yourselves, so that you don't fall short of a full reward.