Part III. Life’s ending: the heart’s role in Reward
Reward depends upon the heart
The state of our heart is the secret to our usefulness for God, and it will determine the honor God places upon us in the future. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” (1 Cor. 4:5).
After God’s own heart
I am reminded of the man that is, after Christ, perhaps the most honored in the Scriptures. His name is David (found over 1100 times in the KJV). David is in the first verse of the New Testament and six verses from the end of the New Testament.
What is the secret to David’s honor? I would like to suggest that it was his heart.
God said of him, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22).
What a heart David had for God! David’s heart was like God’s heart, and he loved to spend time with God. He longed to please God, and lived humbly, trustingly, thankfully before Him. One has only to hear his songs to feel the beat of his heart, a heart full of desire and devotion to his God. What a love he showed for communication from his God in Psalm 119! How he appreciated God’s care in Psalm 23! How he longed after God in Psalm 42! We could go on and on.
God’s choice of David for the one who would guide His people as a type of Christ was due to David’s heart. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1Sam. 16:7).
David endured the ridicule of men, but he didn’t let others’ assessment of his heart affect his life for God. His own brother cut him down when David sought to refresh him (1Sam. 17:28). And then the trusting heart of David, one that desired God’s honor, went out to meet the giant, and the giant came down.
David endured the betrayal of men, but even this did not change his dedication to God. Instead, that heart that wept so often was made more true to his God as a result. His own son stole the hearts of those he loved and shepherded as king. His heart was pierced with grief. When Absalom’s heart was pierced through in death, reaping what he sowed, David mourned over him.
You can hardly find a man of God that failed more than David did. But it would be hard to find a man who loved God more than David did.