Paid in Full
Written By Reason A. Chandler
I grew up in a little country town in Virginia, and in that town, it was customary to go to church every Sunday. My mother would make sure my two sisters and I attended church every Sunday. One of the Deacons was always asked to pray on those mornings. Those prayers would last between five and fifteen minutes.
I remember some of the openings used in some of the prayers.
One that comes to mind is, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No. There’s a cross for everyone, and there is a cross for me.”
First of all, what does that mean? Which is a conversation for another time. The ultimate question is what did the person praying gain from praying for such a long time, and why before an audience?
The answer is somewhat disturbing. The Deacons sought the praises from the listening people. To hear someone say well done, or as I remember, to hear someone say, “deacon so and so really prayed this morning.”
Matthew 6:5b “Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
Jesus gives us an outline of how we should pray in public, known as the Lord’s prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13)
We thank God and proclaim His Kingdom come.
Take off Self:
God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We ask for forgiveness for others and ourselves
God is our daily bread.
If we follow God, we will not fall into temptation and be delivered from evil.
We announce God is the Kingdom, power, and glory forever.
The people’s response should be “Amen,” and this reply should be our payment in full because it is pleasing unto God. Not a satisfaction of our edification at the moment. Because the moment is temporary, and the reward we seek is eternal in the heavens.
Full payment is giving joy to God because of our obedience, and the fact remains that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I want to hear Him say, “well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
Believers, let’s encourage one another to do the job God has assigned us by His instructions. And remember, when you are faithful over a few things, God will make us rulers over many.
Reason A. Chandler,SR is a pastor serving within the United Methodist Virginia Conference. As the senior Pastor of Jackson Street United Methodist Church (JSUMC) in Lynchburg, Virginia, he has inspired the community to push beyond the limits. The last seven years at JSUMC laid the foundation to move worship into a digital space. The pandemic provided an opportunity to grow and expand the ministry virtually, with Sunday service available on YouTube. Connect with Reason via Facebook.