Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Do you have a tough time staying focused? I do.
When I’m in a crowd, I’m looking all around. I move my focus from person, to person, to person. I look at their hair. Their clothing. Their shoes. How they use their hands.
You may not know this about me, but I’m about to tell you something that may force you to put down this book, if not throw it away. Are you ready? Here goes.
I go grocery shopping every day. Not once a week, not twice a week, but each and every day. And when I walk up and down the aisles, I look over what’s on the shelves. What’s in the refrigerated and frozen food cases.
Now, what in the world would motivate me to do this? Well, some of it is because that’s the way I’m wired. But some of it is because I choose to do it. I like to see what’s changed. What’s new. What’s different. For me, I like looking for and noticing stuff like this.
Now I realize that most people don’t do this at all. But we all do notice certain things. There are things that we all are on the lookout for. Things that grab our attention.
For some people, they look for how much weight people have put on. Others look at their hair for how it’s cut. The color. The kind of car they drive and how clean do they keep it. What size house they live in. What jewelry they wear.
We look for these things for a reason. You see, there are things that we look for because they’re important to us. We notice the things that have value to us. We ignore the things that are not important. The things that have no value to us.
Jesus is telling his disciples what’s important, what will be noticed by God. But more than noticed, what will be rewarded. God is on the lookout, on the prowl for people that are willing to do small things for his people.
God is not looking for people that see needs, everybody does this. But he’s looking for and will reward people that meet even the smallest of needs. There’s got to be more than seeing the need. Iit’s going out of our way to meet the need.
Even something as insignificant as getting some cool water for the thirsty does not go unnoticed. The God who sees all is not distracted or too busy to miss even the most minor help.
Yes, God is the God of the big things; creation, raising Jesus from the dead, miracles, opening seas. But God is also God of the small and insignificant things, feeding birds, hairs on your head, giving a cup of water to the thirsty.
But it doesn’t stop there. Not only does he notice, but he rewards the small and insignificant things. God is fair and just; he will not overlook our helping someone when no one else is looking. Nothing is hidden from God, so he sees when we help the weak and those in need.
And there’s another side to this coin. Not only does he see and reward the small things, but he also sees when people ignore and hurt others. He doesn’t just turn his head and ignore them and their actions. There is a “reward” so to speak for treating people badly.
Now, both “rewards” do not necessarily come automatically or immediately. God is not a vending machine that gives out “blessings” whenever we give our “cup of cool water” on thirsty people. Nor is he controlled by our desires, timing, or what we think is important.
But we can rest and relax in the assurance that God does see, and that he will reward.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
But are we willing to trust God to notice? To reward? Or do we have to grab the steering wheel of life away from God and force him to do it our way? When we think it should happen? How we think it should happen?
The words, promises, and assurance of Jesus is that God does notice. God does reward. It will happen, and it will be greater than we can possibly imagine. But are we willing to wait?
That is a significant question worthy of thinking about.