Receiving The Lord’s Rewards

So, I was awakened in the early hours of this morning on this last day of 2016 and decided to just talk to the Lord, since I was wide awake anyway. In reality, I think it was He, Who was wanting to talk to me. The time was 2:34 am. He reminded me of a scripture I had been wondering about for a while and then He started telling me about it. I had seen one side of the scripture before, but He was taking me deeper into it. RECEIVING THE LORD’S REWARDS!

Matthew 10:40-42 “He who receives and welcomes you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives and welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous (honorable) man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [these who are humble in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water to drink because he is my disciple, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.” AMP

Then, He reminded me of this scripture. Matthew 13:53-58, “When Jesus had finished these parables, He left there. 54 And after coming to [Nazareth] His hometown, He began teaching them in their synagogue, and they were astonished, and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers [what is the source of His authority]? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not [living here] among us? Where then did this Man get all this [wisdom and power]?” 57 And they took offense at Him [refusing to believe in Him]. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there [in Nazareth] because of their unbelief.” AMP

Then He placed these two scriptures together in order to expand the part about reward. The people in Nazareth received Him in different ways. Many received him as the carpenter’s son and so they received their just reward which was with unbelief towards Him concerning the miraculous. To the few who received Him as the Son of God, He was able to perform miracles in their lives.

Now, Janiece and I travel all the time and we meet many people in the hotels where we stay. Some are drawn to us and we get to share things with them. Some are aware of who we are in the Lord and we are able to pray for them and see the Lord do great things in their lives. Others are not quite sure, and end up going on their separate way. We are saddened because we know the Lord wanted to do more, but it was their choice.

There are many ministers who tout their titles or offices/giftings in the Lord, and I guess this is okay. At least it puts it out in the open for all to know, as long as it is true. Yet, the Lord was showing me that this isn’t the issue and wasn’t what He was trying to get me to see. It’s not how we present ourselves to others, but rather, how others receive us as to what they will/can receive from the Lord. We must see beyond the person to the Lord’s gifting in them.

So, what is this reward thing? Well, let’s take for instance, we have a problem with a demonic attack and it would sure be nice to get some relief in the battle. Let’s say that an apostle is sent to us to help us. In His office in the Kingdom, he can declare some things over our life, take authority over the demonic and we can be free with healing in the matter as well, if we believe that the Lord has given him the authority in this realm. However, perhaps we don’t believe in apostles, but believe he is a righteous man and can help us in prayer. Depending on our understanding of the scriptures, when he prays for us we will be limiting some of what he has the authority to do. So, we might receive the healing and a reprieve from the attack, but it might come back later and start the whole process all over again.

You see, the enemy is a thief. If we believe in the first instance, the office of the apostle, that the matter was settled, then we can stand against the enemy because of the authority of the apostolic office and the demon can no longer attack us on the matter. If we believe, as in the second instance, that of the righteous man, we might waver on our stance against the attack, because we will not have seen the matter as settled. Then the enemy will come against us again in the future concerning the same matter, and we will be back in the same boat. This is a very simple analogy and in truth, it is much more complex than this, but I hope you can see the difference.

This is the same with being around a prophet and being given a prophetic word. The question is, was this a word from God, or was it from the man. This is important, because when the test comes against the word, it will determine whether we stand on the word that was given, or let the enemy steal it from us. This is also true with the other giftings, pastor, teacher, evangelists, worker of healings and miracles, and on and on. How do we receive the person the Lord is sending to us and the word they bring?

This is also true in regards to dealing with our own pride when the prophetic word comes to us. Read about the healing of Naaman through the prophetic word of Elisha in 2 Kings 5 and his dealing with his own pride in order to be healed.

The truth is that there are some ministers who are after their own gain to the detriment of others and in that case, we must be careful in discerning. If we throw everything out, we get absolutely nothing. It takes work and we must be diligent in this because the Lord has a beautiful plan for our lives, but He has included in His plan for us to walk with Him as well as those He brings around us. His Kingdom is about His people working together in every community across the earth in every generation. Just because there are a few who walk in deception, doesn’t make everything else bad. These people were around with the early disciples as well, and the disciples challenged them at every opportunity to preserve the truth.

So, on this last day of 2016, it might be a time to change our outlook on a few matters, so that we can receive His best for us. Instead of following people for who they claim to be or not, perhaps we can ask the Holy Spirit to show us. He will. As in the case of many throughout the Bible, it might not be the ones we would choose. Look at the Lord’s choosing of David, Paul, Peter, etc.

I’ve struggled a lot with my music and my voice over the years after I’ve written song after song, but they seemed to never go anywhere. A few years back, the Lord sent a prophet to tell me to pick up the songs again, keep writing, and go for it. I have. This past summer I performed at a world competition in front of 2,000 people in Orlando, Florida. We bought a lot of equipment since that prophecy and have a portable studio with us so we can record while we are traveling. I have some of my songs on YouTube. Early this year, I sent a link of my new song that I was going to perform at the competition, to a well-known friend of mine in the industry. He listened to it but didn’t really give me any feedback. I performed it one night a few weeks later at an open mic meeting and he told me this. He said that my song was so different when I sang it live as to having it recorded. He was amazed at the difference. Here was the encouragement I needed, but I had to go all the way for the breakthrough. Had I stopped along the way, my journey could’ve been shipwrecked by my own unbelief.

I had received the word of this prophet as a prophet over five years ago and am seeing the rewards from it. I held on to it and kept pressing forward in it. My wife and I kept spending money on equipment and things kept working out. A friend of mine, after he heard I was going to put a down payment on a Yahama MOX8 keyboard, gave me the money and told me to go and buy it. The cost was around $1,400. We joined Musician’s Friend online and have gotten many ridiculously priced items through their Stupid Deal of the Day and have saved a lot of money. Even in recording some of the songs and getting them on YouTube, they haven’t done as well as I would have liked, but I did it. I know how to do video and audio editing, so I did my best and am going to change some things going forward, like making some better music videos.

2017 Tour - Concerts by Joseph James

In 2017, we are going to start doing concerts in hotels inviting anyone to come, so we can join with communities across this nation to target suicide and depression by bringing encouragement to others. We have the vision and the plan. Now, it is time to execute the plan. If you’d like to help and/or be a part, please reach out to us using our form on this website. Let’s reach our communities for the good and change the world around us. Every single life matters. I have some of my music on YouTube and it is also available on Bandcamp. My books are available on Amazon in Print/Kindle. Proceeds go to help us in our journey. Thank you!

Let’s receive each other and the giftings the Lord has placed in each of us for the sake of building His Kingdom. Let His love be the foundation to build everything else. Blessings to you, His wonderful grace, peace and favor in the journey. Have a wonderful 2017!

Joseph James