This is part four of this article. Please click here to read part one, two, or three.
The world recognizes those who give financially to causes. They call them philanthropists. They also recognize those who go to great lengths to meet the physical needs of others. They call them humanitarians. When the church of God needed some men who would selflessly love and serve those who serve the Lord, they called them deacons. What a blessing it is to be a servant of servants.
It seems a bit awkward to even discuss rewards for doing something that is so gratifying. However, the Word of God does indicate some very specific rewards associated with the deacon ministry.
The Reward of Church Growth
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7
When the deacons in the church of Jerusalem got busy meeting the needs of the people and the pastors were able to spend time in the Word and prayer, then the church grew spiritually and numerically. What a blessing to be in a place where people are being saved and sanctified to the glory of God!
The Reward of Personal Growth
“For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 3:13
Nothing has stretched me more spiritually than serving the Lord in my church as a deacon. There have been great blessings and great burdens. There have been tears and cheers. There have been sleepless nights and nights of peace that passeth all understanding. There has been dread and delight. There have been mistakes and successes. Through them all there has been growth.
The Reward of a Granting God
When the phone rings at two in the morning and the deacon rushes to the hospital, the world is not impressed. As a deacon stands by the grave of a widow that he loved and ministered to for years, the world does not see. When the deacon spends hours helping the pastor deal with a difficult situation, the world just yawns. The efforts of a deacon may not be seen or understood by the world around them. But God sees and understands.
“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Matthew10:42
The accolades and glory of men are short lived and shallow. Trophies rust, plaques fade, and certificates crumble away. Some live for them, and die with them. Live and serve to please the Lord—the rewards are far greater than anything the world could imagine.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:1-4
I suppose that the deacon ministry is best accomplished and described as the secret service.
“The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:12