Simply put, this is one of my favorite Bible verses.
- Faith, an absolute requirement
- Acknowledge God's existence
- Expect great rewards, one 1 condition
No amount of work, apart from faith, can save you. The faith spoken of here is an action, not a conception, or thought. It is active reliance on God for everything in our lives. To think we can be a cheerleader for God on social media and gain favor is foolishness. To dress a certain way, or talk a certain way, or groom ourselves a certain way is vanity before God. God looks at the inner man, the heart. Man looks at the outer man, the appearance.
HE IS, the great, I AM
How can a man have faith in something without first acknowledging it's existence? There are some people who do though. They will say things like, "all we need is faith" or "all religions are the same, just different names for the same God". This is also foolishness. Allow me to demonstrate.
Imagine a beautiful and delicious cupcake on a table. What might you learn from gazing upon it? Perhaps it might lead you to believe that there is a baker whom could claim ownership of this delightful creation. You would be correct, let's call him El O. Him. Now another person comes in and says he is in fact the baker, and another one follows him and makes the same claim. How can this be? It can't. Only ONE baker could have made the cupcake, all the others are impostors. They are all bakers, but not THE baker. So it is with the God of the Bible and creation. He alone spoke everything into existence, all others are impostors.
People are always looking for rewards. With God, it is no different. Some people serve God for the rewards, while others serve God out of Love for others. The latter are not concerned about earthly rewards. They are only concerned with bringing people into God's kingdom by saving souls and serving the God who saved their souls from eternal damnation. The rewards spoken of here are spiritual, not carnal. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Remember in Matthew Jesus's invitation?
He said "learn of me". The God who created everything has invited you and me to learn of Him. The deeper the walk, the greater the rewards. Like the men on the road to Emmaus. After communing with Jesus and abiding with Him, "their eyes were opened". It says Jesus took them from Moses through all the prophets. That was one epic Bible study. They were rewarded spiritually. Those are the rewards we should desire.