Mark Fackler

READ : Genesis 15:1-6

Your reward shall be very great. (v. 1)

In a teaching career now almost three decades old, I have given hundreds of final A’s,
and a bucket full of F’s. Each is reward for work well done – or not. If you counted
all the graded papers, oh my, A’s, B’s, and C’s in the thousands have been given out as
students’ rewards. But not really.

The real reward for scholarship is a keener appetite for learning: more curiosity and a
greater capacity for satisfying it. That’s because a true scholar has a drive which mere
grades can neither spark nor dampen. As a measure of performance, grades are meaningful.
As a measure of learning, they are pretty useless.

God tells Abraham that his reward for discipleship will be . . . God! To know God, to
walk with God, to be assured of God’s love for you – this is the reward offered Abraham
as the best benefit for his obedience. And yes, Abraham will have his long-sought heir (v.

When you give to missionaries (or become one), or share the gospel with a neighbor, or
tutor a youngster struggling in school, don’t look for tooth-fairy prizes under your
pillow in the morning. God says, “Look for Me! Your big reward is friendship with Me!”

Teachers still need to grade exams. A’s and B’s do count for something. But in the School of the Spirit, the reward that really counts is God’s growing presence in your life. On that scale, what’s your GPA?


I may be in first grade spiritually, Lord, but my ears are open. I want to learn.