Residual income is income you get even after a sale is done and over. You still get income from that one sale you made a long time ago, and that income never stops. That's earthly marketing.
Something like that also happens in the spiritual realms. Sharing God's Word to people and living out the Word of God daily (living the LIFE of Jesus daily) brings you great rewards. In fact, anything done for God and his Kingdom according to God's Word brings you rewards.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. [Hebrews 6.10]And another promise goes like this:
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. [1 Corinthians 15.58]Continuing Blessings
But blessings in Christ are not just one-time affairs. They keep going on---provided you continue to share the Gospel and live the LIFE of Jesus daily (live out the WORD daily). This principle is spelled out in Leviticus 26: 3-13, with a condition that we seriously live out God's Word. In summary, God promises that, "Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time," [v.5].
To understand more about how God's Kingdom works on earth, click this.
Here's a shorter passage on the same:
While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in. [Leviticus 25.22]That's continuous blessings. That's what I call residual income or rewards. You still get blessings from your past efforts. And in Christ, it's all by God's grace. This kind of grace didn't stop in the New Testament. In fact, it even leveled up. And it continues to this day. God's grace grows and increases.
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [2 Peter 3.18]The rewards continue as long as what you did continues to bear fruit in the Kingdom through the years. The rewards never stop. Indeed, it's spiritual "residual income" or rewards.
You Get Rewards from Others' Efforts
Now, here's the radical thing about residual rewards in God's Kingdom. You don't just get blessed from your own obedience to God. You also get blessed from the obedience of your disciples and from those they disciple for Christ, and even from the generations after them.
Discipleship establishes a line of connectivity. First, you get your first generation of disciples. Then they disciple others. Then, those others also disciple others. And so on. As your network of disciples grow, you also continue to disciple others, forming new discipleship groups and more teams or networks.
What? Is this network marketing?
No. But this is precisely why network marketing businesses are powerful and grow fast. They apply the concept of 2 Timothy 2.2:
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.That's called duplication. Thus, in a sense, discipleship is also networking---Kingdom networking, to be precise. Genuine Jesus-style discipleship is not just doing small bible studies. The important thing is you transfer your spiritual DNA to your disciples. Or more accurately, you transfer the spiritual Jesus DNA in you to your disciples.
And then, when this kind of Kingdom networking is established in the Spirit, you begin to reap residual rewards in the spirit realms.
"For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,whether by life or by death." [1.19-20]You see that? Clearly, you benefit from the spiritual efforts of your disciples. As they obey God, they reap rewards. But because they are your disciples, you also reap rewards from their obedience. Each time they do that, you get spiritual rewards.
What was Paul's residual rewards from the obedience of the Philippian church?
- Not be ashamed
- Have sufficient courage
- Christ exalted in his body
Here's another proof.
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? [1 Thessalonians 2.19]Your disciples are your "crowns" in which you "will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus." Disciples are spiritual rewards. The more you have the more you get rewards. That's residual in nature.
Here's another passage:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. [Philippians 2.14-16]As your disciples become obedient to God (growing in good character, not grumbling, without fault, holding firmly to God's Word), they become your rewards. You present them to Christ as your crowns and even boast on the Day that you did not run in vain (or, your spiritual "networking" efforts have been fruitful).
Of course, the passage in Philippians above also tells us that we cannot benefit from disciples who have stayed dormant spiritually.
So the thing here is that we clearly benefit from the obedience of our disciples. There is such a thing as spiritual residual rewards.
Here's the Beauty of It All!
The beauty of it all is that, you also reap residual rewards even from people you do not disciple but have shared the Gospel with. If you shared the Gospel to someone who ended up in a different Christian church or discipleship group, you still get residual rewards from that. In Christ, the connection remains because each obedient act we do is recorded in God's Books.
Remember, "your labor in the Lord is not in vain" [1 Corinthians 15.58]
In fact, you also get rewards even when you shared the Gospel to someone who rejected it and never became a Christian. You get "spiritual points" or "heavenly scores" each time and which will be added to your account in heaven.
In fact, if you are fond of encouraging believers, praying for them, counseling erring Christians, giving them material blessings secretly, being a blessing to them in your own small ways (and not announcing to the public your good deeds)---God records each of them and promises a blessing---a "spiritual point" for each, as it were.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. [Galatians 6.9]But make sure you keep every good deed a secret as much as possible. Do not broadcast or announce them. Otherwise, you forfeit yourself of residual rewards. The admiration you get from people will be your only reward, and that's trash.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. [Matthew 6.2]So, don't be surprised if in heaven, you see huge and luxurious mansions belonging to believers who quietly did their obedient acts to God, who never said anything about their "big ministries," who were not popular in church, who were just among unknown or unsung supporters but who really had a clean and obedient heart for Christ when they were living on earth.
Produce as many such disciples and reap a bounty of residual income that could be used to build your high-rise mansion in heaven.
You may have been an "ordinary" believer who didn't do much for the Lord except giving some words of encouragement to people, sharing God's Word with them, sharing the Gospel of salvation to nonbelievers but often got rejected, and secretly praying for people.
But then in heaven, the Lord shows you an enormous and expensive mansion in a really huge and amazing property with vast gardens and courts and verandas, with multiple garages and posh cars inside (cars in heaven? Yeah, why not? Nothing is impossible with God!). And then Jesus asks you, "Whose mansion do you think is that?"
At once, you think of big-time ministers or the popular performers in your church who received a lot of rewards from your church denomination. They're surely worthy of mansions like this.
Then the Lord corrects your thoughts and says, "No, my child. This mansion is yours."
What happened? By God's grace, all your labor in the Lord produced accumulated residual income in the spirit realms and built you this huge investment in heaven.
The least shall be the greatest.
For more radically life-changing insights, get our e-books! GOD's Flesh: "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" [Job 19.26-17].
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