I always say go for the invisible rewards, things unseen by the naked eyes and which cannot be perceived by the unspiritual mind. Material blessings we hear from testimonies are good and should inspire us to praise God more. But more than material blessings are unseen rewards God gives to those up for a Kingdom promotion—things highly unappreciated [if not belittled] by the world, especially the worldly church.
We often watch on TV testimonies about how people received things in return for giving to a mission or ministry. For instance, I once watched on TV how a lady got 3 cars and a lucrative business after giving money support to a popular ministry. Then, the host encouraged watchers to also give to get something in return. It’s like a business or investment to gain a profit. And the impression they create is that your material possessions get doubled or tripled when you support a ministry. In short, go for material rewards, rewards seen by the eyes and easily appreciated in the world.
They Show Only Visible Rewards on TV for Promotion
Giving to God definitely results to rewards, especially material and financial. But I always say go for the invisible rewards than the visible ones. However, some ministries are only after self promotion [to get more donations for their causes--well, which are worthy causes, to be sure] and show only the visible rewards reaped by probably about 10 percent of the givers.
It’s like this. If there are 1,000 donors, only about 10 percent will get visible rewards. The rest won’t. It’s an observable fact—not all who give to ministries get their money or possessions doubled or tripled. So, the rest of those who gave would wonder back in their minds and ask, why didn’t I get blessed as that other person did on TV? Am I doing something wrong? Isn't God pleased with me?
If you're in sin, your giving won't please God, for sure, though you may likewise get material rewards for it. Strange as it sounds but it happens--God rewards both the righteous and the wicked, remember?
"He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." [Matthew 5.45]
In fact, sometimes, givers who are in sin seem to get more material rewards. Remember the rich man and Lazarus? Lazarus had God's favor but the rich man got tremendous material blessings. Most times, givers who live in righteousness scarcely get materially blessed. Well, for purposes of discussion, let's talk of righteous giving here.
Back to that Christian TV program where they promote material blessings. Now, if money or material rewards alone get promoted, what would happen? The effect would be either of two things: "unblessed" givers would try again, inspired by the testimony they saw on TV where 10 percent who gave support got money or material blessings. Or, they’d be disappointed and stop [or quit] giving.
The question is, why are we inclined to highlight money or material rewards more than spiritual rewards? Didn't the Master say we should store treasures more in heaven?
Why Go for the Invisible Rewards?
Watch this verse: “Thus, we glue our eyes on [or watch out intently for] rewards that are unseen, not visible ones or those readily seen and appreciated in this world. Visible things or rewards are just temporary. They won’t last. But unseen or invisible rewards are eternal,” [2 Cor. 4.18]. But the way things are, the church today goes for the money value system of the world rather than the Kingdom value system. To God, unseen rewards are definitely superior, but the church rarely promotes them seriously.
If you give money support to a ministry, go for the invisible rewards: like a higher and more secure status in the invisible Kingdom, in God’s eternal and invisible glorious church. In short, desire to be God’s flesh on earth. Jesus said; “Use your worldly wealth [material possessions and money] to gain friends for yourself [share it or support a ministry], so that when it is gone [“gone” means God wants you to give up everything], you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings [a secure place in the Kingdom], [Luke 16]. He didn't say, "so when it's donated, you double your money."