Bible Answer

Are blessings based on works?

I know that salvation is not works based, but rather on faith alone. But what does it say about the blessings of God? Do I need to prove I can be a good steward of His gifts before God grants me the desires of my heart? Are blessings based on being faithful enough, or good enough?

Our relationship with God is not a transactional relationship, and ultimately our "blessings" are not merely material rewards in this life. When we think of our relationship with God in those terms, we have missed the bigger picture.

All Christians should be concerned with obeying Jesus, because our walk is an important witness of our relationship, and because our rewards are primarily found in the Kingdom to come, not on earth. Those who are faithful in their walk with Jesus now will be judged faithful to Jesus in the Kingdom to come (Luke 16:10), and as a result we will be blessed with more opportunity to serve Him there.

Nevertheless, our walk with Jesus is not transactional. There is no quid pro quo, whereby we are receiving what we want when we obey and we are denied what we want when we disobey. On the contrary, we always receive from the Lord what we need without regard to how we behave. This is the meaning of "grace."

For example, before you received your salvation, you were fully disobedient, unholy, and an enemy of God (Romans 5:10). Despite your complete disobedience to God, He gave you mercy and forgiveness. So now that you have become His child by faith, how much more will you receive good gifts? On the other hand, if you seek for something evil from God, you will not receive it even if you are 100% obedient, because the Lord will not give you what is not good. 

So, if you feel convicted over behavior, then take whatever steps are necessary to address your sin issue without regard for how it might impact your earthly "blessings" from God. Pleasing Christ is your highest goal in this life, and your desire to please Him should not turn on whether He lavishes you with reward. 

We must nurture and mature this desire within ourselves, Paul says:

2Cor. 5:6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord —
2Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight —
2Cor. 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
2Cor. 5:9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

So we encourage you not to view your relationship with Jesus as transactional nor based on a quid pro quo. Instead, seek to please Him in all things simply because this is your fundamental duty as a believer. As Jesus said:

Luke 17:7  “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’?
Luke 17:8 “But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’?
Luke 17:9 “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?
Luke 17:10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

For an in-depth discussion on the topic of blessings, you may find our following series helpful:

What does the bible say about eternal rewards?