ok, this is all good stuff, and i'm thinking.
i agree with leah that our following jesus doesn't guarantee a reward in this life that would be recognizable to the world. at the same time, i think when we're getting it right, following jesus WILL produce in us the fruits of the spirit. and when we're living with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, i think that's a pretty decent reward for this life - i think this is how the kingdom of god is available right here right now, and i want it! :o)
when we're getting it right, we may look like a failure or a great success to the world ... as kim wideman said recently, "i find that what i look like to other people says more about them than it says about me." -- good stuff.
i think living a life filled with the fruits of the spirit is the most effective form of evangalism i can think of, given the "what's in it for me" element of the human condition. ultimately, i think i follow jesus becuase i believe it's the best plan available to me. on the rare occasions when i'm getting it right, it produces a kind of joy and peace that is plenty of reward for this gal! conversely, when i'm angry, worried, stressed, judging (which is plenty often), it's not because the world is treating me badly that day (though it may well be), but rather, it's because i'm forgetting to seek God's kingdom first.