Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

What do you do when you hear people discussing what it takes to get into heaven where one person says they’ve been a good and moral person and the other says they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ? Of course this further begs the question, “What do I need to do to hear, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ when I arrive in heaven?”

In Jesus’ parable of the talents, the Lord tells of two faithful servants who used what they had been given to increase the master’s wealth. When the master returned from a long absence, he rewarded his two faithful servants and said to each of them, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Every Christian longs to hear those words from Jesus’ lips someday in heaven.

We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), but we are saved “to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Jesus spoke of laying up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20), and His parable of the talents hints at various rewards for those who faithfully serve Him in this world.

To hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” from Jesus, first make sure you are saved. The unbelieving will never hear those words, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And recognize that Jesus is not only your Savior; He is also your Lord (see Luke 6:46). “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2, ESV).

Here are some ideas on ways you can serve the Lord:

1. Share the gospel. The Lord Jesus desires us to make disciples, teaching others of the nature and character of God and sharing the meaning of His death and resurrection (Matthew 28:18–20).

2. Help the disadvantaged. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31, the rich man is condemned because he doesn’t help Lazarus and because he trusts in his wealth too much. Don’t put self-gratification before the needs of others. First John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

3. Forgive others of their offenses. This isn’t the same as reconciliation or trust, but it means you renounce vengeance. The Lord Jesus modeled forgiveness: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to [the Father] who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

4. View your position of authority as an opportunity to help the people under you, and view your position of subservience as an opportunity to submit to your authority, just as Jesus submitted to the Father’s authority. Either way, you can be Christlike, because Jesus was both master and servant to different people. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

5. Seek to know the character of God better through church fellowship, listening to sermons, studying the Bible, praying, and chronicling how He seems to have been involved in your life.

6. Recognize that every advantageous position you’re in is because of God, the Source of every blessing: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).

7. Be willing to be unpopular, displaying rare courage like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable (Luke 10:30–37). Do what the Bible says is right, always. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, ESV).

8. In introspective moral judgment (evaluating your own character), look at the character of Jesus as a measure rather than rationalize your questionable actions and attitudes. Show humility.

It all comes down to this: love God more than anything, and love others sincerely (Mark 12:30–31). At the judgment seat of Christ, those who are faithful to the Lord who saved them will hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” No true servant of the Lord could ask for more.

(article reprint | Got Questions.com)


Traveling To The West

I am traveling this week to visit family out west. I will return and start posting again on Monday, the 12th. Stay well and always be encouraged by the fact that God loves you no matter what. Blessings to all.

When Things Don’t Fit

Have you ever seen a father’s reaction when he discovers three words on the box of a just-bought toy: Some assembly required? What follows are hours of squeezing tab A into slot B, bolting D into F, and then hoping no one notices that steps four, five, and six were skipped altogether. I’m convinced the devil indwells the details of toy assembly. Somewhere in perdition is a warehouse of stolen toy parts.

Some assembly required.” Not the most welcome sentence but an honest one. Life is a gift, albeit unassembled. The pieces of our lives don’t fit. When they don’t, take your problem to Jesus. He says, Bring your problems to Me!  In prayer, state them simply. Present them faithfully, and trust Him reverently!

Remember—we’re still a work in progress. God’s not finished with us yet.


Acceptance—A Human Need

One of our basic human needs is acceptance. Without it, we feel alienated or maybe even rejected. In the Bible, acceptance is often referred to as “favor.” For example, when Joseph was sold into slavery, Genesis 39:4 says he “found favor” in the sight of his master Potiphar and was put in charge of the official’s entire household. Joseph found acceptance and approval because of his exemplary behavior.

Although the Christian faith may evoke a negative response from some, believers shouldn’t be discouraged. A life that reflects Christ pleases God. And in bringing light to a dark world, an obedient life will also bring the favor of many into its circle of influence.

Whose favor are you longing to receive? Do you desire God’s approval or man’s?


Are You Afraid of God?

The Scriptures are full of verses that speak of the enjoyment God’s people find in Him. If we aren’t delighting in the Lord on a consistent basis, there may be some hindrances in our life.

When the Scriptures tell us to fear the Lord, it means to honor, revere, and obey Him as a child does a parent. But, if we see Him as a tyrannical Father, we’ll be afraid of Him, and this kind of fear keeps us from experiencing joy in our relationship with Him.

It’s important to remember that our heavenly Father loved us so much that He sent His Son to rescue us from our sin and has placed us securely in His loving family.


Charles Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit

The following is an excerpt from a book written by Charles Spurgeon, a very famous minister from the past. His name and reputation are well known among Christians and the church family. His book on the Holy Spirit is eye opening and a treasure to read. I hope you will take to heart what he says in the following paragraphs. If you have the opportunity may I suggest reading the entire book. You will be blessed.

. . . . .A man is no Christian who does not have the Holy Spirit dwelling within him. He may speak well and understand theology. He may be a sound Calvinist. He may be a child of nature finely dress, but not a child of the living God. He may be a man of so profound an intellect, so gigantic a soul, so comprehensive a mind, and so lofty an imagination that he may dive into all the secrets of nature. He may know the path that the eagle’s eye had not seen and go into depths where the understanding of mortals does not reach, but he will not be a Christian, even with all of his knowledge. He will not be a son of God, with all his studies, unless he understands what it is to have the Holy Spirit dwelling and abiding in him forever.

If I have God the Holy Spirit resting in my heart and making a temple of my body, do you think I will know it? Call it fanaticism if you will, but I trust that there are some of us who know what it is to be always, or generally, under the influence of the Holy Spirit—always in one sense, generally in another. When we have difficulties, we ask the direction of the Holy Spirit. When we do not understand a portion of Holy Scripture, we ask God the Holy Spirit to shine upon us. When we are depressed, the Holy Spirit comforts us.

You cannot explain the wondrous power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit—how it pulls back the hand of the saint when he would touch a forbidden thing; how it prompts him to make a covenant with his eyes; how it binds his feet, lest they should fall in a slippery way; how it restrains his heart and keeps him from temptation. Oh, you who know nothing of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, do not despise it. Despise not the Holy Spirit, for that is the unpardonable sin.

Ah, but blessed be God, we can read the bible. “That he may abide with you forever.” Give me the Holy Spirit, and I will never lose Him until “forever” has run out, until eternity has spun its everlasting rounds.

I like the last part about “forever.” It is with great anticipation I await my time when I will be called home to be with God “forever.” When you think about it, forever is a long time to be happy.


Prayers Judged by an Olympic Panel?

If you’ve been watching the Olympics lately, especially the figure skating, you may have noticed the competitor is judged on their performance by a panel of judges. The judges render their decisions on how well the skater performed based on the skater’s style, ability and overall program.

Can you imagine our prayers being judged and graded by an Olympic panel? Pretty far-fetched thought isn’t it? Some of us, when we pray, feel like it’s important that we use the proper language, phrase or even the latest prayer trend because we think God is judging our prayers like an Olympic panel.

In Matthew 6:7 we have some guidance on the way we shouldn’t pray. It says, “Don’t ramble like heathens who talk a lot.” A more positive approach on praying is given by Jesus when the disciples asked Him how to pray. He gave them a prayer that we can use as our guide, which is found in Matthew 6:9-13. We all know this as the “Lord’s prayer.”

When you read the Lord’s prayer you will see that it is straight forward in its content and requests and doesn’t use a lot of flowery language. God is looking at our heart when we pray because it is from the heart that our motivations in life pour forth.

The next time you pray, remember, make your requests simple, straight forward, and from the heart. Then, relax in confidence knowing God has heard your prayers and will answer you according to His will for your life. Oh, and by the way, because you’ve taken the time to reach out and pray to the Father you’ve scored a 10!