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)


Do You Have A Big God in Your Life?

Most people have small thoughts about God. In an effort to see God as our friend, weve lost site of how big He is. In our desire to understand him, we want to put him in a box—a small box. But, the God of the Bible cannot be contained. With a word he called Adam out of dust and Eve out of a bone. He created the heavens and the earth. God consulted no committee, sought no counsel and has authority over the world.

God’s goodness is a major headline in the Bible. His love for us is never ending. Since He is merciful and mighty, we can approach Him with our petitions. If God is at once Father and Creator, holy—unlike us—and high above us, then we at any point in our lives are only a prayer away from His help!

Does He have authority over your world? He is never surprised. He has never, ever uttered the phrase, “How did that happen?”

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.


The Power of a Simple Prayer

Prayer is something very personal to those who do it. Where they choose to do it is not of consequence except if they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved to make a spectacle of their praying by praying in areas where they could be seen and heard. Their motivation for such prayer was the admiration and respect they received from those around them. I think you would agree their purposes fall short of what God really wants from us in our prayers.

In Matthew 6:6 Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and He will reward you.” Jesus’ audience were simple farmers and trades people. They couldn’t enter the temple like the religious leaders described here but they did have access to Almighty God through their prayers.

What was the point that Jesus was making here about prayer? Simply this—Jesus is low on fancy but wants to be as accessible as possible to the believer. You don’t need to woo him with location or wow him with eloquence.

It’s the power of a simple prayer!


Prayer Is Really Simple

Prayer really is simple. Resist the urge to complicate it. Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. No games. No cover-ups. Just be honest—honest to God.

Climb into His lap. Tell Him everything that is on your heart or tell Him nothing at all. Just lift your heart to heaven and declare, Father…Daddy!  We have stress…fear…guilt…grief, and demands on all sides; sometimes all we can summon is a plaintive, “Oh, Father!” If so, that’s enough. Your heavenly Father will wrap you in His arms!


We Can Trust God

God truly is faithful. In other words, we can count on Him to be and do exactly what He says. For instance, the Bible assures us that the Lord is trustworthy, loving, and incapable of failure (Psalm 37:5). Out of deep love for us, He’ll use any aspect of His multifaceted nature to provide exactly what He knows we need. He’s our Savior, Comforter, and Discipliner, who safely guides us through life’s changes and challenges.

No matter what hardships we face, we can trust God because He knows all things. He’s aware of the duration and intensity of our current season and uses His knowledge to offer us the best possible help and support. What’s more, the Lord is all-powerful, which means He is more than adequate to meet needs and change circumstances according to His plan. And our Father is everywhere, including right beside us in whatever we face. He promises, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

Difficulties may cause us to question God’s dependability. But if we’ll place our trust in our omniscient, omnipotent Father, we can begin each morning with a fresh sense of His faithfulness, which will carry us through the day.


Saving Faith Isn’t Easily Satisfied

If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. (Hebrews 11:15-16)

Faith sees the promised future God offers and “desires” it. Dwell on that for a moment.

There are many people who water down what saving faith is by making it a mere decision with no change of what one desires and seeks. But the point of this text is that living and dying by faith means having new desires, making changes, and seeking new satisfactions.

Verse 14 says that the saints of old (who are being commended for their faith here in Hebrews 11) were seeking a different kind of country than this world offered. And verse 16 above says they were desiring something better than what a present earthly existence could offer.

They had been so gripped by God that nothing short of heaven would satisfy. Are you being gripped by God and what He offers?

True saving faith is this: seeing the promises of God from afar and experiencing a change of values and heart so that you desire and seek after the promises above instead of what the world has to offer.