Thursday, December 21, 2023
What have You done that Matters?
What have You done that Matters?
by David Brenneman
"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:6-10.
Paul wrote this oh so long ago, yet, like all the Scriptures its so relevant to today. "Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him."
Taking stock of this last year, how important was this for you? How many times did it cross your mind to pour time, energy and effort into what you knew was going to be pleasing to Jesus? Selfishness is easy, not being selfish takes a great deal of effort. We're born selfish. We're born not wanting to consider the needs of others. We've a world that is sin cursed that proves this daily.
Was reading last night of how life is going to be after the 7 year Great Tribulation judgment. For a thousand years the people of Earth will not be training for wars with anyone else. Nobody will be in need of hospitals or funeral services. Those who die before they reach 900 or so will be considered accursed. Peace will be prevalent. Jesus Himself will rule the world. Satan's influence will be cut off for those 1,000 years.
To get to that thousand years though, a time that is unparalleled in human history is going to take place. Those who are saved, those who had been saved, and those who come to Christ for salvation during the Great Tribulation will forever be with Jesus. The physical people still here will be living that life that the world has never seen before.
In this here this now...as you look back over the year...how important is your closeness to Jesus to you? How important is it to you to get to know Him better?
"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Growing in Christ, becoming more like Christ, is exceedingly abundantly, more important than anything that the world holds dear. We are to be His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. Denying self and taking up our own cross isn't as easy as it sounds. Any in basic training have to make a constant, serious, concerted effort to deny self in order to succeed in their training to become the soldier for which they enlisted to be.
It's also not about being like so-and-so. It's not you being as this particular Godly man or that Godly woman. It's you being the best you can be for Jesus through your walk with Him. Colossians 3:23-25 "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."
Jesus is certainly, through the Spirit, working heartily in you. Can you say the same?
You who are in Christ are as much a fisher of men as the Disciples. You are not all going to use the same bait as others. Anyone who's done any fishing knows that the bait has to be appropriate to the fish. The Spirit will teach those willing to learn how to fish the waters they frequent. The Spirit draws people. It's just for us to point them to Jesus.
So when you are thinking about your here and now...consider just how much of what you do, say and think. How much time do you take saying to yourself that you can't do that to yourself and to God? Many times in my life I have been brought back to the lesson of if God brought me to it, He will see me through it.
This Christmas is about our Savior coming to Earth to make a way to save humanity. To make it possible for you to have a real relationship with Jesus. Are you seeing His hands in your life? Because they most certainly are there.
Have you made what's important to Jesus important to you? It may not look at all like what you are expecting. What matters is if what you're doing will earn you a "Well done" from Jesus.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. This isn't a "good suggestion" it's a way of life.
What can you do better going into next year? Next week? Tomorrow? Today?
Your level of experience doesn't matter.
Your level of obedience does matter.
Noah had no experience with boat building.
Daniel had no experience taming lions.
Moses had no experience leading people or addressing world leaders.
Joseph went from behind a shepherd of sheep to running a country.
When Jonah finally obeyed, a country turned to God.
When Isaiah's sin wasn't in the way, he said "Here am I! Send me!" Asking Jesus to forgive you cleanses you in the same way.
Where you go next is up to you.
What you do next is up to you.
Both will be reflected on that day you stand before Jesus to give an account of your life. So, as Dr. Charles Stanley taught...obey God and leave the consequences to Him.