Jesus-followers sometimes get stuck in the area of SUCCESS. They either think God has guaranteed them success in material prosperity or health — or — they think they are to go through life as paupers, like the little boy in Charles Dicken’s tale (“More porridge, Sir?”).
These messages for Crossroads Fellowship Church in Augusta, GA (website: crossroadschurchinaugusta.com) will conclude with this one on the topic of SUCCESS. I pray for the SUCCESS of that small church as their new pastor comes and begins his ministry in October.
We looked at 2 Corinthians 5 briefly in our last post.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Cor. 5)
All believers await the judgment seat of Christ — and we will be held accountable for how we have served Him. What factors maximize the possibility that He will say to us on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant”? From this passage I would suggest three:
1. We seek to walk by faith and not by sight (v. 7). Demanding daily miracles from the Lord does not strike me as walking by faith. He can do a miracle whenever He wishes, but our task is to live out our Christian lives by faith.
2. We make it our goal to please Him (v. 9). What’s involved in “pleasing” someone? We find out what their desires, needs, wishes, dreams are — and we invest ourselves in meeting those! What pleases the Lord? (Might I suggest you do a concordance study of the word “please” or “pleasing” the Lord? You’ll find some very helpful truth in the Word!).
3. We recognize that we will be held accountable for the things done in the body, whether good or bad (v. 10). Although we are saved by grace, we are responsible for the works we do or don’t do once we are saved. (The topic of rewards for the believer is a large, but important, one, and deserves to be studied.) It is not wrong to live for the Lord’s approval and for the achievement of rewards for faithfulness. My desire is for a whole lot of crowns on that day — so that I can lay them at His feet! You?