RSS

Tag Archives: good deeds

Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 20)

I have a friend who does my taxes. It’s not that I’m not good with numbers, but with our Amazon business I need help figuring out my assets and my liabilities. In this study we’re thinking about our blessings, our spiritual assets, as it were. And I’m inspired to think about this list because of my unsaved friend Mike who doesn’t yet enjoy these blessings.

One of the blessings that I’ve heard very few Christians talk about is the blessing of future rewards. I don’t know if they think it “unspiritual” to talk about such things, but I’m pretty sure my unsaved friends don’t —

20. THEY DON’T HAVE THE BLESSING OF FUTURE REWARDS!

Our culture is a “what’s in it for me?” environment. Frequently people will only do things for others if there is some kind of payback or reward or financial incentive for any acts of kindness. The follower of Jesus might overreact to this attitude and minimize or overlook the clear biblical teaching of future rewards for faithful service.

Because my lost friend isn’t right with God, he has no reason to expect any rewards from God at the judgment. And that is sad. For the believer, there ought to be a healthy expectation of the Lord’s commendation when he or she stands before Him after this life.

Two biblical texts leap out to me when thinking about one’s good works and the possibility of future rewards. In Matthew 7 we read of those who did good things but did not know the Lord: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Entering the kingdom of heaven is based on a relationship with Christ — not on one’s good works.

However, we do have the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25. We read as follows:

Several observations about this passage:
1. This parable is all-inclusive. We read that “all the nations will be gathered before him” (v. 32).
2. All of humanity is divided into two and only two groups: the sheep and the goats.
3. The sheep are commended by the Father for caring for the needs of others, even though the sheep weren’t aware that the good works they were doing were being done unto Christ (vv. 37-39).
4. The sheep are called “blessed by my Father” and are given the inheritance of the kingdom which has been prepared for them since the creation of the world (v. 34).
5. The goats are told by the King to depart from him, are cursed, and are banished into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (v. 41). Why? Because they did not do any of those good works (v. 45).
6. The parable is summarized with the somber words: “Then they [the goats] will go away to eternal punishment; but the righteous [the sheep] to eternal life” (v. 46).

So the Bible teaches that we don’t earn salvation by our good works. But our good works (after conversion) show our relationship with Christ.

There are many texts that talk about the believer’s receiving rewards for faithfulness, such as: Colossians 3:23-24; Romans 2:6; I Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9; Matthew 25:21; James 1:12; Matthew 6:1-2, 20; Hebrews 11:6; Revelation 22:12; I Timothy 6:17-19; I Corinthians 3:8-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 16:27; Jeremiah 17:10; Genesis 15:1; Proverbs 11:18; Matthew 5:11-12; Luke 6:38; 2 Timothy 4:8; Mark 9:41; 2 John 1:8; etc. [Psalm 17:14 speaks of the wicked as: “those of this world whose reward is in this life.”]

So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? I don’t hesitate to talk about how I want to live in such a way that I can anticipate the Lord’s approval and rewards. I will pray for my friend to think about the final judgment and how he needs to be “in Christ” to receive any rewards. (to be continued)

 

 

 
 

Tags: , , ,

Wanting to Do Good? (A Story Concerning Poverty)

Simply wanting to do good is sometimes not enough. Lloyd Reeb (author of From Success to Significance) tells about visiting the country of Albania. Seeing a young Albanian beggar girl lying on a tattered blanket, her tears making clean lines down her dirty face, he wanted to do something. He quietly stuck some money in her filthy jacket and left. Sharing his story with a missionary, he was told, “That was the worst thing you could have done, Lloyd! You sentenced her to a life-time of street begging, for she is now branded as a very successful beggar!”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 22, 2018 in poverty

 

Tags: , , ,

Image

Time for a Good Joke: Done Anything of Particular Merit?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 7, 2018 in good works

 

Tags: , , ,

Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 14

Let’s continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness (v. 14).

But He also gave Himself for us to purify for Himself (καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ) a people that are His very own (v. 14).  A holy God deserves a pure people.  He did not give Himself just to redeem; He gave Himself to purify!

We notice today that He gave Himself to purify a special kind of people:  “a people Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 7.25.07 AMthat are His very own, eager to do what is good.”  We belong to Him– and He wants us to do good!  I love what John Wesley said.  He said, Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the ways you can in all the places you can in all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can.”

We can't save ourselves by our good deeds -- but we have been saved to DO good deeds!

We can’t save ourselves by our good deeds — but we have been saved to DO good deeds!

We have been saved to do good as His special people.  A writer by the name of Mary Lyon said,  “Trust in God and do something!” (to be continued)

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Titus 2

 

Tags: , , ,

Psalms of My Life (Psalm 62)

Psalm 62

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 6.03.32 AMA psalm of David.

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault me?
    Would all of you throw me down—
    this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
Surely they intend to topple me
    from my lofty place;
    they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
    but in their hearts they curse.[b]

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 6.08.13 AM

Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
    the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
    together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
    or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
    do not set your heart on them.

11 One thing God has spoken,
    two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12     and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
    according to what they have done.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

Tags: , , , ,