Here’s a simple, but significant, lens through which life looks radically different than we often see it… will this matter 100 years from now? How we think, feel, speak, act, and react would be wonderfully different if we saw things in light of eternity, and remember that this short life is not all that there is. Our lives would create an everlasting ripple if we could look a century into our future to see the impact of our today. As we live by grace, in dependence upon the presence and power of Jesus, let us give less priority to the things that really don’t matter and more priority to the things that do.
When we try to make others pay for their sin, we have forgotten that Jesus paid for our sin. As recipients of grace, we are to release our instinct for revenge when others wrong us to let God judge, punish and make all things right in His timing and in His way. Our role is to model His grace, not His judgment. Even when we must seek appropriate justice, it should be motivated by love, not hatred. So, let us overcome evil with good and leave it to God to do the work He means to do. We who have received grace should be quickest to extend it, praying that others will turn to Jesus as we ourselves have done.
Someone once said that God doesn’t care how many Bible verses we memorize as long as we love others. But the Bible is where we find our definition for what love is and our demonstration of what love does. Knowing what God has to say about love keeps us from forming our own opinions about what is right and wrong about how we feel and treat other people. It also reminds us of His steadfast love for us despite our faults, flaws and failures. This helps us be loving towards others who, like us, are in need of grace. God cares that we know the Bible because that’s how He prepares us to care for others.
Birds fly. Flowers bloom. Honey sweetens. Water dampens. Light illuminates. It’s automatic and appropriate that they do these things because that’s how they were made. This is their nature and design, and it is right to expect them to act in a certain way just as it is right to expect saving faith in Jesus to work itself out in love. It is normal. It is natural. When God’s grace remakes us into people of faith, the new love we have for God will burst forth in acts of love for others. We can’t help but love. We can’t stop loving. We will live this out imperfectly, but this is for sure: A faith that saves is a faith that loves.
Being in a loving relationship with Jesus brings both gracious privileges and glorious responsibilities. On one hand, we are given endless blessings that will carry on throughout eternity. On the other hand, we are given important assignments to be carried out until completion. While it may seem like the privileges are more desirable than the responsibilities, this should not be so. Our assigned tasks are opportunities to proclaim, serve, please, model and glorify the One Who saves us by His grace. When we do the good things that Jesus has planned for us, we do them unto Him. That, in itself, is a privilege.
Our motive. Our mission. We need to communicate these two things to others when we show them love through the way we treat them. First, we need to let them know that the good we do for them comes from appreciation for what God has done for us and anticipation of what God will do for us. It is from the overflow of what we get from Him that we give to others. Second, we need to let them know that we do good works because a good God has commissioned us to go in His Name to share His love with others. Let us credit Him by telling people this… God has done good to me. God has sent me to do good to you.
Do you know how God works through your life to change someone else’s life? The everyday moments of life. Don’t think there is no value in the chaos of your life. Don’t believe that your normal life isn’t anything special. Don’t accept the lie that what you do and how you do it doesn’t matter. Don’t give up when your efforts seem fruitless and unappreciated. Don’t be silent about communicating the love of God in both your words and actions. Moment by moment you can bear the Father’s heart, bear witness to Jesus, and bear the fruit of the Spirit. Every moment counts when you live it to point people to God.
You are not someone else; someone else is not you. God has ordained that each of His children be equipped with gifts, abilities, opportunities and resources to fulfil a specific purpose in a specific place to a specific people. Some are more visible and more vast than others, but all are important. To avoid falling into the trap of comparison as we seek to live out the plans Jesus has for us in His kingdom, it is important for us to remember that the measurement of godly stewardship is not fruitfulness, but faithfulness. It is not the size of your platform that is most important; it is what you do with what you have been given.
God wants you to be great. But… It’s not about size. It’s not about strength. It’s not about superiority. It’s not about success. At least, not in the ways that the world calculates those things. In the world we live in, the more people who serve you, the greater you are. In the kingdom of God, the greater you are, the more people you serve. God intends for your greatness to be in ways that are radically different than the world’s standards, for He measures greatness in the cross of Jesus Christ and in every act of His children that expresses that same kind of servant love towards those in need of it. By grace, be great today.
It’s so easy to give up on people who don’t seem to get it or don’t seem to care. It’s so easy to distance yourself from people who are negative. It’s so easy to walk away from people who don’t agree with us. It’s so easy to check out of relationships when we give more than we receive. But don’t stop showing people the love of Jesus, because it is the love of Jesus that can soften a heart, transform a life, rewrite a story, and impact an eternity. Though it is sometimes hard to do good to others, let us never give up on people by remembering that Jesus never gives up on us. As He does for us, may we do for others.
Satan wants to convince us that our doing good isn’t actually doing much good. He will skew the facts, point to the wrong metric, and mislabel our actions as failures. But God doesn’t measure our success by social media likes, comments and shares. God sees us quietly toiling behind the scenes loving Him by loving others and measures our success not by our fruitfulness or fanfare, but our faithfulness. What’s even more encouraging is this: God is working through us in ways that are unknown to us. So… keep on faithfully serving King Jesus because it all counts. Nothing you do for His kingdom will ever be wasted.