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.
God has not blessed us with time just so we can use it binge-watching Netflix. He has not blessed us with money just so we can spend it on more comforts. He has not blessed us with abilities and skills just so we can serve our own interests and passions. The generosity of God has been extended to us with blessings of time, talent and treasure that we might both enjoy them ourselves and extend them to bless others. Those of us who are trusting in Jesus have been entrusted with showing the world His heart for them by being His hands and feet and mouth to them. You have been blessed; now go be a blessing.
When we are secure in our identity in Christ, we are free to have relationships that are not defined by comparing ourselves with others, but by caring for others. If our sense of personal worth comes from how God feels about us, treats us, and remakes us as His children, then we don’t have to prove ourselves in categories of better and worse, more and less, or ahead and behind in how we measure up against the people in our lives. Instead of ranking ourselves as better off than others or resenting others who we think are better off than ourselves, we can joyfully love and serve them as equal image-bearers of God.
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.
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.
You were made to influence the world for good in such a way that God gets the credit. God calls you. God prepares you. God sends you. God empowers you. God uses you. God rewards you. He gives you a platform to shine light into the surrounding darkness. He gives you a platform to salt the surrounding flavorlessness. Why? So others come into the light. So others taste the flavor. Christians are salty and shiny when they make God and His kingdom taste and look good through what we say and do, so that others find their way to happiness in Him and He is honored in them. Be salty. Be shiny. Be like Jesus.
God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him as if He could ever be deficient in some area that we could supply for Him. But our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, and strangers do need us to do for them. Not because God is failing to meet their needs, and we should make up for His oversight or indifference, but rather because in His loving providence, He has sent us to bring His aid to them. God puts us in places where needy people are right in front of us so we can be like Jesus to them by offering a helping hand, a guiding word, and a loving embrace. He is working all the time and often it is through us.