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.
God has written our stories. We may not know how this chapter ends and the next one begins, but we trust that God knows exactly what He is doing in every scene of our lives. People aren’t always who they ought to be. Places aren’t always what we want them to be. Plot twists aren’t always what they seem to be. But God is writing a beautiful story for those who trust Jesus! We don’t know what comes with each new turn of the page, and it won’t always make sense to us, but it doesn’t have to. Because our faith is in the One who does know the happily-ever-after ending to our story. After all, He’s the One who wrote it.
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.
Christian love has two parts: affection and action. Love feels something on the inside. Love does something on the outside. These two parts work together in the lives of those who follow Jesus to help us relate to each other like Jesus relates to us. When we look at how His love for us is, we see how our love for others should be. To the degree that we anticipate and appreciate His care for us in seeking our good, we will reflect that same lovingkindness towards the people in our lives as we seek their good. Spurred on by His love, let us love today like Jesus … caring about others and caring for others.
Since trusting in Jesus is the basis for our hope of eternal life, how can we know that we really trust Him? The short answer is: we look for evidences that the trust we have in Him is changing us. Genuine saving belief never leaves you the same. We gradually become less like the world and more like Jesus as we follow Him in faith. Trusting Him leads to ongoing and loving… Repentance, because we believe what He offers is better than sin. Obedience, because we believe His ways are always good and right. Confidence, because we believe what He has promised us will happen. We believe. We change. That’s how we know.
God certainly works in supernatural ways at times, but He also works at making supernatural changes inside of His people so we who have been touched by His grace and generosity will pay it forward to others. You can’t do everything, but you can do something to make a difference … one need at a time, one moment at a time, one person at a time. Therefore, show the world His heart for them by being His hands and feet to them. The church of God, His people, you and me, are His Plan A for blanketing the world with good works and spreading the good news of Jesus everywhere we go. There is no Plan B.
God has divinely positioned you so that your life intersects with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and teammates so you can help them take the next step in their spiritual journey. These people that He will bring into your path today desperately need to know what you know about Jesus. God has sent you to tell them about the riches of His grace, and the only message about Jesus that He can’t use is the one you don’t share. One of the greatest aims of your life should be that the people in your life grow in their relationship with Jesus because of their relationship with you.
God is near us when we have broken hearts and broken spirits. Whether we are struggling with our own sin, the sin of others, or the result of sin’s fracturing of our world, He is never distant even if seems that way. He hears our cries. He comforts our hearts. He meets our needs. Though the result will not always be when we want it and how we want it, we have His promise that we will lack no good thing. This is true because God did not spare even His own Son from suffering. Jesus is our ever-near Immanuel, who lived, died and rose so we can taste and see God’s goodness. Mingled with tears now. Free from tears later.
The goal of grace is to unite us to God so that He is honored in us and we are happy in Him. Grace makes it possible for us to personally know God and enjoy Him, along with all the good gifts that He purposes to give us now and forever. He doesn’t give us what we think will make us happy, but rather what He knows will make us happy … Himself. Because of the grace of God, we get the God of grace! Therefore, the point of grace is to point us to God, so that we will be satisfied by Him, and He will be glorified by us. God gets the eternal praise that He’s always deserved, and we get the eternal pleasure that we’ve always desired.
We were made in God’s image to bring glory to Him, but we all sin and fall short of God’s glory which distorts His image in us. Jesus came to display the perfect image of God and glorify Him in ways we did not, and then die in our place to atone for our sin. Then He begins restoring the image of God in us so we can bring Him glory. This is what grace does for us: It takes people who don’t look and act much like God and transforms us into people who do. Undeserving sinners are remade into joy-filled, purpose-driven, difference-making, love-giving image-bearers of our glorious God. We are who we are because of grace.