Better Doing Right Than Wrong!

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites. Colossians 3:23-25 NLT

I remember hearing the phrase, “Willing Workers” many years ago since it was an auxiliary at the church we attended. Until this morning, it didn’t dawn on me that the name was taken from this passage of scripture. The implication is that if we’re going to do anything, we should be willing to do it and not do things out of a false sense of obligation or commitment.

Passion is driven by those who are willing to do what they do and the drive is intrinsic not extrinsic. If we pay attention to those people who are legitimately successful and do a world of good–it is because they are driven by innate passion to do what they do–not because others have pushed them into doing right.

With everything we undertake to do–whether in a church or on a job or in the community as a volunteer, we should be willing to do–whatever it is–and do it as unto The Lord, not people. For we can never please people who are fickle-minded and never know what they really want from others. Unfortunately, we live in a society that caters to the fickle-minded and we know this because of all the rapidly changing trends in just about everything, designed to cater to the whims of those who love change more than anything else.

But there is a reason why we should be mindful as to who matters in whatever it is we do. People may reward our efforts with a temporary reward, but the reward we earn from Christ is for all eternity. Jesus is watching everything we do. He knows when others have wronged us and He knows when we have not been as passionate about what we do as we could have been.

What motivates us to do what is right? I would pray that doing right for the sake of doing right would be enough for most, but I know that doesn’t happen. Many of us do what we need to do and no more–seeking payment for the minimalism employed by us. However, I also know there are a number of people who go beyond what is asked and do whatever they can in order to do right and get things done.

If no one ever notices or acknowledges the things we do, we should not be concerned. Jesus is watching and nothing a mere human being could ever give us would compare to the reward awaiting us. We are indeed better off doing right than doing wrong because wrong also has its rewards and no matter what our status in life is–when we do wrong, we get compensated for the wrong-doing; a penalty that many cannot endure.

In order not to worry about being penalized for doing wrong, let’s do what is right in God’s sight and see how He rewards us on this side of heaven and beyond.

Faithful Servants!

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. Matthew 24:45-47 NIV

In this day and age most people would cringe at the thought of anyone thinking they are a servant since we have attached such negative connotations to the word.  But being a servant–a faithful servant–has a positive connotation and many should desire to attain to being one.

Faithful servants are always concerned about doing what is best for all. They go out of their way to make sure the things that need to be done–are never left undone. They organize and plan strategies to make their effort more effective so that even if something unexpected occurs at the last minute, they are able to overcome the obstacle and thrive–maintaining their goal.

A servant is not just a person who is under any legal obligation or bondage to another. A true servant is one who has a heart to serve others–just for the sake of doing for others–not for recognition or reward. In this passage of recorded conversations with Jesus, we see that the one who serves from their heart is rewarded for their faithfulness and they never have to say anything to anyone about what they do. What they do–is evident–for all to see and that is how they obtain their reward.

Since not many understand the virtue of volunteerism in our society, volunteers are hard to find and even when some people volunteer their time–they do so with an agenda in mind. Not all agendas have negative connotations, but when a person does anything simply to receive recognition, they have an agenda that does not necessarily promote the purpose or goal of the entity to which they are volunteering.

We are to do all things, “as unto The Lord,” without expecting a great deal of hoopla over what we do. God sees and knows all we do and more importantly, He knows our hearts and our intent.

When I look back at my life, I’d like to think that all I have done–without payment or recognition–is a demonstration of faithful servitude. In the end, on the other side of now, I’m looking for a crown–a crown that can only be given by the One who inspires all to do great things. This crown will never wear out or rust or lose its value, but forever be a token of God’s recognition for what we have done in the earth.

Lord, help us to seek You in all we do to become faithful servants–mindful that Your reward is truly the only reward we’ll ever need. For when we have done what You desire us to do, You give us favor with mankind–here on earth–and not because we seek favor, but because of who You are.

Strengthened By Faithfulness In Our Obedience to God!

“He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (I Samuel 2:9,10 NIV)

Those who are faithful–obedient out of reverence for The Lord–have no need to fear judgment at the end--for The Lord will judge them according to their faithfulness to Him.

At the same time, those who have not acknowledged God and not obeyed Him, will be silenced in the midst of their wickedness and at the end, they shall appear before God, trembling and shaking and rightfully so.

When children are obedient to their parents, they have nothing to fear from their parents, but can look forward to receiving the just reward of their behavior. Obedient children quickly respond to questions parents may have and own up to any mistakes made, accepting responsibility for anything they did that caused a problem.

On the other hand, disobedient children will deliberately do whatever they “feel” like doing, allowing their emotions to rule over them and then they will lie or blame everyone else for the negative things that happen in their lives. When they are caught in a lie, they become defiant, arrogant and unruly. When punishment is meted out, they become resentful and instead of owning up to their behavior, they blame others for the predicament they find themselves in.

Good parents–parents who are observant and know their children–always know which child did what in their absence. They even know that older, more mature children, will often take the blame for younger, immature children to keep them from suffering a punishment. Parents know who did what when they have paid attention to their children and know their personalities–who’s mature and who’s not. They know, but sometimes they don’t say anything and judge according to the information presented to them.

Those older children who take the blame for the things the younger ones, only exacerbate the problem since the younger ones seldom learn to take responsibility for their actions. Then they go through life, never willing to own what they do, but always willing to blame others.

God knows His children–the good and the bad–and His judgment will be based on the works we do out of obedience and since those who are disobedient don’t accomplish much (based upon His plans), they will get their just reward from Him.

Don’t get weary doing what is right even though it appears that those who never do what’s right seem to get ahead of you in life. They haven’t gotten ahead and in the end, they’ll discover just how are far behind you they really are. Do good and know your reward is secure because of His love for us and He is faithful to those who are obedient to Him.

What He Sees!

“And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.” (2 Peter 3:14 NLT)

What are those things for which we are waiting? All those promises that God makes to us pertaining to obedience and our eternity. But while we’re waiting–we need to make sure that we are in position to receive all that He has promised.

We stay in position to receive from Him–by obedience to His Word–not selectively, but in accordance to all He has purposed for our lives.

If we are to live our lives in according to His purposes for our lives we could not–consciously change His Word to accommodate our lifestyles.

What we do–in this lifetime is what He sees–and He sees it all.

He sees us when we are doing all that we are supposed to do–according to His Word and He sees when we are not doing what we’re supposed to do.

He sees us when we happy and when we’re sad.

He sees us when we are encouraging others and when we’re criticizing others.

He sees us when we are promoting the Gospel and when we’re promoting political correctness.

He sees us when we are praying for others and when we are preying upon others.

He sees us when we are preparing to preach His Word and when we are procrastinating, hoping a good word will materialize out of nothing.

He sees us when we are faithful–to Him and He sees us when we are faithless–to Him and others.

He sees us when we are patiently waiting to hear from Him and He sees us when we prophelie in His name.

The list could go on for a long time, but the bottom line is–He sees everything we do and He knows the motives of our hearts, so we cannot realistically say–He understands–when we screw things up. Yes, He understands alright–when we screw things up it is because we choose to do things our way rather than His way.

So, dear friends--if we are not willing to live a life that is praiseworthy–to Him–we are wasting our time waiting for the promises to be fulfilled in our lives. We can only receive that which we rightly deserve--especially when we know–how His grace abounds. When we don’t know–we’re not responsible, but when we proclaim that we know–Him and how He wants us to live–we are without excuse and we cannot use His grace–to sin or be disobedient.

Get this–there is nothing we could possibly do that He does not see! He sees it all!

What Will You Get?

“Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.” (Colossians 3:24,25 NLT)

If we would just remember that there is a consequence–good or bad, positive or negative–for everything we do, many of us would make better decisions and be prepared for what we get in life–good or bad.

We cannot expect “rewards” for doing things that will generate negative or bad results any  more than a child should expect a reward for bad disobedience or negative behavior. But some do–they think–they can do whatever their flesh dictates and still receive blessings from God. They have forgotten (if they ever knew) what God expects from us and or even that there is a “reaction for every action” and the reaction is not always pleasant.

How do we know? People choose to settle differences of opinions with guns instead of discussion. People choose to engage in drug and alcohol addictions instead of dealing with the issues they face–hoping to hide from them. People engage in dangerous and unhealthy sexual activity that leads to increases in sexually transmitted diseases and death. People choose to do all those things that are ungodly and yet expect positive results.

When we look at our society, what do we really see? A generation of people who just want what they want and never consider the consequences of their actions–for themselves or others. We have lawmakers who create laws that lead to more foolishness because they’re more concerned with gaining the support of voters rather than creating laws that protect all citizens. Legalizing the use of marijuana will only lead to more problems as we have already seen–just the beginning–not the end of the tragedies that will result. Legalizing the sale of fireworks better left in the hands of experts lead to tragic results every year and yet–lawmakers are more concerned with the tax dollars paid on the sale rather than the lives that are endangered. What will their end be?

God is not mocked and He knows the heart and motive of every decision made my lawmakers that contradict His Word–laws made under the influence of the evil one–who hates God and all God has created. The lawmakers have been blinded by “political correctness, popular opinion, and greed” and the laws they legislate are not for the good of all people, but only a handful–of special interest groups. Those same groups–will lead nations straight to the pits of hell with their desire to appease flesh and not God.

If we obey God in all things–loving one another and therefore rendering ourselves incapable of committing acts of sin against one another–we have an inheritance that we can expect as our reward.

If we do not obey God and continue to do whatever we want or whatever our flesh craves–we will also receive that reward–for disobedience and we will have only ourselves to blame–because we chose to ignore God.

What will you get?

 

What Will Your Reward Be?

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27 NIV).

Most people like getting rewarded for doing good things, accomplishing goals, or just for being recognized for any achievement–Olympians, Athletes, Actors, Singers, Dancers, everyone.

Children like getting rewards for good behavior; students like getting rewards for good grades, attendance, and other accomplishments–especially extra curricular activities. Employees like getting rewards for a job well done. Businesses like getting rewards for providing great products and services. Consumers even like getting rewards where they frequently patronize a business. I love my rewards cards. Rewards–are a great thing to get–for doing the right thing.

But when we look at this passage of scripture, we see that “each person” will be rewarded according to what they have done. This reward will not be for those who did good or the right thing, but each person–based upon what they did. Does that mean that a reward can have a negative connotation? It would appear so, since we know that not everyone has reached a place where they have acknowledged Jesus Christ as Savior and they surely have not all lived according to God’s Word.

In light of this thought (in line with The Word), think about what your reward might be. Some will receive a variety of crowns for living according to God’s Word and doing His will instead of their own thing. Some will receive their mansions. Some will hear, “Well done!” and others–well, only God knows what their reward will be since He has the final say on that day of judgment.

I’m not waiting until then to hope for a reward for living right–I’m living right, now–and thereby assuring my rewards–according to all God has said. This does not mean that I have reached perfection, but it does mean I actually think about what I do before I do and usually, I do what is expected of me. Sometimes, it takes a little longer for me to do it, but eventually, I get it done.

What about you? Are you sure you know what your reward will be? If not, you can be sure by getting into The Word and living a life that’s pleasing to God! The rewards on earth and in heaven are worth it! Try it–you’ll see! Great is the faithfulness of The Lord to fulfill His promises to all who love and obey Him! Hallelujah!

Need Supplied!

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

In this letter to the Church at Philippi, Paul addresses the people, thanking the them for contributing to his well-being.  He lets them know how grateful he is and that their attention to his needs would not go unrewarded by God. In verse 13, he tells them that he has learned to be content in whatever situation he has found himself in–whether full or hungry, having everything he needs or not.  This verse is a great lesson for all of us to learn to be content with what we have and not be “greedy or envious” of others.

But Paul didn’t stop there. There may have been some concern on the part of those who gave who didn’t really have the resources to give and now wondered how they would survive. He assures them that every one of their needs would be met by God–no matter how little or how big.  Notice that in this verse–he proclaims all need supplied, not necessarily all wants. There is a distinct difference in having our needs met versus having everything we want.  God never promises that we’ll have everything we want because some of the things we want will keep our focus on the things and not Him.  Even when it comes to people–not everyone was meant to be in our lives.  This may be why that person you thought was for you, wasn’t. God knows what is best for us and He brings people into our lives that will encourage us to keep our focus on Him, not on things or people.

If you have a need today, know that God is able to supply everything you need because there is no lack in Him. However, remember that God works through people (just as Paul revealed) and sometimes we miss getting needs met because we did not appreciate who God was using to meet the need. Be careful how you treat people; they may be the answer to your prayer.

Father, thank You for supplying our every need. Help us to appreciate the vehicle used in bringing it all to pass no matter who it is or what it is.  Thank You for giving us power to get wealth through the many gifts You have given us. Now help us to use them to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

Rewarded For Works!

“…then He shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).

Imagine that!  We will be rewarded–everyone of us–according to the works we have done.

When I was a child, I was rewarded for good grades, behaving in school, and doing my chores, without being reminded.

As a teenager, I was rewarded for doing things in school with the clubs to which I belonged, getting good grades, and still doing my chores (more of them) without being reminded.

As a college student, I was rewarded with recognitions and being on the Dean’s list, for doing my work and without being reminded.

As a young adult, I was rewarded with raises and promotions on jobs for doing what I was supposed to do (punctuality, integrity, and dedication), without being reminded, five days a week.

As a teacher, I was rewarded with–the satisfaction of seeing some of my students excelling and in knowing I was doing a job well (the rest of the students–almost 75% of them in public school–well, that’s another story for another time–found in If Parents Cared Enough…Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read, available on amazon.com).

As a writer, I am rewarded for writing a  good book–content with substance and for the most part–well-written, whenever people buy my books.

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am rewarded every time someone gives their life to Christ and understands how much He loves them through my conduct and conversation with them.

As a child of the most High God, I have endeavored to do good works in promoting the Gospel and living according to His Word to the very best of my ability, always trusting Him, and expecting Him to guide, correct, love and forgive my shortcomings.

I am looking forward to the reward He has for me, according to the works I have done–“Well done my good and faithful servant!”

What is your reward going to be?