Monday, March 20th, 2017
Matthew 16 (Part 25)
Disciple Qualifications: God's Work
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ Whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NASB)
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
Matthew 16:27 (NASB)
But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
James 2:20 (NASB)
Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.
Matthew 25:45 (NASB)*
Specifically, what is the Lord's work? Is it going to earth's poorest people? To see, feed, clothe, house, teach, tend and love them? Yes, and praise God for all the action saints, whose missions aren't a trip, but a lifestyle. Praise God for those who know they work for Him.
When the time is right, our work will be judged: 'For the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work' (1 Corinthians 3:13).*
So what kind of work might be burned away? Money, careers, cars and status symbols? Every precious thing we got for ourselves?
And what kind of work might survive God's fire? Kindness, hands out, hands up and sacrifice? Every precious thing we did for others?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: The star-struck fans of entertainment have now become earth's poorest people. They don't look lost, naked or hungry. Their poverty is spiritual. They are like lambs, seeking a shepherd: aching for hope, purpose and kinship.
The Lord's Letter to the Lukewarm Church disturbingly describes our culture, as well His prescribed remedies.**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As you rise up in media's fields, as you act on behalf of others, as you model the kindness of Christ, as you sing in notes of harmony, as you dance in the footgear of peace, as you show star-struck fans the real Star, as you lead them to the true Shepherd...
You work as an ambassador for Christ: the work you were commissioned to do.
To Be Continued...
* The Judgment (Please note this passage on the criteria for mankind's final judgment comes directly after The Parable of the Talents): https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A31-46&version=NASB
** The Lukewarm Church: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=rev+3%3A14-22&version=NKJV
** See MacLaren's Exposition, Christ's Counsel To A Lukewarm Church re: Revelation 3:18 (mid-way down the page): http://biblehub.com/commentaries/revelation/3-18.htm, including...
'Whether there be any truth or not in the old idea that these letters to the seven churches are so arranged as, when taken in sequence, to present a fore-glimpse of the successive conditions of the Church till the second coming of our Lord, it is at least a noteworthy fact that the last of them in order is the lowest in spiritual state. That church was 'lukewarm'; neither cold--untouched by the warmth of the Spirit of Christ at all--'nor hot'--adequately inflamed thereby.
That is the worst sort of people to get at, and it is no want of charity to say that Laodicea is repeated in a thousand congregations, and that Laodiceans are prevalent in every congregation. All our Christian communities are hampered by a mass of loose adherents with no warmth of consecration, no glow of affection, no fervor of enthusiasm; and they bring down the temperature, as snow-covered mountains over which the wind blows make the thermometer drop on the plains...'
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Matthew 16 series.