Wednesday, April 20, 2011
“I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” - Not Intentions! Rev 2:23
“I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” - Not Intentions!
NIV - Revelations 2:23
“.... Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” - Rev 2:23
Be assured, the LORD will repay us according to our deeds and not according to our intentions. “.... I am he who searches the hearts and minds...” If he searches our hearts and minds, he knows our intentions. He knows our deeds. Personally, I am long on (have many) good intentions and short on (have few accomplishments - actions) - DEEDs. It’s not what we intend to do that counts, but what we do, and... do not do. It is also important, that when we do something, we need to be doing the right thing. Let’s look at some examples:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”
- Mk 9:41
“Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” - Mt 25:34-40
“They also will answer, `Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” - Mt 25:44-46
Worth noting: “.... whatever you did not do ...” Inaction on our part, is a deed, we do not want to be rewarded for. Clearly, the LORD has certain expectations for the righteous. Especially relating to our dealings with one another. When we find ourselves presented with a situation where we can intervene and remedy an effect for the good, the LORD’s expectation is that we will do the right thing.
One day, along time ago, I was out visiting some sick people and I came across a Muslim, a believer in Allah, the moon god, Islam and his prophet, Mohamed. I found this out rather quickly, because I told him, I was a Christian. He didn’t think I wanted to visit with him because he was a Muslim. Long story, short, he invited me in anyway and we had a conversation. He asked me, “What’s in it for you?” I asked him if he meant, since I was spending some time out visiting people, what was I expecting in return? I told him, I could only be “so-SAVED” and I was not out “earning my salvation.” I went on to tell him the things I do, when I do the right things, are a result of having a personal relationship with Jesus and having been saved (forgiven). The works were a result of my faith and affect that Jesus Christ was having in my life. It was not a result of my wanting to earn anything. It was the impact of the Word-of-God on my heart and the reflection of that power in my life. Sadly, like most people, he was not interested in what Jesus had done for him and the visitation ended.
There were two criminals sentenced to death and crucified along with Jesus. One on his right and another on the left. One accepted Jesus as Savior, the other rejected him. One of the criminals hurled insults at him, questioned his authority and ability to save, and then tried to tell Jesus what to do. This one rejected Jesus, and would not acknowledge he was getting what his own deeds deserved. He did not want to account or be held accountable for his own sinfulness. In contrast, the other criminal realized he was under the same death sentence as Jesus. He feared God, acknowledged he was getting what his deeds deserved and that Jesus had done nothing wrong. He recognized Jesus had the authority and power to save him and asked Jesus to remember him . - Lk 23:32-43
We are all like criminals, under a death sentence, about to be punished justly for what our deeds deserve. We likewise, need to fear God, humble ourselves, and recognize we need a Savior; we do not have the power to save ourselves - There is no other name, by which men must be saved - Jesus Christ, the sinless who died for the sinful, which God has raised from the dead!