Are you actively living your life for Jesus? Are you busy doing whatever it is He has laid upon your heart to do for the furtherance of His kingdom? Or are you like the man in the parable who took what his master left him to manage and buried it, effectively accomplishing nothing?
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)
Jesus said this about Himself, but it is equally applicable to each and every one of us too. Our time here in this life is short, and if we are not mindful, we may arrive at its end not having done much of anything for Christ. Granted, “doing stuff” for Jesus won’t get us into heaven; nor can we, at the same time, live a life of sin in disregard of His desire for our increasing holiness. Remember Jesus’ warning:
“Not all those who say ‘You are our Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NCV)
No, doing stuff for Christ won’t offset or make up for sin in my life. Yet, if I am genuinely obeying Him, I will seek to obey Him in all aspects of my life.
I will obey His Word to the extent I am conscious of everything He says. I will not lie, steal, or hate because I know it is wrong; I will seek to mirror God’s love to those around me and help those in need as I am able because I know He is love and as His follower I am to be like Him, and live in accordance with the dictates of His Word. And, I will also have a heart for missions, because He commanded it:
“All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NCV)
Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)
Our mission here is twofold: He wants us to be concerned (1) that we know Him (His righteousness in us; our sanctification), and (2) that others know Him (the furtherance of His kingdom). And, He wants us to be busy doing whatever it is that He has placed before us because, whether we are fifteen, twenty-five, fifty, or eighty, our “night” when our time of effective service for Christ’s kingdom–for the treasures that do not decay and cannot be stolen–is rapidly approaching.
We think we will be young forever–or at least we sometimes act as if we do. At twenty we imagine we have so many years before us; even at fifty we do not seem to quite recognize that those years have significantly diminished. Having had at least three elderly relatives develop dementia, I can attest to the fact that merely living doesn’t guarantee the mental faculties to be effective for Christ’s work. At a certain point, continuing to survive becomes challenging.
So, are you doing what God has laid on your heart for Him? Are you picking up the opportunity He has placed before you–whatever it might be–and getting to work for Him? Or have you buried what He has given you, refusing to be productive for His kingdom? Remember what the master told that servant?
“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:26-30 NKJV)
The night is indeed coming for each and every one of us when we will no longer be able to work; let’s do the good works NOW “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”! (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)
Dear Lord God,
Help me accomplish what You want me to while I still can–while it is day–because the night is quickly approaching when I will no longer be able to! Amen.