Will You Hear Christ's Well Done?
"Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
-Matthew 25:21, 23; emphasis added
Don't you long to hear Christ say, "Well done, My good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master's home!"? A "Well done!" from Him will make this life on earth all worthwhile. What does God expect from us so that we can faithfully earn His "Well done!"?
Expectation 1-Dream about winning the ultimate prize. (See Matthew 25:14-30.) When people have something on their mind, it shapes the whole direction of their life. Jesus has told us that when He returns for us He expects to find us doing what He asked us to do. Keeping that utmost in your mind is a strong motivator. It will shape your life if you dream about winning the ultimate prize-Christ's "Well done!" You must want it, and long for it. In fact, that is one of the marks of salvation.
Expectation 2-Seek to be the greatest Christlike servant. (See Matthew 20:28-30.) Imitation is one of the highest forms of compliments. The Apostle Paul said, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). Is your life worth imitating? Do you reflect your Lord in all that you do?
William Barclay has succinctly commented:
"Out in the world," said Jesus, "it is quite true that the great man is the man who controls others; the man to whose word of command others must leap; the man who with a wave of his hand can have his slightest need supplied. Out in the world there was the Roman governor with his retinue and the eastern potentate with his slaves. The world counts them great. But among my followers service alone is the badge of greatness. Greatness does not consist in commanding others to do things for you; it consists in doing things for others; and the greater the service, the greater the honor." Jesus uses a kind of gradation. "If you wish to be great," he says, "be a servant; if you wish to be first of all, be a slave." Here is the Christian revolution; here is the complete reversal of all the world's standards. A complete new set of values has been brought into life.
Those who are most Christlike in their servanthood are the greatest in His kingdom and will hear His "Well done!"
Expectation 3-Love to sacrifice for Him through financial generosity. (See Luke 21:1-4.) Jesus said that "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." The key to sacrifice is to do it now. Don't wait. Be sure that while you do have something and can sacrifice, do it! Some day, every dollar, every piece of gold, and every jewel will be devalued, wiped out forever (2 Peter 3:10).
You are sending ahead either "wood, hay, and stubble" or "gold, silver, and precious stones" for building your mansion. What are you sending? Those who are financially generous for Christ will reap an everlasting treasure Jesus says will never be lost.
Expectation 4-Love trials by joyfully accepting injustice. (See Matthew 5:11-12.) When you are mistreated for Christ's sake, and accept it graciously "because of conscience toward God," Jesus says that you will be rewarded in heaven with His "Well done!"
Expectation 5-Love strangers through biblical hospitality. (See Matthew 10:40-41; 18:27; 25:40-45.) There is a wonderful insight from an outsider named Aristeides who looked at the early church. He wrote this note to the Roman Emperor in A.D. 155: "Now the Christians, O King . . . if there is among them a man that is poor and needy, and they have not an abundance of necessities, they fast two or three days that they may supply the needy with their necessary food. For Christ's sake they are ready to lay down their lives." How does that spirit line up with your own life? If you minister Christ's love to those in need, you will hear His "Well done!"
Expectation 6-Restrain your flesh by seeking spiritual disciplines. (See Matthew 6:5.) In his book Intimacy with the Almighty, Charles Swindoll writes: "We have reared a generation of strong-willed, belligerent, independent young men and women. Surrender is not a word in their vocabulary. Too bad since it is the key that unlocks the vault of God's best and deepest treasures. He patiently waits for us to yield, to quit fighting Him, to allow His plan to run its course, to turn to Him for our security and significance. As He witnesses our doing that, He begins to reveal Himself and His will in greater depth."
Swindoll also sets forth the need to cultivate these spiritual disciplines: "The decision to reorder one's private world is the spiritual discipline of simplicity. The decision to be still is the spiritual discipline of silence. The decision to cultivate serenity is the spiritual discipline of solitude. The decision to trust the Lord completely is the spiritual discipline of surrender." Pursuing these spiritual disciplines will earn Christ's "Well done!"
Make a Choice to Live in Hope: Are you dreaming about winning the ultimate prize? Are you Christlike? Are you investing in heaven now? Are you suffering joyfully for Him? Are you welcoming strangers? Are you saying no to sin? Are you living contentedly? Are you loving others with Christ's love? Do you love God's Word? Are you taking others to heaven with you? Are you waiting and watching for Christ's return? Are you letting Him prune you?
If your heart's longing is to be able to positively affirm each of these questions, even though you can't do so perfectly, then you are choosing to live in hope--and you will taste of the joys of heaven and discover the ecstasies of honeymooning with Jesus!
To read the last six expectations from this message, please click here.
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