Saturday, June 30, 2018

Thinx 103: Slicing the pile

"I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. This I command you - to love one another.

— John 15:15-17

Good works were prepared for you to do from before the foundation of the world.
“For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.“

— Ephesians 2:10

Fruit that lasts, that abides, that remains after you leave this earth. Even in your faithfulness when nothing seems to be happening counts. When you are faithful in sickness and hardship and loss and death, these are also fruit because the way you face them, wherein you are faithful to God, these also glorify God. You get cancer and the world sees how you handle it. Your company goes bankrupt and the world sees how you handle it. All kinds of misfortunes may occur, but like Job you will say,
As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that as the last he will stand upon the earth.

— Job 19:25

One may well say that Mother Teresa of Calcutta is one whose fruit lasted, but it could also be said of her cook, and her driver, her administrator and the other nuns. For Mother Teresa didn’t do everything herself. Someone else cooked her meals, washed her dishes and laundered her clothes. The world sees only Mother Teresa. God sees everyone else’s faithfulness and fruitfulness (or lack thereof.)

The world thinks that if Jesus does return he’ll take the cream of humanity – those who have done the most good, or have given the most money or have sacrificed the most. The world sees society as layers of really good, fairly good, mostly good, not so good, bad, really bad, and extremely bad and thinks that Jesus will slice the pile horizontally.

But God sees differently. As 1 Samuel 16:7 says,
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

— 1 Samuel 16:7

God will cut the pile vertically on the basis of how people respond to Jesus. On the basis of faithfulness and abiding in him.

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