As followers of Jesus, we do everything with the end in mind. Our words, acts of service and expressions of love are all done so that God might be glorified and that His Kingdom would manifest itself on the earth. There is very little we do for today, rather we are tomorrow workers and future thinkers. We work today so that tomorrow might be better. It’s an invigorating yet exhausting way to live. Many people have worked a lifetime for Christ only to die without ever seeing the fruits of their labor. But the harvest does come in; sometimes days or even years later, but their work is rewarded in a way that brings glory to God. We must never lose sight of tomorrow as we work through today.
As we gaze toward the future, it is inevitable to think about facing God at last. One day we all will die and receive that which we have worked so hard to achieve: perfect communion with Jesus Christ our Lord. When we reach that day, what will God say to us? Will it be that He will say “Come on in, you are blessed; come in and share in the Kingdom” (Matthew 25:34)? If I could only hear those words, I would fall to my knees in thankfulness and awe at His unending mercy.
At the opposite extreme, will He say to us, “Depart from me, because you are wicked and did not do what I told you to do” (Matthew 25:41-46)? I shudder at the thought. Those words have eternal consequences; we can’t get this wrong, as there are no second chances at that point. I believe there will be many Christians who hear Him pronounce this horrific judgment on them; how I pray to not be one of them. He has laid out in plain language what we must do to avoid such a pronouncement: feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, take in those with no place to go, care for the sick and minister to those in prison. It’s not simply a matter that if we do these things then we will be allowed entrance into heaven; rather it is the attitude of our heart as we profess our love for God.
You cannot love Jesus and refuse to do the things He told us to do. There are some whose circumstances do not allow them to physically participate in these activities. But you can still pray. Prayer is the most powerful and effective weapon we have; it is music to the ears of God. I imagine Heaven constantly buzzing with the prayers of believers; this is where the battle is fought and won. If you are able to physically carry out the commands of Christ, then you should do so, and not use prayer as an excuse for inaction. We all have a duty to carry out the instructions of Jesus to the best and full extent of our abilities.
David Platt said in his book, “Radical”, that he is pretty sure that when we face God He will not say, “I wish you would have kept a little more for yourself.” God is not interested in the kind of car we drive or the balance of our retirement accounts. God is not excited about the square footage of our house or how well manicured our lawn is. What God is interested in is that we are demonstrating His love to everyone in need, that we are keeping ourselves pure and undefiled by the world, that we are sharing all the blessings He has given us with others. (James 1:27; Luke 12:48)
Don’t make the mistake of living your life for the dreams of America or anywhere else on this planet. As followers of Jesus, our allegiance is to Him and Him alone. Our nationality rests only in Christ and our goals should be only those that reflect His glory to a dark and dying world. When we face God, we will have to answer for how we lived the life He entrusted to us; we will have to account for how we made use of the gifts we were given. How will God judge you? Do you love Him with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind? If you do, then you will dedicate your life to His service and in pursuit of His mission. A simple prayer followed by living out the American dream is not the life God is looking for us to live. The life He finds Holy and acceptable is this: to care for the orphans and widows, to fight for justice, to care for the poor. (James 1:27; Isaiah 58:6-7) This is the life we are called to lead, and this is the life for which we will be judged. The question we all must ask ourselves is simply this: when we face God, based on what we have done for Him, what will He say to us? May we all pursue His glory and His mission out of a devoted love for Him, and an unwavering faith in Him. If we will only do what He has told us to do, His grace will sufficiently cover us when we at last face our Creator and our God.