. . . faith apart from works is dead—James 2:26
Imagine yourself, for a moment, standing before our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Imagine feeling a bit apprehensive at first. Imagine lifting your eyes to his. Imagine his face, when you meet his gaze. Imagine his strength, his goodness. Imagine the sound of his voice as he, like the master in his Parable of the Talents, speaks these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30). How would that feel—from the one who sacrificed his life for yours—that he’s pleased with the life you’ve lived?
Each of us has work to do before we actually stand face-to-face with Jesus. “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Ephesians 2:10 MSG). Like the servants in the parable, we’re too given resources for the Master’s work. They were given money; we’re given money too, but also time, energy, natural talents, spiritual gifts, and help from the Holy Spirit. We must waste these resources no more. We must spend them for his work—not just for ourselves.
We must also, though, check our hearts. Doing “good work” isn’t about earning our way into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rather, it’s about trusting our Master and following him into a better kind of life.
Okay, so what do we do?
Take a few minutes to list the extra resources you’ve been given. Write down everything you possibly have to give, just as you are, right where you are, right now. Next, pray and see if you can connect a person (or group of people), and a need, to each resource you’ve listed. What you’ll end up with is the beginnings of a roadmap toward Jesus’ kind of life.
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