Good or Worthless Deeds?

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In my previous post, I explained the differences between salvation and rewards. Now, as a Christian, we will all be judged by Jesus. Paul gives the reason why our aim in life is to please God:

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Once we die or are taken from this earth, we will immediately be brought to the Judgment Seat of Christ. Unbelievers will not come here as they are not Christ’s servants.

In this verse, the word ‘bad’ has a different meaning as Woodrow Kroll highlights. In the original Greek, ‘bad’ is better translated as ‘worthless’. Paul isn’t referring to us doing ethically or morally bad deeds but instead, worthless deeds. Deeds that are good for nothing and don’t add to your reward.

Isn’t it scary knowing that some of our services for God are considered worthless? Doesn’t it make us impelled to find out what actually gets us a reward?

In Kroll’s book, he mentions four criteria by which Jesus will judge our service when we meet Him.

1. Source
Jesus must be the source of everything we do. Only when we admit that without Christ we can do nothing, can He work through us.

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Jesus is the Vine that supplies life to us, the branches. Without Him, we cannot bear any fruit. That’s the key. Was your service done in Jesus’ power or your own power? Did you rely on Jesus or on your own talent?

Many things we have done for God may appear great in the eyes of men. But if it was done in our own strength, it won’t be rewarded.

2. Faithfulness
Faithfulness is a rare commodity in our society today. Divorce is on the rise. Employees are shirking their duties. That doesn’t give us a reason to be unfaithful. God wants faithful people and will reward it.

The Bible says that we are all God’s stewards. Stewards are guardians of another’s properties. What are we to steward then? Money, time and even our life. Yes, our life belongs to God once we accepted Jesus. We became a slave of Christ.
Stewards are to be faithful. Not only in the big things, but the little things too. In the parable of the stewards (Matthew 25), the steward who managed his talents well was praised by his master.

Matthew 25:21
His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

When we are faithful stewards on earth, God will entrust us with true riches when we reach heaven.

3. Proportion
Continuing from the parable of the talents, the story begins with the master giving the servants talents.

Matthew 25:15
To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.

Did you notice the phrase ‘each according to his ability’? God knows how much you can handle and gives you just the right amount. Whether He gives you a large or small amount, He expects you to use it to get more.

Luke 12:48b
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

God didn’t expect the one with less talents to get the same amount as the servant given more. Each servant was accountable for how he used the amount given. Are you using your God-given wealth, gifts and time wisely? Are you investing your life in the things that matter for eternity?

4. Motive
This gets right down to the bone and it worries me many times. I may seem to be a wonderful Christian – going on mission trips, giving money to the poor, teaching Sunday school and preaching to the lost. But all this is worthless if done with the wrong motives.

Did I do it for selfish gain or to gain men’s applause instead of giving God the credit? This is a question we must ask ourselves. Jesus said it so correctly about motives:

Matthew 6:1
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

If we seek men’s reward even with the noblest of deeds, we would have lost the true reward from our Father. God sees our heart, there’s no escaping Him. We may fool others, but we can never fool God.

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Are you accumulating rewards in heaven or on earth?

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