Monday, July 31, 2017

Greatest Appointment of Your Life is Coming!

Good news.  You won't be late.  The greatest appointment of your life is coming, and you will be ushered in right on time! Every person has the interview of their life awaiting them, and what's more, the conversation will be exactly true, about everything you ever thought, every emotion, every choice, and every action you ever did.  You see, this inevitable appointment is with the Lord Jesus Himself who knows the very intents of your heart and mind.  His eyes of fire burn through every façade and deception and hidden thing.  He knows the complete truth about each of us.  Our lives will be completely exposed in that look.

What will He will say to you?  What does He see?   To whom much is given, much will be required.  Each of us will give an account of what we did with our lives, with what He gave us according to 2 Corinthinans 5:10.  Usually this thought arouses overwhelming fear and panic.  If all we had was our own worth, we should tremble.   However, Jesus the righteous judge, is on our side.  The cross and His shed blood really did pay for our failures.  Amazingly, He not only has taken our sin, but He also has given us His righteousness, His divine nature (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God is so good, so kind, so wonderful.  The purpose of the judgment is not to condemn us, but to reward us.  What?  Can that be true?  Many times in Scripture, for example in Revelation 22;12, it declares that He is coming and His reward is with Him.  Even the "Bema" judgment seat is not a reference to a judge in the courtroom, but rather a picture of where the judge stood in the athletic games handing out the gold and silver medals.

Let me suggest that the purpose of this "judgment" is to summarize our 70-80 year internship to determine where we will serve for our 1000 year assignment, and beyond.  God is the master at calling us to choose His way, and then our one step of obedience yields a mile of reward.  God, who loves the cheerful giver, demonstrates this quality through Jesus who is the ultimate giver.

God highly treasures fear of the Lord.  However, we are not meant to fear the judgment of being sent to hell if we know Jesus as Savior.  Jesus went to hell for us.  Fear of the Lord, rather, is our response to a great, loving Father, by hating any evil thing that would separate us from a pure, clean relationship with Him and by seeking whole-heartedly to know and love Him.  When you realize all that He did for you, your only honest response is to lay your life, your choices, down for Him.  But God knows our frame, so He also promises great rewards.  He declares rewards for praying in secret, for fasting in secret, for giving in secret, even for giving a glass of cold water to a child.   See this principle in Jesus' words, "If anyone desires to be great, become servant of all."  He isn't against us being great for Him or desiring His reward, but He does clearly lay out what we must do to receive this desired award.

One more important thought: (found in 1 Corinthians 3:11-18)  Everyone must build on the one foundation, Jesus Christ.  Then everything we do will be tested by fire (maybe the fire of His eyes).  What an incredible warning to evaluate what we are doing, whether we are building with silver and gold, or wood, hay, and stubble.  Can you imagine the regret, of standing before God on that final most important appointment, and having Jesus say, "Your soul is saved, but all you have done with your life is wasted."

"Father, search me O God, and help me see what is fleshly and what is Spirit-led so that there will be great rejoicing and reward, rather than failure in the review of all I have done.  Lord, prepare my heart and teach me to walk in the fear of the Lord, so that I am unashamed and ready for the greatest appointment of my life."

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