The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 2 (9 of 12)

Mike Connell

Number 2 - our motivation. Having an intimate heart, and now a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 13:3 – “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing”.

Luke 6:35 - “Love your enemies, do good, lend with no hidden agenda, not hoping for anything in return… your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and the evil”.

He's saying that it's not just what we do; why we do it is very important. Jesus constantly rebuked the Pharisees, because everything they did was done with a hidden motivation of promoting themselves. He said: don't be like the Pharisees when you pray - they pray to be seen of men. Don't be like the Pharisees when you fast - they fast and make a fuss of it in front of everyone. Don't be like the Pharisees when you give - let your giving be done in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward openly.

God constantly looks at the why you do things, and many activities we do can be completely dead works, because there's no faith in them. They're coming out of fear, guilt, or an agenda - every kind of reason, except what God wants us to come out with: that our motivation is one of purity of heart.

Number 3 - our faithfulness. We're going to look at that in one of the studies today, in Matthew 25, which is part of sequence of parables, where Jesus is talking about the end times, and His return. He starts with the wise and faithful servant in Matthew 24, then the five wise and five foolish virgins in Matthew 25. Then He goes on to talk about the Parable of the Talents…

Matthew 25:23 – “His lord said to him: well done, good and faithful servant. You've been faithful over few things, I'll make you ruler over many. Enter the joy of your lord.”

Very clearly, God looks for faithfulness; and there's no limit to our faithfulness - every person can choose to be faithful. It has nothing to do with your gift; it's entirely to do with your character, and the way you handle the tasks that are assigned to you - whether you complete them, you're reliable, you do them when you're supposed to, and the way you're supposed to, on time etc - so everyone can be faithful. Faithfulness is commended by God.

1 Corinthians 4:2 - “It's required of servants they must be found faithful”.

To ‘find’ someone faithful means you're looking for that quality. We must be found, upon inspection, to have been faithful to what God called us to do. Faithfulness is developed by serving with excellence, and persevering through difficulties. With faithfulness, if we're a five-talent person, we can get the same reward as a person with two talents, or one talent - God just considers not what we have, but what we did with what we had. So equal faithfulness means equal reward.

Number 4 - Diligence. Diligence means I really apply myself, and my life is given over to this task. In the Parable of the Servants and the Pounds (or Minas), he says:

Luke 19:17 – “Well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over very little - have authority of 10 cities”.

In that story, everyone got one pound (or one mina). Everyone got the same amount at the beginning, but… one of them earned 10 minas - made a huge profit; one earned five; and one hid it away. The one who earned 10 was put in authority over 10 cities; and the one who earned five, was put in authority over five cities.

Greater diligence means greater reward. Whatever our status in life, our gifts, or our experience - wherever we're at, if we are faithful, then we have equal opportunity, equal reward. If we're more diligent than the person next to us, then God will honour the fact we were more diligent. Someone who is highly productive for the Lord - God will acknowledge that. It's got nothing to do with whether you're a preacher, or any kind of role you have. Every servant of the Lord can function, because our functions are mostly in the realm of life, and in the community.

Number 5 - The opportunity that was given. God considers the opportunity we've been given. In the Parable of the Servants in the vineyard, in Matthew 20.

Galatians 6:10 – “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith”.

Opportunities vary, from one person to another. A person who was saved when they're younger has a lot more opportunity than a person saved when they're older. People in a certain nation may have greater opportunities. Whatever the opportunities we have, God takes that into account. In Matthew 20, different workers came into the vineyard to work at different times. They had different amounts of opportunity, and God considered the opportunity they had. The man who had worked all day received the same reward as the man who came in and did work, or did the best he could, or was faithful in what he could, at the latter season of the day. God accounts the two, with both getting the same reward; and the servants argue with Him over that and think that's not very right; but He said: no, I agreed to do this, and that's what will happen. God is Just; so even if we have not much opportunity, or if our opportunities are more restricted and limited, God still takes that into account. He's looking at the bigger picture: faithfulness, diligence and motivation.