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

Mike Connell

What about the opportunities? Do we seize opportunities? God will take all of that into account.

What have we overcome? Maybe right now you're facing something you're trying to overcome. God is watching that battle, and urging you on, saying: there's a great reward, if you can overcome and break through that, and that gives us motivation to overcome. Even if we fall over, time and time and time again, just keep getting back up and going forward again. We will overcome.

Then there are things that we have become, and we saw then it's important, not just that we have a saving faith, but we add to our faith, godliness and brotherly love, and the love of God, and various other qualities mentioned in 2 Peter 1.

He will consider the words we speak, so that means we need to guard what we're saying, and the spirit we're speaking in.

He will look at the revelation we're given and take that into account; and then how we've judged and treated others.

That gives you then a kind of an overview of how God is dealing with us. I want to look now, into some of these a bit more closely…

I think one of the biggest areas, is having a faithful and a loyal heart, because all servants of God are required to be faithful. In 1 Corinthians 4:2, we're required to be found faithful. Found means an enquiry into it.

In Revelation 17:14, those who are with the Lamb are called, they're chosen, and they're faithful. The word ‘faithful’ constantly comes through the Bible, and particularly in the New Testament, it's very strong on faithfulness; not so much on giftedness, but faithfulness. With the gifts God gives you - it's your job to value them, to develop them; but faithfulness - every person can be faithful. That means: to be reliable, steadfast, predictable. You fulfil your responsibilities. You can be relied on.

It's a personal choice, and faithfulness is in many areas of life, but in Luke 16:10-13, it teaches be faithful in the little things. If you're faithful in little, you will be in much. Faithful in money, the handling of money; Luke 16:10-13, be faithful in your handling and management of finances, and be faithful in serving someone else. Often people are using someone else to get themselves ahead, rather than seeing that actually, that very motivation will stop God promoting them. We need instead to serve others, and help them succeed, and in doing that, God lifts us up and promotes us.

Faithfulness is a hard thing to find.

Proverbs 20:6 – “Most men will proclaim his own goodness, but a faithful man, who could you find?”

Everyone talks about how good they are, but who is actually a faithful man; who is doing something to bring honour to someone else? Timothy was very like that, and the Bible tells us that God is looking all through the earth, to find people who are faithful and loyal to Him.

Loyalty is a slightly different word. Loyal means to be continuing, or unswerving, in your faithfulness and allegiance. Regardless of difficulties or hardships, you remain committed to serve the Lord - that's a loyal heart. When God doesn't seem to come through, and you remain true to Him - that's a loyal heart

2 Chronicles 16:9 – “The eyes of the Lord go to and fro through the earth, looking for someone whose heart is loyal to Him”.

To have divided loyalties means: I'm loyal to the Lord, but also loyal to other things, and now there's a conflict between my loyalties. Having a loyal heart means: I maintain Jesus is first in my life, over and above every other relationship, every other situation, every other thing. I remain loyal to Him, even if there are pressures around me, in those areas. Jesus Himself exemplified faithfulness.

Hebrews 3:6 – “He was faithful over His house”.

John 17:4 – “I've honoured You; I've finished the work You gave Me to do”.

Jesus remained faithful, and loyal. You see this outplayed in a parable that Jesus taught, called the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

I’ll leave it to you to read it through, but the core of it is it's a Parable of the Kingdom and there are a sequence of parables, so there's the Parable of the Servants, Matthew 24; the Parable of the Virgins in 25, and then this parable. The Parable of the Virgins terminates with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb - five enter, because they have oil; and five are left out, or excluded, because they haven't done the preparation work. Now it goes on from there and adds in the prospect of ruling and reigning with Christ. The Parable of the Virgins introduces intimacy, the marriage celebration. The Parable of the Talents introduces now ruling with Christ, and the story is very simple...