TO BE FOUND FAITHFUL                                                                                                         Andy Hollifield 12-1-17

Matthew 25:21 His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou in to the joys of thy lord.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Well done, thou hast been faithful, enter in. That is the short version of what we all as Christians should long to hear. That is what we should be striving for. The “enter in” part was taken care of by Jesus when we accepted him as our Savior but the rest of it is up to us. Whether or not he says to us “well done” or “thou hast been faithful” has yet to be determined. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Not by our works but saved unto good works. Works require faith if they are going to be sustained. You have to believe in what you are doing or you won’t keep doing it. Not only will we reap the benefits of our labor while we are living, but Revelation 14:13 tells us that those that die in the Lord, their works do follow them. I would hate to think that nothing I have done would carry on after I am gone. I hope that I can do this for a long, long, time.

I have spent the last several weeks working on various projects for the ministry. Today I will be delivering the last of the shoeboxes. Next weekend we will do the senior gift bags for nursing homes. Then after that, I may be bored because I won’t have somewhere to go or someone to see or call about something for the first time in several weeks. Did I mention that I absolutely love it? I don’t mention any of these things boastfully. I am just thankful that the Lord lets me be a part of what he continues to do through the ministry. There have been times in the past that I have thought that maybe it was time to quit, you know those times when you start “giving place” to the devil and listening to him tell you that nothing you do really makes any difference. I am thankful that when those times came up, I always had a friend there to throw out those convicting words that cut like a double-edged knife; just pray about it. Of course, I didn’t really even have to pray about it, I just had to pay attention. All I had to do to know I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do was pay attention to how he blessed the ministry. Then I would begin to wonder what I would do if I wasn’t doing this. The obvious answer was that I would be looking for something to do. Then there are also those moments when a little kid sees you rolling a bunch of shoeboxes in somewhere and they are just mesmerized and anxious about Christmas. The really cool thing is that they may not know it, but they will see some of those boxes again; on Christmas morning.

I said all of that to say this: I love the Lord and am so thankful that he has provided me a way through the ministry, to use the talents he has given me to load a truck and drive and organize stuff for him. I know that there are some of you that have come to help with projects that are doubled over laughing because you have seen how seemingly unorganized I can be at times. “Organized chaos” is how I describe our projects when I go do a mission presentation. Anyone that has participated in them will have to agree that “organized chaos” is a pretty accurate description.

The bottom line is that I am not working to get saved but I work because I am saved. Christ created me “unto good works” and in Romans 12:1 Paul said, “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your REASONABLE service.” None of us have really done anything extraordinary, at least I haven’t. Everything I have ever done pales in comparison to what Christ did for me. I guess I can’t really speak for anyone else but I know the man I look at in the mirror every day and I will just tell you, God beat himself on that deal. He definitely come out on the short end of the deal.

The point I am trying to make is this: if your heart is in the right place, the pearly gates and jasper walls of heaven and even reuniting with loved ones isn’t what keeps you going. The only reason the crowns are important is because of what they represent and the fact that we will get to lay them at the feet of Jesus when we get there. But just like a little child does with its mom and dad, we strive for the approval of God in our lives. All of those other things are great but to hear him say those words “thou hast been faithful, enter in.” That’s what we strive for; God’s approval on what we are doing for him. After all, why would riches and treasure be important to us there anyway? They are of no value there. They will even be what we walk on. Meanwhile until we get there, we will have to try daily to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Oftentimes we can get so wrapped up in doing that we forget why we are doing it and who we are doing it for. Just to be told by him that we have been faithful will be worth every mile and trial and heartache and effort we have ever put forth. I hope this has helped someone to be reminded just who you are working for and why you are doing it; to be found faithful of the Lord! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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