Sunday, December 2, 2012

What's In Your Hands?

Your hands are clean but are they also full? What will you stand before Him with on that day? Will your self-righteousness suffice? Will you be able to stand before He who knows all and justify inaction and indifference by insisting it was all to keep your hands clean?

It is not enough not to have blood on your hands! Your hands must not be empty when you stand before Him.

What have you done with your life? What have you done with your gifts? What have you done knowing that the world is dying, the end is nigh, and that soon no man will be able to work?

There is an urgency and a sadness in me giving way to travail.

I sit and watch how the slumber of the church is birthing clerics with stranger and more aberrant doctrines than the last generation, and how the masses flock, anxious to hear about an even wider path than the one they had been on.

Some sheep wander, others trade eternity for worthless baubles, others still are bought and sold to pacify the greed of their hireling shepherds, and no one weeps, and no one toils, and everyone does what they’ve been told they ought to be doing, which is seeking to live their best lives now.

The older I get the more fearful I become of standing before my God not with bloody hands, for that I have always strived to be innocent of, but with empty hands, having nothing to offer Him, nothing to show for what He has given.

The more I read the parable of the talents, the more convinced I become that not only does God expect His initial investment returned to Him, but a return on His investment as well.

Call it what you want, call it works if you must. I’m tired of having the same tired conversations about works being anathema in the life of a believer, when the word of God clearly tells faith without works is dead.

I don’t know who this is for, but whoever you are, just know that grace is not an acceptable excuse for slothfulness, indifference, laziness, fear, or absence of love for the lost.

All men will stand before God on that great day, some with bloody hands, some with clean but empty hands, and some with clean hands overflowing with the return on God’s investment.

I pray daily, and each day more earnestly that my hands will not be empty when I behold Him in all His glory, and I labor diligently towards this end with ever increasing urgency.

Yes, I know we were supposed to start on Solomon’s prayer life today, but try as I might these thoughts kept distracting me until I found no way of ignoring them.

I don’t know who these words were for, perhaps just for myself, but there they be nevertheless.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Barbara said...

What type of works? Earning money so that you can pay your tithe or just receiving money and tithing? Is it going out and trying to help less fortunuate people who maybe use what you give them as ammo to destroy you? How do we know what a good work is if only God is good. Maybe the works come through him unbeknownst to us, just be us listineing to him and trying to walk in his laws and examples.

Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. You dont' have to work yourself to death trying to impress God. What impresses him is loyalty, obedience and faithfulness. If you have a good heart, good things should just flow from it effortlessly.

People like to make a big show of all the good works they do for the Lord, but he says their righteousnesses are as filthy rags to him because they do not come to him for guidance.

You can think that you are doing someont a big favor and helping them when really all you are doing is making their life much worse. You are not even supposed to be aware of what you are doing when you give charity, such that your left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

People are in panics over not tithing, not givng enough charity, not doing enough to assist others. Maybe that isn't their job. Maybe their job is to be a warrior or something else. You really have to strive to stay in the word and walk rightly, so maybe those are the works we need.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful and desperately needed message. Thanks for having the courage to say it. Several years ago I felt led to reread Matt 25 and the severity of it struck me profoundly. What also struck me was how, in my recollection, I have only once heard it preached from the pulpit. What Jesus Himself is saying - and does He not have more credibility than the "don't worry, be happy" crowd? - is that even if you acknowledge Him as Lord and Master, even if you are a "member" of His household, if you do NOTHING - you are cast into hell. Very few Christians seem to think about that. I hear them say, Yeah, we really should do more witnessing, charity work, etc. They acknowledge the crying need of the truly wretched people on this earth, but then they turn back to their TVs and social activities and forget about it. What kind of compassion is that? It isn't. Real compassion would DO something. Jesus said it's not those who call him Lord that go to heaven, but those who DO the will of the Father. That should settle the "works" argument. James did well to say that faith without works is dead, but this comes from the mouth of God Himself. Jesus also said that if you say you're going to do something and don't, then you can't call that obedience; but if you initially say you're not going to do something and then think better of it and obey, that IS counted as obedience - which is what it's actually about, not the pretence of obedience. The saddest thing of all is when people KNOW about the terrible deprivation and opression and injustice going on in the rest of the world, yet do nothing about it - if they feel nothing that moves them to help, even in small ways - how can they possibly think of themselves as Christian? Where is the love of neighbor as oneself? Why should this type of work be thought of as a "drag" that you have to force yourself to do, the kind of obedience that is burdensome? If salvation has had any effect on us at all, we should feel some kind of concern strong enough to motivate us toward charitable effort. We should do it for love alone, not because we feel obligated to do it, not because we're afraid we'll go to hell if we don't. If a loved one fell into a well and was in danger of drowning, would we complain about the hassle and inconvenience of the effort required to get them out? Would we go back in the house and watch TV and try to forget about it, and then hours or days later decide, you know, I really should have pulled her out. Maybe I'll go out and have another look and see if there's anything I can do, if it's not too much trouble. I think that's what is meant by loving others as oneself, that their pain is as real to you as your own, and as deserving of aid.

murph said...

Michael: Thanks for this post. it has reminded me to never stop searching for ways to serve our Lord.

murph said...

Thanks for posting

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I only check the blog once to twice a week and then play catch-up on the postings. I normally don't view the comments, but with this new system we have, they come up automatically.

Barbara, I too see the misuse and abuse of the church by people who say they need help, but occasionally one truly does need that help. So are we to deny them because of others? But when the others use their ammo against us, can we forgive them with our dying breath, as they pull the trigger?

Are we not called to works after salvation? If we pray for our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or take a pie to the widow down the street, say a kind word to the stranger on the street, cry and pray with the hurting person to comfort them? Are these not all works?

We don't plan the day, as to what is going to happen in life, but it's about what we do with it. Yes, we go to the street and we wonder if we're having any effect on people's lives as we serve them, but then we have to remember that it's not about us, but about them and Him. We necessarily don't see or know the fruits of our work, but one day we hope to hear, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Yes, the days are dark, but are we not to shine His light before men?

Blessings, Nila