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"WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT..." (MATTHEW 25:21)
by Barnabas

“Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your lord.”
 (Matthew 25:21)


Dear Brethren,

Through most of my Christian life I have been encouraged to look forward to the day when, by death or being “caught up”, I will see the Lord face to face, a day when I will hopefully hear my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Lord.”  There are times when I get distracted and wonder how much have I done in my life for the sake of the Kingdom of God.  That is when I need to remind myself to forget “that which lies behind” and “press on” (Philippians 3:12-14), as Paul said, to hit the mark that has been set for me by the Lord.

I know that there is a battle that we all must fight day after day against our fleshly man.  It is God’s Word that encourages us to “deny our flesh” so that we can bring all of our members into submission to Christ (Romans 6:12-14).  That doesn’t void our freewill; it clarifies the truth that we must be continually choosing righteousness at the expense of ourselves.  The Joy of our Salvation is manifested in our willingness to “trust and obey” (Isaiah 50:10) the Lord as we deal with all that comes at us from the world and the enemy (John 16:33).

We all have family, friends and co-workers who are not walking in the Light of God’s Word      (1 John 1:6-8).  Some are believers with their own struggles; others have never made a commitment to the Lord and are living in spiritual darkness, serving their flesh and the enemies of Christ.  For the weaker brethren, our brothers and sisters who are struggling in their faith (1 Corinthians 8), we need to stand with them, encouraging them from the Word to yield to the work that the Holy Spirit is doing so that He can lead them into spiritual peace and contentment.  For those we care for that are spiritually lost, we need to love them enough to sow the seed of the Gospel Truth, while not beating them down (James 3:18).  It is not for us to judge or condemn a non-believer; it is for us to allow Christ Jesus to love them through us so that He can draw them unto Himself.  Remember, Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32).  By being faithful to the Word and God’s heavenly vision that “all would come to the knowledge of His Son and be saved” (1 Timothy 2:3-5), we can faithfully do the work of His Kingdom so that He will be lifted up and “glorified in all the earth” (Numbers 14:21).

Faithfulness is what the Lord expects of those who identify themselves as Christians.  In his second epistle to the Church at Corinth, Paul reminds us of what that can look like in these troubled times.  “…we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not  from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)

The Word of God says that we should “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). When it comes to the things of the Spirit and of the world, we shouldn’t be “double minded” (James 1:8, 4:8), but should approach every situation from the perspective of God’s Word so that the choices we make are in line with the precepts of God; that the counsel we give to others will help them to draw close to the Lord and walk in His ways.  Godly counsel can only come from God’s Word.

Satan is always at work (Zechariah 3:1-2) trying to undermine our faithfulness to the cause of Christ (1 Peter 5:8-10).  We know from the Scriptures and our life experience that we don’t “wrestle against flesh and blood”, but “against the spiritual forces and wickedness in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).  It is for this reason that the Lord has clothed us in “the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13).  The Lord has equipped us to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) so that we can do good works for the greater glory of God (Ephesians 2:10).

Our faithfulness to His command and call is preparation for our service in His Kingdom (Matthew 25:23).  In every situation when we are faithful it brings Glory to God and bears witness to the power of the redemption we have in Christ Jesus (Revelation 5:9).  As believers we have the power to deny ourselves and yield to the leading of the Lord of Glory.  That power comes through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) which dwells in those who believe (1 Corinthians 3:16).  

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he gives each of us this Word of encouragement.  “You therefore…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus [and] suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1, 3).  In these last days as we suffer under the oppression of the enemies of Truth, we must encourage one another to “draw nigh unto God” (James 4:8) as “the Day of the Lord” draws near (Obadiah 1:15; Ezekiel 30:3), always remembering that “the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect [us] from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3) Yes, the Lord will strengthen us through His Word, He will Comfort and encourage us through His Holy Spirit, and He who has all authority (Matthew 28:18) will indeed protect us from the evil one.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thess 5:23-24)

Let us encourage one another to “be imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1-2), so that we too might be found faithful on the Day of Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:9-10) and enter into the Joy of our Lord.


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