Another year has come and gone; it’s the last day of 2010. There are only a few remaining hours of this year still on the clock . . . what will you do with them? How well will you finish this year? Can you imagine your Lord saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant” based on the life you lived throughout the past year?
Sadly, many in the church today are convinced that they could never hear those words because of a past littered with broken promises, shattered dreams, and unfulfilled potential. They believe God is angry with them because they failed to live up to His expectations, clearly set forth in Sacred Scripture. Instead of hearing the words “well done” they dread hearing “You wicked and slothful servant!”
Equally tragic is the great number in the church who are convinced they will hear “Well done” because of their good works, godly living, and great rule keeping. They believe God owes them a reward for a life well lived.
I have good news for both groups. The Gospel, properly understood, frees you from both errors. God does not see you as a failure and He never grades on a curve, no matter how well you think you are doing. God loves you because of your union with Christ. He sees you only in the light of the perfect righteousness of Jesus. You see, Jesus paid for your failures and He paid for your apparent successes. We are in debt to Him either way. We have nothing to boast in expect Jesus and in boasting in Jesus we can be assured that we are finishing well.
Regardless of the kind of year you had, God is pleased with you. You are the object of His deepest desire. So much so, He lived the life you refused to live and paid the penalty you could never pay, just to have you as His own. He does not need you, because He needs nothing. Instead, Jesus wants you, which is far better than being needed.
You can probably think of an earthly relationship where you are most certainly needed, but not necessarily wanted. How empty that is! But in a relationship with Jesus you are not needed at all . . . but you are wanted beyond your wildest imagination. And therein lies the key to finishing well. Remember the place you hold in His heart, and let that thought propel you into your promised future . . . one where you will be the cherished bride of the King of kings and Lord of lords, forever and ever . . . AMEN.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. HAPPY NEW YEAR!