Friday 4th June 2021 Devotion
Scripture:- Matthew 3:1-17
Topic:- The One With Whom God Is Pleased
Text:- Matthew 3:17
By Jack S. Deere.
A. Interestingly, nearly 30 years after this awesome evening, He would find Himself at the Jordan River where He was baptized by the trembling hand of His cousin John.
After He emerged from the waters His heavenly Father spoke.
Do you remember what He said?
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I Am well pleased.” See Matthew 3:17.
I wonder if there was an old, retired Shepherd standing on the banks within earshot.
I wonder if these words did not land on his memory like lightning.
I wonder if something deep inside him finally clicked.
“That sounds familiar…well pleased…WELL PLEASED!”
B. Jesus Christ Is The Key That Unlocks Our Peace With God:
When we repent of our futile attempts to earn God’s pleasure and place our faith in Christ, we are united to Christ.
And well pleased becomes the banner over us through Him.
So, as we hear the herald Angels sing this year let us do so with joyful sincerity.
Let us feel the gravity of our sin that made us displeasing to God.
Then, after earnest reflection, let us, by faith, take our place amongst the Heavenly Choir, rejoicing with every fiber of our being that “Today [our] Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord!”
Paul is said to have broken Roman Law. See Acts 18:12-17.
The word translated “appear” in 2 Corinthians 5:10 means “to appear in a way that reveals our true character.”
Whatever has been hidden in darkness will be brought out into the light, even the motives of our hearts. See 1 Corinthians 4:5.
C. When We Appear Before The Judgment Seat Of Christ We Will Have An Audience:
God the Father and all the Angels will watch as Jesus’ hands down the verdict on our lives. See Luke 12:8; Revelation 3:5.
The nature of heavenly rewards is revealed in the way the Father rewarded His Son.
Jesus has the highest reward of anyone in Heaven. See Hebrews 1:8-9,13.
Jesus’ reward was to share His father’s throne. See Revelation 3:21.
D. And He Is The Only Person Who Has Been Granted The Honor Of Sitting In His Father’s Presence:
The Father poured out the joy on Jesus so that He is the happiest person in Heaven.
The essence of the heavenly reward for living faithfully is the approval of God, which is expressed in the gifts of God to share His rule, joy, and honor and to be close to Him in Heaven.
E. Jesus Is Surrounded By His Companions In Heaven:
Their position next to Him is the reward for being His best and most faithful friends.
They too receive His approval and share His rule, joy, and honor.
Jesus uses rewards to show His faithful followers how He feels about the way they have loved Him.
It is His way of praising the ones who endured the long race, suffered for His name, and grew in their love for Him.
The greatest words anyone will ever hear spoken over them, the greatest honor in the universe, come from a person who can’t be bribed or fooled, a perfect Judge who sees our whole life — all the good and all the bad, from beginning to end — and then in the presence of His Father and all the Angels says, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master’s happiness!” See Matthew 25:21.
The glory of earthly royalty, of movers and shakers, of movie stars, of sports heroes, and of geniuses is all straw burned up at the end of the earth, forever forgotten. But the word of the Lord — “Well done, good and faithful servant” — will be worn as an eternal crown.
F. For The Word Of The Lord Stands Forever:
And that crown will grow forever larger because Heaven is an unending revelation of the greatness of the Lord and therefore also an unending revelation of the greatness of His reward.
The reward is all out of proportion with the effort expended to receive it.
A person who was faithful in a few things will be put in charge of many things.
A person who was faithful for a few years on earth will wear the crown forever in Heaven.
Some great believers have given their bodies to be burned for the Lord Jesus.
But most of us won’t be called to that sacrifice. We are called to pray so that we can find the grace to do small acts of love habitually.
The ones who continually find pleasure in giving cups of cold water see the face of Christ in every poor person and in every prisoner they serve. See Matthew 25:37-40; Ephesians 6:7-8.
G. What Does It Mean To Be Put In Charge Of Many Things:
It is one of the surprises that “God has prepared for those who love Him.” See 1 Corinthians 2:9.
That promise of future rule teaches us that this life is only a time of training for a greater life to come.
Sometimes the reward of the ruling is expressed by God giving His faithful children crowns.
1. There is a “crown of life” given to those who preserve under trials. See James 1:12.
2. There is the “crown of righteousness” given to those who long for the return of the Lord. See 2 Timothy 4:8.
These are the believers who pray every day for the Lord’s name to be hallowed and for His kingdom to come.
3. And then there is the “crown of glory” that the Lord gives to those who have loved and shepherded His flock. See 1 Peter 5:4.
The crowns not only reflect the reward of the ruling, but they are also symbolic of the honor and beauty that God confers on His faithful ones.
H. The Teaching Of Rewards Scares Some People:
One person said, “I thought when I was born again, I didn’t have to worry about God judging me anymore.”
But the judgment seat of Jesus is not about Jesus excluding believers from Heaven.
That can never happen. All believers, regardless of the quality of their lives, go to Heaven.
Some teach that if a person is truly born again, there will be fruit in that person’s life.
But that is not true. Paul teaches that some born-again people will waste their lives on earthly pleasures and have nothing to offer Jesus when their life is over. See 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
The judgment seat of Christ is a place of the revelation of the love of Christ, not the anger of Christ.
I believe that no one, not even the apostle Paul or the apostle John will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and not feel some measure of sorrow.
I. Those Of Us Who Receive Rewards Will Be Overcome With Wonder:
How could You give me so much when I gave You so little?
For those of us who have wasted our lives on the world, we will also be overcome with wonder.
The fire we go through won’t be due to His anger, for the great fathers aren’t ruled by anger for their disobedient children; they are ruled by love.
Those of us who have wasted our lives will also see the perfect beauty of the Son of God, but instead of seeing the joy in His face, we will see pain.
For we will have denied Him the pleasure He longed for, the pleasure of commending us for a life well-lived.
All great fathers and mothers long to praise their children.
Even if we’ve wasted our lives and have nothing to offer Jesus, we will also be overwhelmed by His love and mercy, for He will welcome us into Heaven, where we will live forever forgiven and forever happy.
J. Jesus Taught Us About Rewards:
Not to intimidate us, but to help us yearn to please Him.
As long as there is breath in us, there is still time to please Him, still, enough time left to live in a way that allows Him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Oh Lord God, announce me too to be pleased with You henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.