(From the sermon of the same title for dates May 16 and 19, 2013)
Blessed are those who serve the Lord for they will reap the fruits of their labors at the appointed time. The promise of God to give us eternal life inspires us to continue serving Him despite of the many sufferings, pains and trials that we experience. However, we cannot deny that some of us feel tired and weary because of these experiences.
Without the sacred teachings that we continue to hear in our gatherings, some of us may have stumble a long time ago just like the others. Through these teachings, we get to know God’s will on us, and guide and lead us to right direction. We also learned that God would never abandon us no matter what happens as long as we continue to cling to Him.
To those who love God, they will also receive love from God.
God has prepared something for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9) … according as it has been written, “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,” nor has it risen up into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him. (Quoted from Isaiah 64:4)
Long before, God has prepared the right path that we need to walk on so we may never get astray. The path consists of His will and commands that we need to follow for our own good. (Ephesians 2:10) “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before prepared that we should walk in them.”
We can read in (Romans 7:12) that the only good and just in God’s eyes are His commands. “So indeed the Law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” (Jeremiah 7:23) “But I commanded them this thing, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. Also, Walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you.” Notice that when God commanded us to obey His commands, the benefit will not be on God but on us.
God’s commands will lead us until we attain perfection through His mercy and will. (Proverbs 6:23) “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; and reproofs of instruction are a way of life.”
How do we know that we are following God’s directions?
The Bible clearly states that through God’s house, which is the church of God, we can find God’s directions. The church is the bearer of truth and if we want to obey His will and commands, we have to do them inside his House. (Ezra 7:23) “Whatever is commanded by the God of Heaven, let it be carefully done for the house of the God of Heaven.” (1 Timothy 3:15) “But if I should delay, that you may know how you ought to behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” (Mark 4:11) “And He said to them, To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God. But to these, those outside, all things are being given in parables.
God has given everything to the church. Therefore, everyone called unto His church is enriched with all the knowledge, grace and blessings from God. (1 Corinthians 1:4-5) “Give thanks to my God always concerning you for the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all discourse and all knowledge.”
In addition, everyone called is expected to perform and follow the directions set by God unto His church. This is a solemn promise, a new covenant that is made between God and His children. (Psalms 97:10) “You who love the Lord, hate evil. He keeps the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.”
God expects that we will respond according His pleasure. (Micah 6:8) “O man, He has declared to you what is good. And what does God require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Do all servants obey God’s commandments?
Not all who were called obey God’s commands. Some failed to fulfill their duties before God. Others just choose the commandments, which they want to follow. One of the most important commandments is to love one another. However, this is one of the most unfulfilled command, which is ironic. We cannot love God if we don’t learn how to love others. (1 John 4:20-21) “If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God whom he has not seen? And we have this commandment from Him, that the one who loves God also loves his brother.”
Others became blind and fruitless when it comes to serving the Lord. We are called to bear fruit, that is, to do holy deeds. We have to apply all the teachings and doctrines we have learned, otherwise we are not fulfilling the purpose and the reason of being called as servants of God. (2 Peter 1:7-8) “and with the godliness brotherly love, and with brotherly love, love. For these things being in you, and abounding, they will make you not idle, not unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If we are walking in light and in truth, and the love of God is within us, we will never stumble and there is no way that we cannot bear fruits of faith. Others became fruitless because they chose to love the world instead of loving their duties and commands. They became slaves of the world and were not able to give glory to God. (1 John 2:9-11) “The one claiming to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes.”
This is the reason why many stumbled, because they no longer walk in the light. (John 11:9-10) “Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble because he sees the light of the world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles because the light is not in him.”
What shall we expect if we continue to remain faithful in following the right directions set by God?
God does not forget all our hardships in fulfilling His tasks and commands. We may not experience good life here on earth, but God’s rewards will give us eternal joy and happiness that we cannot find here on earth. Actually, God is preparing a special place for all who will triumph and endure everything until the end. (John 14:1-3) “Do not let your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. But if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you! And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Many people desire to have good and abundant life here on earth, which is not bad actually. However, no matter how hard we try to seek the kind of life we want, we can never experience fulfillment and completeness. God’s design in our lives here on earth is to let us feel that way so that we desire the life that He promised for those who will love Him and obey His will. (Matthew 25:34) “Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, the blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
God’s promise is the fulfillment of everything. (Revelations 21:1-4) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, having been prepared as a bride, having been adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God with men! And He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no longer, nor mourning, nor outcry, nor will there be pain any more; for the first things passed away.”
The promise is specifically for His children who will remain faithful until the end. Its not enough therefore that we are called to be His servants, its not enough that He loves us, what we have to do is to respond to the same quality of love given to us. (James 2:5) “Hear, my beloved brothers, did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to the ones loving Him?’
It would be better if we follow the advice of Apostle Peter that no matter what we experience in life, whomever we deal with and wherever we are, we shall remain hard working when it comes to serving the Lord. (2 Peter 1:10-11) “Therefore, brothers, rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election; for doing these things, you will not ever fall. For so will be richly furnished to you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”