Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear Bereans,

I trust that you are all well and enjoying your summer. Mary and I have been resting and spending our time off relaxing, reading, and meditating on the things of the Lord. I am looking forward to coming back in September to resume the ministry among you all. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughtful words during this time of spiritual rest and refreshment. One of the things that I have been doing is editing and revising a book on the blood of Jesus that I am planning on publishing through The Emmaus Road Press. I am almost done with this project and I am very excited because I believe this book will be a great blessing to all those who read it. Keep me in your prayers as I finish this project.

Recently I was meditating on the text in Matthew's gospel 25:21 that reads, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." These words were from the Lord Jesus. They represent what we trust you will all hear when you stand before God in the day of judgment. I want to share some thoughts with you on this text.

A life "Well done" is a life that was:

1. Lived for God's glory.

2. Filled with the Spirit.

3. Focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. And conformed to the image of Christ.

This is the essence of a "Well done" life.

A "Good and faithful servant."

1. Only God is good in the absolute sense.

2.We are good only so far as we have been justified by God's grace. If God declares or pronounces us good then we can rejoice indeed!

3. Faithfulness is seen in our obedience to the calling of God and the will of God. We have been called into fellowship with His Son. We have been called to be saints, Romans 1:7. God's will for us is summarized in Micah 6:8 and Romans 12:1-2.

4. We are servants. First of all, we are servants to the triune God. And secondly, we are servants to our brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the great characteristics of the children of God is that they are servants. The attitude of joyful and humble servanthood characterizes all those who have been indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

"Enter into the joy of thy Lord."

1. It is the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom.

2. The Father is filled with joy at His Children's spiritual blessings and prosperity. When we enter the eternal state with all of its many blessings and privileges it will bring the Lord great joy.

3. The Lord Jesus went to the cross and suffered it's shame, reproach and the wrath of His Father with joy because of the knowledge that this death would secure eternal blessings for those the Father had given to Him. Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Here are some questions that this text calls us to ask:

1. Will you hear these precious words on the day of judgment?

2. Does our conscience, our friends, and the Holy Spirit confirm to us that we are "good and faithful servants?"

3. The joy of the Lord is not just a future in heaven. It is also a present reality right now as we daily walk with God. Is this the reality we are living in right now?


Lauren said...

We are praying for you. Thank you for this encouraging post, Lauren.

Neal D. Ruffner said...

Thanks for the encouraging post Pastor.

Side question: Is it true that the Greek word for servant is 'dulos'? I understand 'dulos' translates into slave... So are we not only to be servants of Christ, but literally slaves of Christ under his blood...?

Thanks! Look forward to seeing you soon.