Sitting with the Shepherd
"Arise, O Lord, Confront him, cast him down; Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword, With Your hand from men, O Lord, From men of the world who have their portion in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children, And leave the rest of their possession for their babes." (Psalm 17:13–14, NKJV)
Ultimately our life will be judged by God. For believers it will not affect our salvation, but our eternal rewards. What appears to be of enormous value in this lifetime will be counted as mere refuse in the next. Men are deceived into believing otherwise and so they pursue hollow goals with no eternal value. Perhaps they work at leaving a great legacy by making a name for themselves. The reality is that all of these things are passing away and only that which is accomplished for the Lord will last. Blessed is the man who is nourished as a tree by streams of living water, who gives all in the service of the Lord because his rewards will be great in the heavens.
The salvation that we have received in Christ is not by our works and is eternal, unchangeable in nature. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:4-5 NKJV) Hence, those believers whose Christian works are not approved by the judging Lord and who suffer the loss of reward will still be saved. God's salvation as a free gift to all believers is for eternity, whereas the Lord's reward to those (not all) believers whose Christian works are approved by Him is for the kingdom age. The reward is an incentive for their Christian work.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NKJV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. The bible says that there will be a judgment of men in heaven. How will this affect unbelievers and believers in different ways?
2. What are some of the goals that men pursue in this lifetime to make a great name for themselves?
3. What does it mean to you that only that which is done for the Lord will last? (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
My Father in heaven, You are the Eternal God and Supreme Judge of this universe and all that is in it. One day every man will stand before You and give an account for what we have done in this life. So many things that the world including myself holds dear will be burned up as useless. May I learn to see the work of my life as through Your eyes that it may be of eternal value for Your glory, honor and praise.