Summary: Do your works, deeds, actions or words reflect Christ? Can someone attribute to you the things that you do are Christ-like? Or are you doing them for your own advantage?
Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” As I stand here to deliver this message I pray that God will use me for His ambition. Nothing is to be done for my glory because it is all to be done for God Almighty and His magnificence. It is never to be about me … or you. When any work becomes about me they are nothing but filthy rags, trash, waste to be discarded and incinerated. James 2:14-18: “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Do your works, deeds, actions or words reflect Christ? Can someone attribute to you the things that you do are Christ-like? Or are you doing them for your own advantage? Self-righteous acts, things done seeking commendation, things done with pride or even malice (for example, you may be setting someone up to fail without them knowing to make yourself look like the hero for helping them out). They may never comprehend that you set them up to fail - but God at all times knows your true intentions. God always knows our motive for any work that we do. Are you trying to buy or expect favor from God by doing things that will sway His will for your purposes and not His own will in your life? People all the time: they do, do, do, go, go, and go performing feats and works and words in their own strength. Then they expect a return because of it. Jesus was not first in what they were doing.
Please ponder this question: does God owe us anything??? He gave us everything. Life, creation, air, water, food, family, love, and most importantly His Son. He has given us all, but owes and we are entitled to none of it. It is a gift of the Almighty and wonderful sovereign God. God owes us nothing and His grace is and always will be sufficient in our lives. We owe everything to Him. Knowing we owe everything to Him it should be easy for us to do anything for Him because our love for Jesus. The problem is, Jesus is not first in many people’s lives. They are first, then family or career or money or hobby, etc…God is to be first and prevalent at all times, at all moments of your day. Every day. Paul was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble and attentive and focused on God in everything - everyday. Paul put God first. Jesus was at the center of his core.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10: “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Are you exalting yourself or worshiping yourself as many people do; or are you humble, praising God in the sunshine and in the storms in your life? Do you truly grasp and comprehend His concept that His grace is always abundant no matter the circumstance? Listen, do you come to church to find approval or feel that since you show your face in worship each week that you are a true Christian or a God warrior? Or is it out of obligation, part of your schedule or is it because you truly love Jesus? Do you come to be in fellowship with other believers and the Savior? Do you come to worship God and hear His Word and give thanks to His great love and the giving of His Son to us for our salvation? What are your motives? Any works done in a self-seeking manner have no use for God and will do nothing for Christ and His Kingdom. They will be tested by fire and will be burnt up.