JESUS LOVES IT WHEN YOU DO GOOD, BUT LOVES YOU ALWAYS

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JESUS MERELY LOVES IT WHEN YOU DO GOOD, BUT HE LOVES YOU ALWAYS

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society, has been a big movement in the business world for some time. Companies often engage in projects of a social or environmental nature and involve their employees in its execution so as to ‘pay-it-forward’ all the benefit that they have received from the community from the sale of their goods and services. But like in all things, CSR is open to abuse. Because some governments support CSR initiatives financially, some companies jump on that band wagon to get that extra funding. Or they use that opportunity to ramp up their public image and give their customers a ‘feel-good’ factor, which would hopefully drive sales.

For us, we too have our personal CSR initiatives. Volunteering in church or welfare organizations are often CSR projects of choice. And in some circles, this is considered ‘making merit’, a means of making up for our less than perfect lives, in the hope of either earning a better station in the hereafter, or gaining some blessings in the here-and-now, or both. But beloved, for us who believe, we need to adjust the way we look at CSR and re-evaluate our motivations for engaging in them because our Father does not measure CSR success the way the world does.

“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10

Yes, God does love, takes pleasure in, prizes above other things and is unwilling to abandon or to do without someone who gives cheerfully, joyously; who is prompt to give and whose heart is in his giving. (2 Corinthians 9:7) And yes, Jesus did promise rewards for us who ‘stick with it’ for His sake,

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12

And in the last day, Jesus will bring with Him reward for us,

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Revelation 22:12

But this should not be our driving force behind why we do the good that we are called to do. And surely, this should not be our way of earning our blessings, provision and protection from our Father. Because beloved, we do not have to.

“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:14-16 [MSG]

The help we need in times of trial, the mercy we need to sort out our imperfect lives, they are all found in the person of Jesus, they are all available to us because of the love of Jesus and our Father which drove Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. And all these blessings are unlocked when we believe that they are there for us.
So “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Hebrews 4:16 [AMPC]

We never needed to merit His favor, we never needed to merit His mercy and all His help that is always appropriate, well-timed, coming just when we need it, is given to us on account of Their love for us, not our actions. So our ‘CSR’, our good works, our volunteering and giving of ourselves, is not the reason nor the measure for and of the blessings which we will receive from our Father. For as the apostle Paul writes,

“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.” Hebrews 6:1-3

These are all ‘elementary principles’, ‘preschool finger painting exercises’ and ‘basic foundational truths’. (Hebrews 6:1-3 [MSG])

Laid hands on anyone lately? Resurrected any dead? Perhaps you have baptized someone this week? No? So if these works are yet ‘elementary principles’, ‘preschool finger painting exercises’ and ‘basic foundational truths’ of how much value is your volunteering? Now, it is not my purpose to put down the good work which you have been doing. I merely want to put things into perspective, just in case we have lost sight of why we do that which we are doing.

Beloved, if we see our good works as conduits, reasons for God to bless us; or worse, justification for us to demand blessings from God, then we have gotten our relationship with our Father sorely wrong. Remember,

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We can do the good we do because our Father has prepared them beforehand for us. He prepared the opportunity, He furnished the means and He provided the skills. It was all His doing.

Furthermore, when the author of Hebrews wrote,

“The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1-2 [MSG]

We must remember that first in mention amongst the ‘elementary principles’ is,

“turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God”

So if we think that our good works is the reason why God will bless us; or worse, our good works is the reason why we are saved, then we are still infants, still engaged in ‘preschool finger painting exercises’ and discussing ‘basic foundational truths’. We have not even grasped the first principle behind the relationship between us and our Father, which is to trust Him.

Beloved, let us not be so distracted by the things that we are doing that we ‘let it slip through our fingers’ just what an awesome God we worship, what a loving Father we have and what an absolute gem of the brother we have in Jesus. All they ever want to do is love us. All they ever want to do is provide for us. And all they ever want us to do is to believe. Stop relying on your good deeds to earn you your blessings, because they never can, they never will and you never need them to.

“When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him.” Hebrews 6:13-15 [MSG]

So for us, because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” Hebrews 13:8

“When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.” Hebrews 6:17-18 [MSG]

So therefore,

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:18-20 [MSG]

For,

“Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the Highest God. … “Melchizedek” means “King of Righteousness.” “Salem” means “Peace.” So, he is also “King of Peace.” Melchizedek towers out of the past—without record of family ties, no account of beginning or end. In this way he is like the Son of God, one huge priestly presence dominating the landscape always.” Hebrews 7:1-3 [MSG]

So we have a righteous priest, a King of peace, who knows no beginning, and who has no end. And this King, priest, and brother, Jesus, who

“...is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.” Hebrews 7:25 [AMPC]

Beloved, let that not slip through your fingers.

And my friend, if you have been toiling all your life but have always been in doubt over your salvation, sanctification and right standing with God, then let this opportunity not slip through your fingers. Jesus said,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Let not Jesus slip through your fingers; let not the gift of His salvation which He came to freely give you, slip through your fingers; let not the abundant life of provision and protection which He so desires for you, slip through your fingers. Say this to our Father now.

“Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me. Thank You that whilst I was yet a sinner, You loved me so much that You would give up Heaven’s best for me. Thank You Jesus that even though you knew that I would reject You and Your call, You still bore the stripes which were rightfully mine. Thank You that even though You knew that I would sin anyway, You bled so that all my sins would be washed whiter than snow. Thank You that even though You knew that I would abuse my body, You let Yours be broken so that I can receive health and wholeness in mine. Indeed, Father, I can never merit anything that You want to give me. Yet I come boldly before You now to receive everything You want to give because I know You want to give. It matters not how good or bad I am, You still want to give because You love me. Thank You Father, Thank You Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Eyes on the prize, beloved child of God, and let your personal CSR be an expression of how much our Father has blessed you. For that is really what it should be.

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