When companies decide where to market their products, they want to get “the most bang for their buck.” Right now that means China: 1.40 billion people with rising levels of discretionary income. It simply wouldn’t make sense for tech companies to market their products to a tiny ethnic group in the Ecuadorian jungle. “Why bother?” such companies might say.
It’s a good thing the Kingdom of God is not a company who bases the spreading of the Gospel on a cost analysis. No life in the Kingdom of God is measured by one value: Everything done in the name of Christ has eternal value.
The late founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright, used to define witnessing this way: “Witnessing is sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leaving the results to God.” I’d like to adjust his words slightly: “The Christian life is following Christ obediently, in the power of the Holy Spirit, leaving the results to God.”
In other words, we don’t measure the perceived results before we act. We act out of obedience to Christ because we know that everything done in His Name has eternal value. Our acts of faithfulness in following Christ are never forgotten by God.
That mindset is what caused Jim Elliot, along with four friends, to camp on a sandbar along the Curaray River in Ecuador in 1956. Their goal was to make contact with the Huaorani people who lived in the rain forest that bordered the river.
And here’s what they knew: The value wasn’t dependent on whether the Huaorani accepted Christ; the value didn’t even depend on whether they lived or died. Because they were serving Christ—and that’s all that matters. They were sowing seeds for the Kingdom of God that would bear fruit in ways no one could imagine, regardless of the outcome of their trip to Ecuador.
As you likely know, the five men were attacked by the Huaorani and died on the sandbar. But this event galvanized the world’s attention. Life magazine did a photo essay on the men and how they lost their lives. Giving to mission organizations increased. Family members of the slain missionaries even returned to Ecuador and reached the Huaorani people, leading many of them to Christ. Books were written and movies were made—all because these young men understood that God sees and uses all we do for Him whether we see the results or not.
Reasons for Bothering
It would have been easy for those young men not to have moved to Ecuador. As easy as it is for us to:
•Not stop to give a homeless person some money or a word of encouragement.
•Not volunteer to be an assistant in a Sunday school class.
•Not sign up to take a meal to a family whose mom is sick in bed.
In other words, it’s easy to say, “Why bother? Who will know?”
But God knows. And God cares. Everything done for Christ matters and has eternal ramifications. Nothing done for Christ is done in vain.
Galatians 6:9-10 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” If we sow seeds of righteousness for the sake of God’s Kingdom, there will be a harvest in due time. Every seed sown matters; there will be a harvest. We are not to worry about the how or when.
Rewards for Bothering
First Corinthians 3:14 says, “If anyone’s work which he has built on [the foundation of Christ] endures, he will receive a reward.” There will be a judgment for all Christians—for rewards—and faithfulness will be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Every small, seemingly insignificant good work done for the sake of Christ will be recorded for eternity and will be rewarded.
Those rewards, or crowns, will ultimately be cast before the throne of God in eternity as a way of praising Him for our salvation and for who He is as our God (Revelation 4:9-11). The more we make every act matter in this life, the more we will be able to praise God in the life to come.
What we do for Christ in this life is never forgotten. Therefore, don’t think your life for Christ doesn’t matter. It does, in even the smallest of ways.
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
In Dr. Jeremiah’s latest prophecy book, The Great Disappearance: 31 Ways to be Rapture Ready, he examines the next event on God’s prophetic timetable, the Rapture. This is not a book of doom and gloom or a sensational read about setting dates, but one of hope and joy as we see the promise of God’s plan unfold all around us and grasp the power of the prophetic text surrounding the Rapture. Calling this “prophecy motivation,” these 31 easy-to-read short chapters will inspire you to live boldly and expectantly in today’s world.