The Unavoidable

This past weekend I did one thing I hate doing but really needs to be done. I cleaned the outside grill! I knew that cleaning the grill was certain to include a greasy mess. It was unavoidable!

One unavoidable truth in scripture is that judgment is coming for everyone. No one can escape it. The passage that impressed me this morning with that truth reminded me that I need to be faithful regardless of whether others notice because God sees it all. God sees both my sin and my good deeds, even when others don’t.

In 1 Timothy 2:24-25 notice how Paul reminds Timothy of these truths,

“Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.” (NLT)

Those who think they will get away with unseen sin will be in for a surprise. The text tells us that man may not see our sins but God sees it all and he will hold everyone accountable. This reality should motivate us to be faithful and obedient.

For those who think their good deeds will never be noticed, need to see the encouragement here. Even though I may never be praised by man for my good works, God sees them. He does not miss a single one! The encouragement is that these works will one day be evident and rewarded. Instead of being discouraged by a lack of human recognition for such effort, we are to be encouraged knowing that nothing misses the observation of God. He will one day reward such faithfulness. It is unavoidable!

Notice how Barclay summarizes this section,

“This saying bids us leave things to God and be content. There are obvious sinners, whose sins are clearly leading to their disaster and their punishment; and there are secret sinners who, behind a front of unimpeachable rectitude, live a life that is in essence evil and ugly. What man cannot see, God does. ‘Man sees the deed, but God sees the intention.’ There is no escape from the ultimate confrontation with the God who sees and knows everything.

There are some whose good deeds are plain for all to see, and who have already won the praise and thanks and congratulations of men. There are some whose good deeds have never been noticed, never appreciated, never thanked, never praised, never valued as they ought to have been. They need not feel either disappointed or embittered. God knows the good deed also, and he will repay, for he is never in any man’s debt.

A. Duane Litfin adds, “All people are heading toward judgment, carrying with them either their sins or their good works. For some, their sins or good works go before them and are obvious to all observers. For others their sins or good works trail behind, hidden from view, becoming known only after the individual has passed.”

Father, help me to be convinced in my heart that certain judgment is coming for me. Not to determine if I am a believer, but for my faithfulness as a believer (2 Cor. 5:10). As a result of my convinced heart, help me to be faithful and fruitful whether of not others notice because you notice and will reward me.

Following Jesus with you,