Isaiah 53:1-3 “Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Have you ever considered how many people in this world make significant contributions that never get noticed?
Small acts of kindness that have profound effects in someone’s life, an anonymous donation, an act of love without an expectation for return…there are so many people who deserve so much more credit than they have been given. One day, their deeds will be brought to the light.
True acts of love are selfless in nature. The selfless servant doesn’t live for reward but for a greater purpose. Finding value in others is a perspective that is a God given perspective, reflecting a relationship with the Lord developed in intimacy.
For those who walk in quiet faithfulness, the reward comes in the end when God’s faithful ministers of peace bow before the Lamb and worship at His feet.
There have been many people in history who have done heroic acts of kindness, from Maximilian Kolbe (saint of Auschwitz) who sheltered jews during WWII and when sent to Auschwitz volunteered to take the place of man sentenced to death, to Mother Teresa who dedicated her life in service to the poor. If I included all of the people we know of, the list would be too long to include here.
Many nobody’s are significant to someone else.
At the time of Jesus’ ministry, apart from a small region of the globe, His life was not greatly heralded.
Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Often times, Jesus would change a person’s life anonymously. There was once a blind man Jesus healed and those who knew this man had many questions. “Is not this he who sat and begged?” they asked, yet all the man knew was the name of his healer. The people brought the healed man to the Pharisees, so they questioned him on how he received his sight so the man explained to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” The Pharisees wondered what conclusions the man had regarding his healer and the response showed his ignorance, “He is a prophet.”
Calling the parents of the healed blind man, the parents reported that he had been blind since birth, so the fact their son could see baffled them as well. The Pharisee’s again called for the man who was once blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man(Jesus) is a sinner.” It was then that the blind man gave the obvious conclusion….
He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
This story out of John 9 is one of many reported incidents surrounding the ministry of Jesus and yet we still don’t know the fullness of His work because there were just too many things to write down.
John 20:30-31 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
The intent of John and the other disciples was to bring glory to the one deserving of such acclaim. Jesus didn’t glorify Himself, He let His works do the talking.
John 9:4 “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Jesus’ ultimate goal in life was to glorify the Father.
Glory that is Given
Any true act of love has it’s intent grounded in others. For those who exalt themselves, the acclaim they receive is all they will ever know.
In the Kingdom of God, anything worthwhile is initiated by God. To those who live for Christ, they have their works founded in Him.
1 Corinthians 3:9-15 “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Do you see the pattern of God’s Kingdom?
Jesus established the foundation, we only build upon that which He began. If your work is born of God, it will prove itself established when the time comes to test it. One day, all works will be exposed to the test of God, whether they were righteous or if they were found to be unrighteous.
When others see work that is founded in Christ, they glorify Christ. A true test of faithfulness is watching others glorify God through your faithfulness.
Jesus is the only One deserving of such praise.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Walking in Grace
Consider for a moment where you were before Jesus transformed your life. Remove the Lord from your life and all you are left with is what you had before. Corruption, greed, lust, envy, selfishness, pride, hatred…..these attributes are all that we have to give. Many people attempt to justify themselves apart from Christ but in the end, they are no less guilty than anyone else.
Jesus makes people good.
It is the Spirit of God who inhabits His people that transforms their lives. When those who walk with Him submit to His leading, you see good things come through them.
The people of God have had their faith rewarded with grace, a grace that only Jesus can provide.
Do you want to make a difference in this world?
Keep your eyes on Jesus and you’ll see Him work through you as well. Jesus is the difference maker, we are only His servants.
Knowing where true strength arises is key to exhibiting strength.
Paul summed it up very nicely.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 “But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
This is what God’s people have been called to….servitude. This is the life of a nobody to whom this world gives no account but it is these people whose names are written in the Book of Life. These nobodies will be made known one day, by the One who holds all power. It is the acclaim, pronounced by God, that really only matters.
To those who live only for themselves, or for those who live for Christ, the deeds will be made known. Some will move on into everlasting life, many will go down into everlasting destruction.
Where will you stand in judgement?