A closer look at the various types of people with whom we must be faithful
Do not be like your fathers and your brethren, who were faithless to the LORD God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. 2 Chronicles 30:7 (RSV)
10"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." Luke 16:10-13 (ESV)
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6 (NASB)
The prospect of the Judgment Seat of Christ needs to become a vivid reality to you. It must be real enough to affect your daily life
It's not easy to be faithful, especially over a long period of time. There are so many ways that we can fail God and let other people down. However, if we can learn to see the future Judgment Seat of Christ as a reality, that will help us to be much more faithful, and to remain so to the end. We may face temptations and we may want to take shortcuts, or let God down. But, the thought of one day having to stand before Jesus Christ, face to face, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will help to bring us back to our senses.
Remembering each day that what we are about to do that day will either bring rebuke or reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ will help to keep us on the right path. Therefore we really need to remind ourselves every day of the Judgment Seat of Christ and what will happen at it:
The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
and the good man rewarded for his. Proverbs 14:14 (NIV)
10Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." 12 So each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:10-12 (RSV)
Everything you ever do, however small, is going to be assessed and either rewarded, or not rewarded, at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I have asked God to help me to see that judgment as a very clear reality. I want to become more and more conscious of it every day as I go about my ordinary tasks. One day we will all have to give an individual account to the Lord Jesus Christ for how we used or misused, and invested or wasted, every day of our lives. When you ponder on what it will be like to meet Jesus face to face at that awesome encounter, do not think of Him as He was when He was with His disciples during His earthly ministry. Instead, think of Him as He is now, as shown in the book of Revelation. When the apostle John saw Jesus as He is now, he fell down at His feet in awe, because seeing Him as He really is came as a huge shock. That was despite the fact that, during His earthly ministry, John had been Jesus' best friend:
12Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; 14his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; 16in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Revelation 1:12-18 (RSV)
Jesus is therefore to be feared. The need to face Him on that Judgment Day should concentrate your mind now. That is another benefit that comes from having the fear of the LORD.