“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant…
Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
From our earliest days we all have enjoyed the praise of others. As we mature, we learn to discriminate among words of praise so that we are only affected by words of praise that come from especially significant people.
By significant people I mean those we love such as our spouse and children. Also I mean people such as our teachers or boss at work. These people know us in a close way and their opinion is genuinely valued.
Our verse today speaks of praise from our Creator as He welcomes a child of His into the delights of His eternal presence. It does not get any better than this for the Christian.
What the Lord says to the believer entering heaven is a word of praise for His child being faithful to the Christian’s calling. We learn what is expected of us as believers in Micah 6:8 (NIV) where it says,
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
The Lord is not expecting us to be extraordinary Christians who conquer armies of Satan or win thousands of people to faith in Christ. God is not calling us to the unusual or the exceptional. What He is truly looking for is consistent obedience to His will and to be humble in all our relationships.
It is to be regretted that many Christians today think that the Billy Grahams or the martyrs for the faith are the really important people in God’s sight. This is not true. Those whom God praises the most are those who have been faithful to the work they have been given in this life whether it is much or only a little.
Do not judge worth by worldly standards. Do not seek praise from others. Rather determine what the Lord desires from you and pursue that instead. Seek praise from the Lord and not from other people. Always remember the words of our Lord when He said, John 5:44 (NIV)
“How can you believe since you accept glory from one another
but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”
The best praise of all is that which comes from the Lord Himself and not that which comes from those around us. As long as you are pleasing to your Father in heaven let that be enough praise for you in this life. You have been put here to live a life that pleases the Lord. Go out today and gladden the heart of the One Who created you and let the knowledge that God is pleased with you be enough reward regardless of what the world thinks of you.