Editor’s note: Well done! It’s a phrase you should scream from the rooftops as often as you can in honor of your staff and volunteers. Even if you can’t thank your church’s Christian servants quite that enthusiastically, you can still show them your appreciation. Use this devotion to encourage those who serve and prepare them for the work that lies ahead—all for God’s glory!
What do these actions have in common? (Demonstrate a thumbs-up signal, an okay sign with thumb and forefinger, a pat on the back, and applause. All demonstrate appreciation and congratulations for a job well done. Ask participants to think of other ways we reward people for their good work. Some examples: a trophy, a job promotion, fame, a salary raise.)
In our world, a person’s unique talent, intense determination to succeed, hard work, and dedication to a task often result in rewards, promotions, and other prizes. But in great contrast, God’s “reward system” turns our human approach to rewards upside down. We “win” God’s highest award without ever lifting a finger.
How can this be?! Stunned and amazed, we find ourselves positioned on the platform of highest honor as our Lord Jesus places the crown of life upon our heads. Astounded, we hear our Lord’s pronouncement: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV).
Scripture repeats this truth again and again, as if to reassure us that we have heard and understood correctly. John 3:36 (KJV) reiterates the awesome news that by faith in Christ, we can confidently claim the highest trophy of all: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”
Why? Why would God honor us in this way? Why would our Lord gladly hand over his highest prize—the prize of eternal life, placing it into our grubby, sin-stained hands? The answer doesn’t make any sense by this world’s standards. The answer is love. Not the human kind of love, but God’s love.
God’s love invades our lives, not because of our performance or our drive to succeed. His love does not depend upon our feeble actions or attempts or wishy-washy intentions. Instead, God’s love comes to us only because of what Christ has done in our place—living a perfect life for us and dying a horrible death in punishment for our sins.
Too good to be true? We might think that. So our heavenly Father repeats the Good News of his love again and again. Listen to these Scripture passages about God’s genuine love. Personalize them! Put your name into the verse. (After saying each verse, repeat it a few times, using the names of individuals in your audience.)
- I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 KJV
- Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38–39 KJV
- The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all. Psalm 145:8–9 KJV
God’s goodness to us—his love and grace—prompts us to action. When we begin to understand how much God loves us; when the reality of God’s eternal love for us begins to sink in—we cannot help but respond in words of worship and in actions of kindness toward others! (Read 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 4:19; and 2 Corinthians 5:14–15.)
God’s action in our lives prompts our reaction—a reaction of loving service toward others. Not only does Christ’s love compel us to serve, it also empowers our service: (Read John 15:5; Acts 1:8; and Philippians 1:6.)
We serve in Christ’s name and through his power. We do it to honor him and to share his love with those around us. So why, then, do we recognize faithful service? Why do we celebrate and honor dedicated Christian servants? We do so because God commands us to build one another up (Read Ephesians 4:29). We do it to support one another in remaining faithful to our various callings (Read 2 Thessalonians 1:11). We do it to encourage one another in the promise God has given to faithful servants: (Read Colossians 3:17, 23–24).
As you leave here today, we pray you will find strength for every task in the Lord. You can always tap into Christ’s rich storehouse of courage and strength as you open his Word and as you share his love with one another. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you continue to do. May God’s abundant love and power uplift and bring you joy today!
Well done, good and faithful servant! Well done!
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