I have no special gifts, and I mess up all the time. Does God really need me?
On the Last Day, Jesus will say to us, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:34-36).
The things God cherishes
Do not miss the kinds of things Jesus noticed. He doesn’t say, “For you gave millions of dollars to the poor and you started a charity and you volunteered 40 hours a week at church.” No, he points to providing food, giving drink, and helping the sick. We often do these things for our families. These acts are so ordinary that we think them mundane, but there is nothing mundane in the service of Christians.
Our Christian lives do not go unnoticed by our Savior. Whatever we do as Christians matters!
The things God removes
Now notice what’s missing from Jesus’ list on the Last Day: your sin. For the believer, all the imperfections in those actions have been washed away! All that remains is the good done out of love for Jesus.
Sadly, sin even hides in every good work we do. In speaking of justifying ourselves before God, Isaiah the prophet said, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Even the good things we do are not perfect on their own. But because Jesus has removed the sin, our works done out of love for Jesus are beautiful to him.
When kids are young, they go through the stage of drawing people with stick legs and arms. Parents consider those drawings precious. But how good are they, really? Yet, when presented with the picture, every parent will say, “It’s beautiful!” Are they lying? Not at all. The picture was drawn out of love. The only gallery that matters is the one on the front of the refrigerator.
The same is true for our Father in heaven. When we ask on the Last Day, “When did we do all of those things for you? We really didn’t do anything special,” we will hear Jesus respond, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
The things God accomplishes
You might ask, “Why does God even need me?” Just remember he chooses to use you in whatever callings you find yourself to do his great work. Philippians 1:4-6 says, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
There is a story about the great painter Rembrandt. It’s thought that he wasn’t the primary painter of some of the works attributed to him. Instead, his apprentices would paint them. Then Rembrandt would come with his genius and add this and tweak that and turn it into a great work. One of his assistants asked, “Why do you even need me?” He apparently answered, “Because I treasure your work, and I can make it great.” Know that your Savior treasures your work, and he can make it great!
Have a question, ask it here!
Author: David Scharf
Volume 109, Number 11
Issue: November 2022
- Q&A: Why is Pontius Pilate immortalized in our creeds?
- Q&A: How does remembering my baptism help with the guilt I carry?
- Q&A: Do parts of the Bible teach works righteousness?
- Q&A: How can I overcome my struggle with lust and pornography?
- Q&A: How should I help my child struggling with same-sex attraction?
- Q&A: Should Christians pray to saints?
- Q&A: Is anger sinful?
- Q&A: How can parents encourage adult children who wander from the faith?
- Q&A: Does the doxology belong in the Lord’s Prayer?
- Q&A: Is God fair?
- Q&A: When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” what are we praying for?
- Q&A: How can I better manage what God has given me this year so that I glorify him?
- Q&A: What are ways to glorify God besides singing in church?
- Q&A: I have no special gifts, and I mess up all the time. Does God really need me?
- Q&A: How do I overcome the feeling that my life has no purpose and I don’t make a difference?
- Q&A: My friend died and was not a professing Christian. What do I say to the family?
- Q&A: How can my mother and I forgive my father for being unfaithful and causing my parents to divorce?
- Q&A: Why were demon possession, gifts of healing, and gifts of tongues more prevalent in biblical times?
- Q&A: Is Christianity the only religion that gives the certainty of heaven?
- Q&A: If people go to hell, isn’t it their fault because God gave them free will and they rejected him?
- Q&A: Why are the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension important for the disciples and for us?
- Q&A: Can you explain Jesus’ words to the wailing women he met on his way to be crucified?
- Q&A: What if spouses don’t “love” each other anymore?
- Q&A: Is it wrong to have a cross with Jesus’ body on it?
- Q&A: Is our time of grace really unchangeable?
- Q&A: I know that we are saved by grace apart from works, but how can it be that easy?
- Q&A: Are there degrees of glory in heaven as a reward for good works?
- Q&A: Do Lutherans take the Bible literally and teach millennialism?
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible?
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us?
- Q&A: Why does it seem like Christianity is so negative?
- Q&A: How can I explain how Jesus’ resurrection is possible and if the Bible is reliable?
- Q&A: Is it okay to live together if we are planning to get married?
- Q&A: How is the Bible God’s Word?
- Q&A: Were we “created to make a difference”?
- Q&A: Am I being judgmental if I point out someone’s sin?
- Q&A: Do I need to read the Bible to have a relationship with God?
- Q&A: Can a Christian vote for a political candidate who supports abortion?
- Q&A: Does God really care?
- Q&A: Does it really matter how God made the world?
- Q&A: Does God send people to hell?
- Q&A: Is death natural?
- Q&A: How can I forgive and forget?
- Q&A: Does God help those who help themselves?
- Q&A: How can we say that the Old Testament God is the same as the New Testament God?
- Q&A: Is Jesus the only way to get to heaven?
- Q&A: Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
- Light for our path: Does God hate us?
- Light for our path: What kind of comfort can you give someone when a loved one commits suicide?
- Light for our path: What does a submissive wife in a Christian marriage look like?
- Light for our path: Is it a sin to want to die from a terminal illness?
- Light for our path: What advice can you give about applauding in church?
- Light for our path: Can you please explain Matthew 5:20?
- Light for our path: What is karma?
- Light for our path: Can the devil personally be tempting me and a lot of other people at exactly the same time?
- Light for our path: Does the word Easter refer to Ishtar, the Babylonian fertility goddess?
- Light for our path: What role does emotion play in contrition?
- Light for our path: What does the white stone in Revelation 2:17 mean?
- Light for our path: Is the cross symbol now anti-Christian?
- Light for our path: Were Joseph and Mary engaged or married when Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy?