by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever been busy and in your communication with someone, needed them to get to the bottom line? The bottom line is simply the nudge for the need to get to the point that needs to be made.
We see the Bible refer to a bottom line statement in Ecclesiastes 12:11-14 (NLT). It reads like this: “A wise teacher’s words spur students to action and emphasize important truths. The collected sayings of the wise are like guidance from a shepherd. But, my child, be warned: There is no end of books written to hold opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever and become very exhausting! Here is my final conclusion: (THE BOTTOM LINE) Fear God and obey His commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
The bottom line is to “Fear (reverence) God and obey His commands.” We’ve been told that this is our duty and our bottom line. We have been told that one day, everything we do—in secret or in public will be measured and judged by God good or bad.
Our sins our forgiven and washed away by the blood of Jesus. They won’t condemn us. But everything we do in this life will be measured in terms of whether we had a right heart-motivation in the good things we did in life. This will happen at the believer’s judgment—the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NLT2) “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” That is where all we do will be judged. We see more about this in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NLT) “… Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.” These verses are referring to our good works that were not motivated for right reasons for from a pure heart. They will be burned up!
When we are united with Jesus, we won’t feel fear or condemnation. We’ll experience joy unspeakable. But our lives (not the sin, but the good we’ve done) will be judged and rewarded, and those rewards will carry into our eternity with the Lord.
So the bottom line is to walk through life with a reverence for God and His ways! This is our duty. As a Christian, do you think you are doing that? Do you think you are reverencing the Lord and obeying His ways? In Colossians Chapter 3, the Apostle Paul had given us the bottom line for living a moral and godly life. These guidelines direct our thinking and the Holy Spirit strengthens us as we meditate and pray for God’s grace and help so that we do live from a pure heart of love toward God and people and so that we won’t forfeit our rewards in Heaven.
Colossians 3:5-16 (NLT) “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use His words to teach and counsel each other.”
The Christian life is not a show to live out before others, pretending to be one way and living another. That’s what the hypocrites who Jesus judged, did! He called them out for their fake life. God is looking for sincere love and pure motivation! God sees it all. He gives you time to work it out. He gives you His grace and the Holy Spirit to embrace His word so that you life right and serve God and others with a pure motivation.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV) says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” These verses are saying, if you seem to be super spiritual but you don’t have love for people, and you do things for wrong motives—for show instead of a pure heart, then all the good you did and effort you put forth will have been worth nothing. They will hold no reward for you in Heaven.
So the point today is this: center your life around God. Don’t make Him an add-on obligation to your life. Love and reverence God. Know your life is short in the framework of eternity. Love and serve God and others with a pure heart and enjoy this life in Christ that He has given you. Embrace it in sincerity! Feel it! Make it count! And because you do, when you get to the judgement seat of Christ, every second of your life in Him will have counted for something and rewarded you for eternity!
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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