“What have you done for me lately?” This was a phrase I often heard years ago in the car business. A salesman may have just sold a car and been going on about that fact with management who would then ask that question. They were doing it to remind the salesman to quit focusing on the task he has just completed and to start focusing on his need to get back out there and sell another car. This same question can be applied to the church and believers individually today. What have we done for Christ lately?
Our culture today lives by a different set of mantras. Phrases like, “What’s in it for me; If it feels good, do it; You can’t take it with you, and You only live once” are the national anthems of the lost and, unfortunately, many of the saved. Christ has called us to submit our bodies as living sacrifices…not conforming to the image of this world but being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). As such, what are we doing for Him?
Please don’t misunderstand me, we do not do good works to earn salvation with God. His Word clearly tells us that our salvation is based upon His grace alone. Read the words of Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” This is a tremendous passage assuring us of God’s redemption of mankind apart from anything we could hope to do; however, people forget to read verse 10 which states: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Did we get that? We are saved by the grace of God becoming the workmanship of Christ so that we can perform the good works which God prepared for us to do before we were even redeemed!
In the Church today, many people are content to attend week after week (more like once every 3 weeks or once a month) having their heads filled with the theology that the pastor pours in during the sermon. They leave only to fast from the things of God until the next Sunday. We wouldn’t dare eat only one meal a week and fast the rest! Why do we do so spiritually?
Likewise, we forget that we are to be reaching the lost and unchurched constantly for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus’ charge to the church is for us, His Bride, the Church, to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe His commandments. Why are we not doing that? We can’t even invite our neighbors, store clerks, hair dressers, co-workers, etc. to church or an in-home Bible study. We fail to spend time developing the personal disciplines (prayer, fasting, tithing, Bible study, serving) that help us grow in our relationship to Him. It seems that our freedom of religion in this country has morphed into a freedom from religion.
Let us remember that Jesus paid the price for our sinfulness once for all. He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He either meant that or He is a liar. If He is a liar, then He is not deserving of my praise; however, I fully believe He meant it when He said it is finished. There is no work I can add to Jesus’ payment for my sin on the cross. I am, however, obliged to obey His commandments. I am required to serve Him by serving others. We all are. We are all told to be the ambassadors of Christ in a world that is not our own (2 Corinthians 5:20). Peter tells us we are to be good stewards of the gifts God has given to us by using them to minister to others (1 Peter 4:10). Paul reminds us that we need to be diligent to maintain good works, as these things are good and profitable to men. They aren’t profitable to God; we are the ones who need the giftings and assistance of others. The Gospel frees us from our sinfulness to serve the God who saved us. We serve Him best when we seek to do His will. His will is that we should be telling others of the salvation found only in Christ. Let’s be intentional about making that something we constantly do for Him. After all, He did so much for us.