I was reading a daily devotional this morning from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” at http://utmost.org/usefulness-or-relationship/ and he made some very good and truthful points concerning whether our relationship with our Father and Christ Jesus is more important than our apparent successes and achievements regarding our Christian works and activities.
The following excerpts are edited and emphasized by me.
He noted that if the latter was more important “then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived.” It is true….His ministry was an utter disaster and in ruin as “all” had left Him and ALL that everyone had hope for in Him turned out to be a seeming lie and illusion. In the eyes of the world, He had accomplished absolutely nothing good (except His apparent healings); but rather, only grief and sorrow for those who had believed in Him.
Mr. Chambers goes on to write:
“For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, NOT some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, NOT what we do for Him. ALL that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God.”
I often remember the example of Hannah given to us in Luke 2:36-38. She offered God her total attention and devotion night and day and never left the temple. She did NOT actively ‘save souls’ or have ANY apparent good works or achievements to be applauded before human eyes….none!
And yet, she received God’s blessed approval because of her personal relationship with Him….and nothing more.
We should NEVER feel discouraged by any apparent lack of good human works or successes in the Christan realm of our lives because the one main concern of God and of our Savior is for us to continually have that PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Them.
Of course, Christian ‘good works’ are to be applauded, and they will also be rewarded; HOWEVER, as indicated above, they are NOT the only true measure of a saint’s life, nor the most important.
Take care, in Him.