"I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My name."
- Revelation 3:8 NIV
In Chapter 3 of the Book of Revelation, Jesus speaks to the Church in Philadelphia. He tells them, "I know your deeds," and then He goes on to say that He is going to reward them with open doors. There's an important principle here that we shouldn't miss. The quality of our service to the Lord will help determine how many opportunities and blessings we will receive from Him. Through this passage, and other parts of the Bible, we can learn what traits God values most in His servants.
First, we must serve God with loyalty. The apostle Paul wrote: "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV) No matter what season of your life you are in right now, God has entrusted you with certain gifts, talents, and resources that He expects you to use wisely. He has also entrusted you with certain people that He has put in your circle of influence, and He requires you to have a positive impact on their lives. You can prove yourself faithful by allowing Jesus to live His life through you. It doesn't matter if you are a stay-at-home mother, a high-powered executive, or a bus driver--you can make an eternal difference in people's lives if you will faithfully follow God's will and ways. Scripture says: "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV) God is constantly looking for people to bless and reward, often with greater opportunities and promotions. We all want to hear from the Master--"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things"--and loyalty will pave the way for us. (Matthew 25:23 NIV)
Secondly, we must serve the Lord with humility. The Bible says: "Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]." (James 4:10 AMP) We all want our lives to count for something. It's natural for us to want to make an impact on our world. But we get into trouble when we try to do that apart from God. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to devise our own plans, and then ask the Lord to bless them. Instead, we should remind ourselves that God has His own plans for us in mind--and they're already blessed. As we humble ourselves before Him, and ask Him to guide our every step, He will lead us to the opportunities and open doors that He has prepared ahead of time. Scripture says: "Give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits." (Romans 12:16 AMP) Sometimes, the Lord will assign us jobs that are hard on our flesh. We may have to answer to people we don't particularly like. And there may be times when the Lord will expect us to serve Him without pay. Our jobs may not be glamorous in the eyes of the world, but if we remain humble and faithful, God will reward us in unexpected and extraordinary ways.
Thirdly, we need to serve the Lord with diligence. A good definition of the word "diligence" is, "Persevering determination to perform a task." In other words, we keep doing what God has called us to do, until He says we can quit. Proverbs says: "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." (Proverbs 13:4 NIV) There are too many believers "getting nothing" from their efforts, because they don't stick with them long enough to reap their full reward. They become bored with their God-given tasks, or they become discouraged when they get little thanks or recognition, and their desires are never "fully satisfied," as a result. But look what Scripture promises: "Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36 AMP) The Lord is looking for people who will serve Him with loyalty, humility, and diligence, so that He can bless them and use them in extraordinary ways. Let's you and I be those people today.
Prayer: Lord, Your Word says that no matter what kind of work I am doing, I'm actually working for You, and not for men. (Ephesians 6:7) Give me a servant's heart, so that I may serve You with faithful obedience all the rest of my days. Thank You that as I position myself to receive greater opportunities and rewards from You, I will move ever closer to my divine destiny and purpose
- J. M. Farro