He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Nike might be on to something with their famous “Just Do It” slogan. I used to think it was dumb, but I am starting to see the wisdom in repeating this, just do it.
I stopped eating sugar during the week. I am working out (hard) 6 days a week. I am eating vegetables I don’t love, and I am pushing myself daily to just do the hard things. It started with pursuing a passion I have toyed with for years but that challenges me. I decided that this was the year to just do it and go after it with all I have; put in the hard work, and see where it takes me. That one decision led me to several others that are good for me. Hard to do, but good. And the thing about hard work it that it is its own reward. After I have accomplished a hard task, I am elated. I may be tired, sweating, and stinky, but I am HAPPY!
I think Paul is telling us here in Romans this same thing, to just do it. Obedience to God is not always easy. It is far easier to be mad, not love, and disobey than it is to practice joy, forgiveness and obedience. We want to give in to the quick anger. We want to hold a grudge for those words that cut us and leave scars. We want to do what we want and not give to that charity or volunteer for that committee, but that is not what God calls us to. He calls us to account and “will render to every man according to his works.” I sure hope my works render me rewards and not wrath and fury.
How are your works? Are you working hard and constantly expanding the bounds of your love and obedience, or are you too often taking the easy road with your time and emotions? I know I have much work to do today, not just in my physical actions, but mostly in my thinking and in my responses. Every thought needs to be taken captive, every word needs to be well thought out, and I must work hard to always be obedient.
Father God, thank you that my works have nothing to do with my salvation. Thank you for your grace that saves me. Help me now to put my faith in action and with my obedience convey my love and gratitude for all you’ve done.