Quite a few years ago, a visiting speaker in church told us a story which really impacted me. It was about a man, known to his church, who had a near-death experience during a heart attack and had been allowed a brief visit to heaven. The man who died for a few minutes was a Christian builder and he was very interested in all the mansions in heaven. He was amazed to see that even the foundations were made of precious stones and jewels (Rev 21:19). He noticed that some mansions were bigger and grander than others, but each home or mansion was for somebody (John 14:2). So he asked the angel who was showing him around what determined who got which mansion. What factors made the difference as to who got which?
The angel looked at him as if he was a bit stupid. “You must know that!” he said. “No”, the man said, “I don’t know. Please tell me.” The angel replied, “It’s very simple. It depends on faithfulness. The biggest mansions go to those who have been the most faithful in what the Lord asked them to do.”
Stories like that are amazing, but we should always ask an important question - does that line up with Scripture? Yes, I think it does. Look at today’s verse for example. It comes from Matthew 25, where Jesus told a story about the kingdom of heaven and said that the master will come back and ask his servants to account for how they used the resources he gave them (resources can be money, time, health and opportunities).
At the end, he doesn’t say “well done, good and successful servant”, even though we may think that the servant described was successful (he multiplied what he’d been given). The feature of the good servant that Jesus approves is that he was faithful. He did what the master asked him to do. He was faithful even when he was only given a few things (and someone else was given more than him). Faithfulness is the key. Not whether other people recognise us. Not whether we are successful. Just faithfulness to what God asks us to do.
In Ephesians 5:10 Paul says: find out what pleases the Lord. If we do that, and if we’re faithful to do those things that please the Lord, then we can look forward to hearing those encouraging words from Jesus – “Well done! You’ve been faithful…come and share my happiness”.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You will show me today what pleases You, and that You’ll help me to be faithful in it. Thank You for allowing me the privilege of serving You, Lord and Creator of the whole world. May I be a good and faithful servant while I’m here on earth. Thank You for promising to reward me in Your heavenly kingdom. I believe You. Amen.