I still enjoy basketball though God has not allowed me to play it anymore. In fact, ever since the brain injury, just watching a full basketball game is a pretty big chore. So, when this video popped-up on my Facebook feed I was interested. It appeared to be a short clip of an NBA game featuring a dunk by an athlete I had never heard of before. Come to find out the player was actually recruited and signed by the Utah Jazz. Take a look…
This was very classy of the NBA and the Jazz. What a thrill for J.P. to get to do this! He is a cancer patient who was allowed to have a thrill of a lifetime. The little boy’s joy reminds me of the future when I will get to stand before Christ. I’m thinking of the Bema Seat when God Himself will judge every believers life’s work. The Bible says, that God will bring to light every action and thought that we ever did – the good and the bad. Of course, Christians will not be condemned for the bad works. Those are already forgiven by Christ’s work on the cross and will be burned without reward (I Corinthians 3:13-15). The good deeds, however, will be rewarded both by rewards and …. something else that is actually very amazing. Here is the passage:
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” – I Corinthians 4:5
So, God Himself will praise us! How can that be? After all, anything good in us is only because of Christ. On that day we will be praised for things that we really had NOTHING to do with.
Patience, love, perseverance and even true-joy is the Holy Spirit playing out Christ’s character in us (Gal. 5:22-25). When we witness, it is also a result of the Holy Spirit rehearsing God’s eternal plan through our mouths and lives. In the same manner, local church ministry is the Lord accomplishing HIS WILL (our sanctification) in HIS OWN BODY (the called out assembly) by means of HIS OWN words (the Holy Bible). Yet, though we had nothing to do with “our” own good works, the Lord will still give us the credit! Amazing.
Realizing these things will make the Bema seat humbling – no doubt! It will also be humbling to have all our actions brought to light and see how much was actually forgiven. So, it will be humbling, but I imagine it will also feel euphoric. Like the sweet boy in the video, perhaps we will feel an incredible joy because of receiving a true affirmation that we so long for! Very few people get to make a slam dunk in the NBA. Much less a short little boy. Can you imagine! Now, imagine the tall and strong omnipotent God telling us that we did good and giving us rewards even though we did absolutely nothing. Indeed, we are without strength talent and ability; yet, on the universe’s biggest stage our Heavenly Father will be giving us high fives all around (metaphorically speaking). It will be epic! Indeed, somehow ”...each ones praise will come from the Lord.”
Oh Lord, thank you for redeeming me and loving me. Thank you for Christ. Please change me and sanctify me. Help me to be rid of this sinful flesh along with its pleasures. May I be rid of everything in my life that will be useless in eternity. Instead, may your fruit be produced in me. May you allow me to be Christ-like in all I say, do and think. Help me to simply be well pleasing to You. Someday, may I hear you say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Then, I and all the redeemed will praise Christ for eternity. After all, it was Him all along.
PS – I can’t help but to think that perhaps there are those who stumbled upon this blog post who are not sure where they will go when they die. Is that you? Here is what the Bibles says:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
May I ask you, do you know for sure where you will go when you die? If there has never been that moment in your life when you realized you were a sinner and placed your faith in Christ, then I encourage you to place your faith in Christ. Take your faith off of whatever you may have tried to do to get to heaven, and place it on what Christ has already done.
The Bible says that we cannot get to heaven by being good. Ephesians 2:8 says, “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.”
Maybe you have more questions or doubts. If so, I would recommended reading the Bible. Maybe you are not even sure if the Bible is true!? That’s OK, I would encourage you to read the Bible anyway. The Bible will tell you much about your sin, the Savior and eternity. By the way, when you get into reading the Bible for the first time, the book of John is a great place to start.
Also, I would like to invite you to church. Of course, a church will not save you, but good churches are a place where the Bible is regularly and faithfully taught. If you don’t attend a good church, just ask! I or a friend who shared this post would love to invite you.
Bible-believing churches are made up of forgiven sinners. We try to please Jesus by what we say, do and think because we love HIm. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). In fact, the reason we shared this post with you is because we love you. Joy and forgiveness is so incredible that we can’t keep it to ourselves!
PPS – I love the Mario jingle in the video when they announce J.P. Gibson into the basketball game. Did you notice? How fun! My kids and I really enjoy playing Mario and know this song that plays at the end of the level when Mario leaps to the flagpole. Maybe this is what standing before Christ will be like for believers. The journey is hard and full of obstacles, but at the end we get to jump on the flagpole and see fireworks! Once we hit the flagpole the stages of this life will be done. Then the celebration of Christ begins.