What Are You Doing? :: By Nathele Graham

I remember the angst of my teenage years. The questions with no answers. “Why was I ever born?” “Why am I unlovable?” “Is there any purpose for my life?” The sad thing is, I was a Christian, but as I cried to my mother, her answers didn’t help. They were the truth, but I wanted more. She reassured me that she loved me, but even more so told me that God loved me and had a purpose for me. At 16, that just sounded like nice words with no meaning. Now, at age 70, I look back and see my mother’s wisdom. She was right.

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).

Each one of us fits into God’s plan, and God has a purpose for everyone. When life gets tough or lonely, remember that you are indeed “… fearfully and wonderfully made.” You aren’t an accident or a freak of nature; you certainly didn’t originate from pond scum or any form of evolution. God created mankind in His own image.

Jeremiah was a young man who had a calling from God. He felt inadequate and questioned God’s choice in choosing him as a prophet. God told him, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

What has God called you to do? Maybe a wise prophet like Jeremiah, or maybe a Godly witness to your community. It’s OK to question. Jeremiah did. “Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold I cannot speak for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:6-8).

Jeremiah did go where God sent him and spoke God’s words. That’s what we all need to do. We need to take God’s message to a lost world. Will they mock you and laugh at you? Possibly, but that shouldn’t stop you. Your mission is to obey God and leave the results up to Him. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).

Jesus said that to His disciples soon before He went to the cross. Thankfully, those men remembered His words and took the Gospel to the entire world. It’s only our human fear that stops us from sharing the Gospel.

What are you doing? Are you sitting back feeling pretty full of yourself because you’re saved and your neighbor isn’t? Quite often, we call to mind that precious promise in Ephesians “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Unfortunately, most Christians stop there. That’s called “one-verse theology.” Pick out a verse that suits you, and live by it. It’s true that we are saved by grace. We cannot do anything to save ourselves because Jesus Christ paid the price for our redemption. We can do nothing to earn it. We can show our gratitude to Him, though. Go back to your Bible and read on. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

You see, we are created to do good works even though we aren’t saved by those works. Grace is amazing, and it’s free. Yet, our gratitude should prompt us to live for Christ.

Jesus was God incarnate. His blood was pure and untainted by the sin that permeates our life. He had no sin of His own but willingly took the sin of the entire world upon Himself in order to give us the only way to live eternally with Him. That’s a lot that we have to be grateful for. Have you said, “Thank You”? Have you even tried to turn from your sin? “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

How do you go about becoming a living sacrifice? Start with Scripture. Learn God’s ways. Learn to discern the ways of God from the ways of the world, which is controlled by Satan. It’s a spiritual battle.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

The Holy Spirit is sealed inside of us from the moment we sincerely accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation. He will guide us if we allow it. “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

On our own, we can never be good enough to make it to Heaven. Only through the righteousness of Christ can we be good enough. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

We need to give our best to the Lord because we belong to Him. That’s what “peculiar” means. We need to ask Him to show us our sins and help us to live a life that pleases Him. His grace is a blessing, but He wants more from us and for us. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

The word “conversation” doesn’t mean the way you talk, although that is part of it. It’s from the Greek word “anastrophe” and means your manner of life, conduct, behavior, and deportment. The word “holy” is the Greek word “hagios” and doesn’t mean you run around with a halo and call yourself “saint.” God is holy and not a part of the worldly ways, and we are to be separated from the world, physically pure, morally blameless, and consecrated to God. We are to be like Him.

So, the question is, what are you doing? Are you resting peacefully in your salvation and not caring about others? Maybe you’re blending in with the crowd and not drawing any attention to the fact that you claim to be a Christian. As we look around at the world in which we live, we can see the moral decay of the entire world all around us. We need to be a light that shines in a dark place. Many people have never had anyone share the Gospel with them, and many others have rejected it. Christians need to wake up and understand that it’s up to us to share the Gospel. That means use words and speak to the lost.

I know too many who are ashamed to talk about Christ and believe the way to share is to do works and hope the recipient will understand the Gospel. Good works are beneficial, but putting a roof on a house never saved anybody. It’s the Gospel that has to be shared using words. Jesus gave the marching orders. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). If the Gospel is not shared, how can anybody hear the Good News of Jesus Christ?

Whatever you’re doing, be sure it’s directed by the Holy Spirit and that it glorifies God. If you’re doing all kinds of good things, but you take the credit, then your good works will be burned up like wood, hay, and stubble. Christians will face the judgment throne of Christ. It won’t be a judgment of “Heaven or Hell,” but ours will be a judgment of our works.

“Now if any man build upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

Our works won’t save us, but any works we do for our own glory will be burned up on the day of judgment. The things we’ve done for Christ will earn rewards which we will throw at Jesus’ feet out of humble gratitude for what He’s done for us. I want a crown so I can say, “Thank You, Jesus, for what You’ve done for me.”

I know I’m not doing enough, but I’m praying that I’ll hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit in my life. Are you listening for His voice, too?

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham


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All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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