February 07, 2022

Be Careful What You Do

Revelation 20:11-15

Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

—  Revelation 20:15

This may be the scariest passage in all of Scripture. The dead, including you and me, will be judged according to what we have done.

What we do matters. Our actions reflect and have an influence on the person we will be. We are either becoming more like the person we are called to be in Christ, or we are following our sinful nature and wandering away from God toward certain destruction. Even if we say we love Christ but our actions show the opposite, we are denying the love of Christ within us. What we do is proof of who we are. As James 2:17 puts it, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

A song I learned as a child talks about this: “Oh, be careful little hands what you do./ Oh, be careful little hands what you do./ For the Father up above is looking down in love,/ so be careful little hands what you do.” Other verses remind little mouths to be careful what they say, and little feet to be careful where they go.

God’s record of our words and deeds places great responsibility on us. We need to ask, “Are we acting as obedient, loving believers, or as destructive lawbreakers?”

But because of God’s love in Christ, we need not despair. We can repent of our wrongdoing, ask forgiveness, and be assured that Jesus’ sacrifice pays the debt of all our sin.

O God, you know what we do. You care what we do. Help us always to do what’s right, showing your love and obeying your commands, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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