As I once left a restaurant, the cashier and part owner asked how “the pastor” was feeling. I replied: “Fine. The Lord has been very good to me.”
With this she began to tell how good the Lord had been to her. She had come to America from Greece and had raised a family and prospered here until now, with her family, she owned and operated a good-sized restaurant. “So”, she said, “the Lord has been good to me”, and after a moment’s hesitation, “but then, I’ve been good to Him too!”
Imagine! How He needed her! It is sad, but this is the low conception of God held by many religious, but unsaved people. They entertain the strange notion that if they put a few dollars into the Church, God ought to bless them — or the still more foolish notion that if they are good to others, He ought to be good to them!
But He owes us nothing just because we may have been good to others! And even if we sought only to please Him, this would not make Him our debtor. He does not need us. There is nothing we can do to enrich Him. This is why Ephesians 2:8-10 declares that salvation is “not of yourselves”, and “not of works, lest any man should boast”.
No, we cannot gain His favor by “being good to Him”. Yet, it is true that His children will be rewarded for faithfulness to Him. This is not a dispensational matter; it is a promise that God has always held out to His people (Dan.12:3; Matt. 25:21; ICor.4:5; IThes.2:19; IITim.4:7,8; IPet.5:1). But such rewards are “rewards of grace”.
Let us who know Him, then, seek above all else to be faithful in our service to Him, not to gain acceptance with God, for He has already “made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph.1:6), but rather out of love and gratitude to Him who gave Himself for us.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.