When it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? (Part 2)
When it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? (Part 2)
As we continue our spiritual journey together, it is essential to take a moment and reflect on the profound question: when it’s all been said and done, what truly matters? In Part One, we explored the story of the young rich man who seemingly had it all in the eyes of the world but lacked one crucial element: following Jesus. His encounter with Jesus revealed the importance of aligning his life with the will of God and prioritizing his relationship with Him above all else.
Now, as we proceed to Part two, we will explore three pivotal aspects that bear profound significance in the broader context of our lives. These key points offer valuable guidance as we assess our path and contemplate the depth of our dedication to following the teachings and example of Jesus.
1. Your life will be weighed on God’s scales: When it’s all been said and done, it’s important to know that the true measure of our lives will be determined by God’s divine scale. Every action taken and every moment lived will be judged, not according to earthly measures, but by God’s divine standard of justice and righteousness.
2. You will be accountable to the Master: When it’s all been said and done, the second thing to remember is that we will all be accountable to God. Each one of us will have to present a report before God about how we have used the talents and resources he entrusted us. What will your report be when we stand before God?
3. Nothing will matter more than keeping the faith: When it’s all been said and done, the third thing that holds the utmost significance is our ability to persevere in faith. Throughout our journey, we will face trials, persecutions, tribulations, and temptations. However, our steadfastness in keeping the faith will ultimately define the essence of our spiritual journey.
Join us as we embark on a deeper exploration of these reflections, unveiling the profound truths that shape our understanding of what holds the utmost significance when everything has been said and done. May this journey inspire and uplift us, guiding us to align our lives with God’s purpose, and enabling us to leave behind a legacy characterized by faith, love, and truth.
1. You will be weighed on God's scales
When it’s all been said and done, the first thing that matters the most is that we will have to go through the balance of God to determine whether or not our passage on earth has been successful in God’s sights.
Our earthly journey will face scrutiny, not by worldly standards, but by the unfailing measures of God’s sacred balance. Every action we’ve taken, the true intentions that guided us, and the condition of our hearts will be meticulously weighed on these heavenly scales. In that profound moment of judgment, worldly accomplishments and material possessions will mean nothing. The measure of our success won’t be determined by the appreciation we received or the riches we amassed, but by how closely our lives aligned with God’s purpose and will.
In the book of Daniel 5:1-27, the Bible recounts a significant event during the reign of King Belshazzar of Babylon. At this point in history, Babylon was a mighty empire known for its wealth, power, and splendor, and Belshazzar was ruling over this beautiful kingdom as co-regent while his father, King Nabonidus, was away on military campaigns.
One fateful night, Belshazzar hosted a grand feast for a thousand of his nobles, a lavish display of his opulence and authority. During the feast, he made a brazen and irreverent decision that would bring about his downfall. Belshazzar ordered the sacred vessels, which had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, to be brought to the banquet hall. In a show of arrogance and disrespect to the God of Israel, he and his guests drank wine from these holy vessels.
The handwriting on the wall...
As the festivities reached their height, a supernatural and eerie occurrence took place. A mysterious hand appeared and began writing on the wall of the palace. The king was utterly terrified by this divine message, and his countenance changed drastically.
Desperate for an interpretation of the writing on the wall, Belshazzar called for his wise men, astrologers, and magicians, offering them great rewards if they could decipher the message. However, none of them could understand the writing or provide an interpretation.
It was at this moment that the queen intervened and recommended Daniel to be brought before the king. She reminded them of Daniel’s extraordinary wisdom and insight into dreams and visions. Daniel, who had served in the Babylonian court during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, was now brought in before Belshazzar.
Upon seeing Daniel, the king promised him great rewards if he could interpret the writing. However, Daniel, unmoved by the king’s offers, declared that he would interpret the message and make known its meaning.
The words written on the wall were “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Daniel 5:25). And through divine revelation, Daniel provided the interpretation:
True to Daniel’s words, that very night, the Medes and Persians launched a surprise attack on Babylon. The city fell, and King Belshazzar was slain (Daniel 5:31-32), just as the divine message had foretold.
Belshazzar reigned as the king (president) over the mighty and prestigious nation of his time, much like the USA today. He was adorned with fame, power, and abundant riches, possessing all that one could desire. To the entire world and his own perception, he had seemingly achieved the pinnacle of success; it appeared that everything was said and done. Yet, when confronted with the divine scale of God’s judgment, a different reality emerged – he was found wanting (i.e. he fell short of meeting God’s standards). This divine measure exposed the shortcomings of his deeds, revealing that his worldly glory dimmed in comparison to the righteous standards set by the Almighty. The consequences of his actions are evident, particularly in using God’s sacred vessels to defile himself.
My dear brethren, this story stands as a powerful reminder for us all. We must resist the temptation of being swayed by our achievements, popularity, and worldly success. Regardless of the accolades we receive from people, our physical appearances, past accomplishments, or even the miracles we may have performed in service to God, what ultimately holds significance, when everything is said and done, is how we measure up on God’s scale of judgment
It doesn’t matter the most how much wealth you have accumulated here on earth. The greatest significance doesn’t lie in the accuracy of your prophecies during your time on earth. It doesn’t matter the most how many people you have healed or how many dead you have raised in your ministry. Even the number of gospel songs you have released doesn’t carry as much weight. What truly matters, when everything has been said and done, is how we measure up on God’s scale of righteousness. If God were to place you on His scale, just as He did with Belshazzar, what would the outcome be?
In the book of Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus warns that on the day of judgment, many will come before Him, proudly presenting their prophecies, miracles, and other works done in His name. Yet, to their surprise, He will declare, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). Jesus makes it clear that it is not merely the outward deeds that count, but the condition of the heart and the authenticity of one’s relationship with Him.
When our earthly journey comes to an end, it is not our accomplishments or outward displays of spirituality that hold the most weight. Rather, it is our relationship with God, our obedience to His commands, and our genuine love for Him and others that truly matter. It is how we align with God’s scale of righteousness and faithfulness that determines our eternal destiny.
What exactly is this "God's scale" we are referring to?
In the Bible, there are several elements that symbolize what we refer to as “God’s scale.” One of these elements is the Word of God, which acts as a compass and benchmark for evaluating our conduct and attitudes. The Word of God offers us a glimpse into God’s values and standards for our lives, and adhering to His Word becomes a pivotal factor in how we are assessed on God’s scale.
Additionally, God’s commandments provide a clear framework for assessing our alignment with His will. By following His commandments, we demonstrate our reverence for God and our commitment to living in harmony with His values.
However, the Lord has particularly revealed to me another profound dimension that complements the previous two—the significance of “Love.” Love, both towards God and our fellow beings, acts as a profound gauge of our spirituality and devotion. Love is the essence of God’s nature, and it becomes a powerful indicator of our relationship with Him and others. The extent to which we have demonstrated genuine love, compassion, and selflessness in our interactions reflects the weight we carry on God’s scale
In Matthew 22:34-40, the Bible presents a pivotal interaction between Jesus and the religious leaders of His time. Here, a Pharisee, well-versed in the Jewish law, tested Jesus by asking Him a question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36).
In His response, Jesus skillfully condensed the entire law and its commandments into two foundational principles: love for God and love for others. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Jesus highlighted the supreme importance of love in our relationship with God. Loving God with all our being—heart, soul, and mind—demonstrates our wholehearted devotion to Him. It encompasses our emotional, spiritual, and intellectual connection with the Creator. This love demands our complete surrender and allegiance to God, acknowledging Him as the center and source of our existence.
Equally significant is the command to love our neighbours as ourselves. Jesus elevated the value of loving others, teaching that we should treat them with the same care, compassion, and respect that we would desire for ourselves. This kind of selfless love extends beyond our family and friends, embracing even our enemies and those different from us.
This passage underscores the importance of love as a key criterion on God’s scale. It reminds us that our relationship with God and our interactions with others should be grounded in love. Our love for God is demonstrated through our worship, obedience, and commitment to Him and His Word. Simultaneously, our love for others is expressed through acts of kindness, forgiveness, and selflessness.
In our reference song, Don Moen beautifully captures the essence of what truly matters when it’s all been said and done. He sings, “When it’s all been said and done, all my treasures will mean nothing. Only what I’ve done for Love’s rewards will stand the test of time.”
These profound lyrics remind us that material possessions and earthly treasures hold no eternal value in the grand scheme of things. When we face the final assessment on God’s scale, it won’t be the abundance of our wealth or the accumulation of possessions that will determine our true worth.
Instead, what will truly matter is what we have done out of genuine love. Love, in its purest form, holds the power to transform lives, bring healing, reconcile relationships, and uplift the broken-hearted. It is through acts of love, fueled by a selfless and compassionate heart, that we leave a lasting impact on others and fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for our lives. Romans 13:8-10 provides further insight into the significance of love in our lives and its connection to fulfilling God’s commandments. In these verses, the apostle Paul addresses the believers in Rome, urging them to live in love and harmony with one another.
Paul writes, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). Here, Paul begins by urging believers to avoid debts except the debt of love. In essence, he is saying that while we may have financial or other obligations in this world, the one debt we should never cease to pay is the debt of love towards one another. When we genuinely love others, we have fulfilled the essence of God’s law.
He continues, “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Romans 13:9). Paul highlights that the various commandments given in the Old Testament, such as those against adultery, murder, stealing, and coveting, can all be encapsulated and fulfilled through the command to love our neighbors.
He further explains, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Love operates in a way that seeks the best for others and does not harm them. When we genuinely love our neighbors, we naturally refrain from actions that would cause them harm or infringe upon their rights. Love becomes the driving force behind our obedience to God’s commandments.
Again, in Matthew 24:12, Jesus is speaking about the signs of the end times and the events that will precede His second coming. He says, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
In this verse, Jesus warns that as the world approaches the end of the age, there will be a widespread increase in evil, immorality, and wickedness, ungodliness. People will turn away from God’s commands and live without regard for His moral principles. As a consequence of this pervasive disregard for righteousness, the love that once characterized many hearts will “grow cold.” This escalation of wickedness will have a profound impact on people’s hearts and attitudes, leading to a chilling effect on love.
As a result of this spiritual and moral decay, relationships may suffer, communities may fracture, and unity may be undermined. The lack of love will have a profound impact on how people treat one another, leading to conflicts, animosity, and division.
The phrase “the love of most will grow cold” reveals the spiritual and emotional state of individuals during that time. It signifies a decline in genuine love, compassion, and empathy. The influence of sin and the prevailing evil will cause hearts to become hardened and indifferent. People will become self-centered, focusing on their own desires and interests rather than caring for others.
The love that Jesus speaks of here is not limited to romantic love or familial affection but encompasses the broader concept of agape love, which is selfless, sacrificial, and rooted in God’s nature. It is the love that reflects God’s character and is expressed through compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and kindness.
As wickedness increases, this love will become scarce. It will be overshadowed by selfishness, hatred, and a lack of concern for others. The hearts of many will become calloused, leading to a breakdown in relationships, societal bonds, and a general disregard for the well-being of others.
In the face of these challenging times, Jesus urges His followers to stand firm in their faith, to keep their love burning brightly, and to continue living in obedience to God’s commandments (Word). He encourages them not to be overcome by the increasing lawlessness but to let their love shine as a powerful witness to the world.
Genuine love is vital...
My brothers and sisters, love is the vital factor that allows us to carry significant weight on God’s scale. Without love, humanity has witnessed horrendous acts of killing, exploitation, and manipulation.
You will know that there is a deficiency in the love of God within you, when:
- You hold grudges and refuse to forgive, harboring resentment in your heart.
- You lack patience and kindness towards others
- You disregard the needs and well-being of others, prioritizing your own desires.
- You manipulate or exploit others for personal gain.
- You remind your brother of the wrong he caused you two weeks ago after you have forgiven him
- You sit together with your siblings to gossip about your own blood brother or sister or speak ill of them behind their backs.
- You show disrespect and contempt towards those who are different from you, fostering division and animosity.
- You, being a pastor or prophet, cause division or separation in a family for personal gain.
- You, being a mother, curse your own children.
- You, being a husband, engage in physical abuse towards your wife, the one you are supposed to be united with.
- You, being a wife, refuse to submit to your husband.
- You engage in dishonesty and deceit to achieve your goals.
In 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, the apostle Paul highlights the supreme importance of love in all aspects of our lives. He emphasizes that even if we possess remarkable abilities, knowledge, or accomplishments, such as speaking in the tongues of men or of angels, prophesying with great insight, understanding all mysteries, and having faith that can move mountains, without love, all these things are vain.
Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 13 is clear: love is the foundation of our faith and actions. It is the guiding force that should govern our interactions with others and the driving motivation behind everything we do. Love is patient and kind, not envious or boastful. It does not dishonor others or seek self-gratification. Love is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. It rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres through challenges. Love never fails; it endures beyond everything else.
When love truly resides within us and guides our thoughts, words, and actions, we become a reflection of God’s love and fulfill the greatest commandment—to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
When it’s all been said and done, God will not measure our worth based on our wealth, accomplishments, or even our spiritual gifts. Instead, He will weigh our hearts on the scale of love. Our capacity to love God and our neighbors will be the ultimate measure of our lives. Did we allow love to permeate our thoughts, words, and actions? Did we extend kindness, forgiveness, and compassion to others? Did we love unconditionally, forgive readily, and extend compassion to those in need? Did we prioritize the well-being of others and seek unity rather than division? These are the questions that will truly matter in the end.
Therefore, let us strive to cultivate a heart overflowing with love, for in doing so, we align ourselves with God’s divine purpose and fulfill the greatest commandment. May the Spirit of God help us nurture and preserve the love that stems from God’s nature within us, even in the face of adversity, so that we may continue to shine as beacons of light and hope in a dark and love-deficient world.
End part two
We’ve now come to the end of part 2 of our sermon, “When It’s All Been Said and Done.” In this part, we learned that the most important measure of our lives is God’s love. In part 3, we will unravel yet another crucial facet that holds immense importance when all is said and done: “Being Accountable to God.” To go back to part 1 or continue with part 3, just click the links below.