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Only God Knows…
"What a waste! What a useless, tragic life!" That was the first response we and others felt when we heard of our brother's death. His seemed to be such a senseless, empty death after a lifetime of zero accomplishments, drug addiction and poverty.
That is man's view of my brother's life.
But, is it God's?
In the Name of a Prophet
There is a very unique passage in Scripture that hints at something more. In fact, it may very well be that God views our lives from an entirely different perspective than we do. Let's look at this hopeful passage:
"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward" (Matthew 10:40-41, NASB).
From this passage we can ascertain that because Christ lives in His people, God sees anyone who accepts Christ's follower as having honored Jesus Himself. Not only is this a good thing for someone to do, but he or she will receive a reward for having treated Christ's representatives well.
Christians are ambassadors. Paul proclaims this when he says…"we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor 5:20-21, NKJV).
Surprisingly, of all the people in our immediate families my brother encouraged us most of all for eight, solid years! He is the reason we founded Remnant Report! Jeff read our articles, commented on them and asked insightful questions. Although we receive numerous inquiries nationwide, few in the family were as encouraging as he was.
A Prophet's Reward
It struck me that my brother will most likely receive rewards for his encouragement of us. It will not be because we are "worthy" or "great" people. Far from it. It will simply be because God honors Christ who lives in us. My brother honored Christ when he honored us. This is the Biblical pattern of encouraging one another - and this is what all Christians are commanded to do.
Furthermore, those rewards my brother receives for encouraging us may be equivalent to anything we may receive from the Lord for the small amount of work we have done. Simply for the fact that he gave us emotional support in our new ministry, asked us interesting questions, and told us how much he enjoyed or disagreed with this or that article. This speaks volumes about those who support another's ministry.
A Cup of Cold Water
What a gracious God we serve! Our God is eager to pay us back for the tiniest things we do for Him and each other! Even for giving just a cup of cold water to the least of His children who are thirsty (Matthew 10:42).
A wasted life? We shall see! We don't need lots of money, fame, education or worldly significance for God to pay us back for the kindness we extend to others.
Jeffrey Louis Mays, 1960-2010
Jeff was Valorie Emilio's brother and was instrumental in helping to found Remnant Report. Jeff contributed at least 40 questions including "Pets in Heaven," a favorite used by local veterinarians and a newspaper columnist to comfort bereaved famlilies and their children.
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