I usually don’t talk about my dreams, because rarely do I ever remember them, and even rarer, do they make any sense, even to me. But, I had a dream the other night. I died and went to Heaven, and there was an angel waiting for me there. As I stood in line, in front of me was a man wearing blue jeans, a wild shirt, and tattoos all over his body. As we approached the angel, it asked him, “Who are you, and what do you do?”
The man in front of me responded, “My name is Joe Kingman, and I am a cab driver in New York City.” With that, the angle ran its figure through the Book of Life, came to Joe’s name, and then awarded him a silk robe and a golden staff and told him, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into Heaven.”
Then came my turn. Nervously, I stepped forward, but based on what I had just seen, I was excited to see the welcome party that was about to break out for me. I told the angel, “My name is Josh Book, and I am the minister of the Sciotoville Christian Church.” The angel ran its finger down the list in the Book of Life, and sure enough, there was my name. The angel then awarded me a cotton robe and a wooden staff and told me, “Good try. Go ahead and enter into Heaven.”
Now, I have to admit, I was a little puzzled by the scene. And I know, I know, you’re not supposed to question God. But I thought to myself, “This must be a case of mistaken identity. Surely I deserved better than this. After all I had done for God, this is the thanks I get. I deserve better, surely.” I didn’t quit understand, and so I asked why the cab driver got silk and gold, and I got cotton and wood.
The angel looked me dead in the eye, let out a little chuckle, and said, “Well…, up here we reward based on results. When you preached, people slept, and when he drove, people prayed.”
Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t do that? We live in a world that screams, “Give me what’s mine. I deserve this, so give it here.” But aren’t you glad God doesn’t listen to us and give us what we “deserve?”
Romans 3:23 assures us that, “… all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That’s the results of our lives. And if we want to be awarded based on what we deserve, then Romans 6:23 reveals what we deserve. “For the wages of sin is death…” Now do you still want what you deserve? Do you really want what’s coming to you? Of course not. But thankfully that very same verse goes on to say, “For the wages of sin is death, BUT… the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Or what about Psalm chapter 103? It tells us that God is slow to anger, and abounding in love, and then in verse 10 we read, “He (referring to God) does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
Understand this, we “deserve” death. But because God loved us, Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of His death, we get life. So aren’t you glad that God doesn’t give us what we deserve?