Read: 1 Corinthians 3:5-15
Last Sunday, my husband and I watched "Hidden Figures", a movie about some very important Black women. One of these ladies who for decades remained relatively unknown was a scientist named Katherine Johnson.
In April 1961, the United States' space program received a wakeup call when Russia's Uri Gagarin became the first man in space. He orbited the earth one time. No wonder NASA worked tirelessly to change the trajectory of the space race, and the women portrayed in "Hidden Figures" were an integral part of NASA's being able to meet its goals. How wonderful it was when on February 20, 1962, Friendship 7 was successfully launched. John Glen orbited the earth three times and had a scary but successful re-entry. Yet, these women who had faced discrimination and difficulty received no recognition until, decades after their incredible work, they were lauded in a book that detailed their contributions. In 2015, Katherine Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then President Obama. She was then in her mid-90s. The honor, though it was a long time coming, was finally received. I wonder how many men or women have tirelessly done very important things behind the scenes with no recognition? Will we see movies about them or hear of the difference they made in countless lives, learning of the blessing they have been to the world only after they have already passed away? The answer is undoubtedly yes, and beyond that, other people receive commendations that they don't deserve. The world isn't equitable and fair.
Praise God! He has the wisdom, power and love to do things so differently than the world. He will treat His people with fairness. He has a totally righteous and good way of honoring each one who belongs to Him. It is true that the rewards and honors that we will receive will be given to us largely when we spend eternity with Him; however, none of us will ever be overlooked. Nothing large or small that we have done for Jesus will go unnoticed. How can He assess each one correctly? He knows our hearts, 1 Samuel 16:7. When we are trying to honor Him, not seeking man's praise, the Lord knows it, 1 Thessalonians 2:4. He knows if we do good things to keep up appearances or to gain man's approval, Matthew 6:1. Human beings can't look into one another's hearts, but God can, Proverbs 16:2. No wonder we aren't to judge one another or even ourselves. God will do that, 1 Corinthians 4:5, and each one will receive praise from the Savior.
We get a glimpse of God's knowledge of our hearts as we observe what He said about His servant David. Oh, David was so excited about building God a dwelling place, and Nathan the prophet spurred the king on. However, that wasn't God's plan for His monarch. Yet, how beautiful it is when God speaks about David's desire to build a temple. Though the king was not permitted to do this task, God spoke of his desire to honor Him as being good, 1 Kings 8:18. God knew that David's "want-to" was birthed out of an upright heart. So often, we are like David. We have a plan, something we want to do for the Savior. Then circumstances or weakness block us from accomplishing it. Yes, we understand that God is sovereign and could have given our desires wings. However, how sweet it is to know that even when He doesn't choose to do so, He takes note of the fact that we wanted to honor Him.
In 1 Corinthians 3:5-15, we are reminded that are motives are important to God. Do we accomplish what He gives us to do in order to honor Him. Isn't it good that God isn't asking us to succeed as the world defines success? So, if we speak truth to honor Jesus, God smiles with approval. What if no one ever listens? That is a sad thing, but we will enjoy the approval of God because we shared His love or truth in order to honor Him. Whether we pass out tracts or pass out food, the Lord knows if the goal is to bring Him Glory, 1 Corinthians 10:31.
In 1 Corinthians 15:58, we are reminded to stand firm in the Lord. We can do this while sheltered in place or while we are doing essential work. That same verse reminds us that nothing we do for the Savior will ever be in vain. He will not forget our work, and love, Hebrews 6:10.
Father, Thank You that none of Your children is a hidden figure. You see the smallest act done to honor You, Matthew 10:42.