Lifelines: ‘Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord’
by By BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
Aug 30, 2013 | 735 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, I was invited to the press conference at Dollywood for the announcement made concerning the $300 million expansion planned for the next 10 years.

When I drove into the parking lot, I showed my invitation and was directed to the media parking lot. As I neared the check-in booth, I heard my name called with a “glad you could come” welcome. A young man then led me to the theater, through the crowd waiting outside and inside down the aisle past filled rows of seats to the reserved front rows, right in front of the stage where we were greeted by Dolly Parton herself and Gov. Bill Haslam.

I’ll have to say I felt honored to be there.

But, as I thought of that earthly event, I found myself thinking of a heavenly event that awaits. What a much greater honor it is to be invited to enter the presence of our Lord and Savior — the eternal God. Contrary to earthly honor, which is relished temporary, this ultimate celebration is humbling and lasts forever.

Can you relate to that experience? As we show the invitation, we hear “glad you could come” and we find ourselves ushered into the presence of our God. And we listen for those words we read in Matthew 25:21: “... Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

My dad used to say, “He can’t say ‘well done’ if you haven’t done well.” Alas, it is true.

Peter tells us (1 Peter 2:12) that our conversation (lifestyle or behavior) should be honest, and men, seeing our good works, would “glorify God.”

When dishonesty and deception are manifested by those claiming the name of Christ, it’s a hurtful thing — even tragic. There is an old saying, “Your actions speak so loud that no one can hear what you’re saying.” How true!

The lifestyle or conduct of a Christian determines the effectiveness of his Christian witness. His way of life tells everything about what’s in his heart — his priorities, his goals, beliefs and faith.

A Christian lifestyle should reflect the life and teachings of Christ. Conduct, according to James 1, is recognized by its standard. Governing principles of a Christian’s lifestyle include: patience, wisdom, teachableness, purity and obedience.

The writer of Hebrews admonished all those who call themselves by the name of Christ to be steadfast in godly living. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience ... Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering ... let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” (Hebrews 10:22-24).

James says that being a witness is not to argue and quarrel, but to have patience in teaching and in sincere talking about his faith. These are the factors of being a witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. These are the things which will grant us the joy of hearing Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”