When God Says Thanks! (Ch. 10, pages 131-144)
There is tremendous joy in my heart, knowing that God cares enough for his people to give them divine guidance and direction. I also feel a profound responsibility to bring to the world the truths which God has placed upon my heart. These are biblical facts which many of us know, but to have God articulate them so clearly and call our attention to them by angelic messengers and other supernatural means, adds an extra weight!
These experiences the Lord has allowed me to have a part in and to share have not been just empty dreams or imaginations. Every time God has dealt with me, he has brought the Word of God to me with great force and supporting power.
On his first visit to me, this angel spoke of three main areas. The first was God's character, what he is really like, the desires of his heart toward people, and the things that are important to God. The second was our position in God, and third, he wanted me to remind you of the preparation for that great judgment day!
The first area is summarized in the chapter on 'Good News For You and Your Family!
The second area is the position from which God sees us, and this is covered in the chapter on the 'Atonement.' I asked him, "Where in the Bible can I actually see this at work?" and God said, "I have had it recorded. You can read it in Numbers" (Numbers 23:21), and he told me exactly what it meant. He let me know that the sacrifice that Israel had put their trust in, was a type of the great sacrifice of Christ in which we put our faith, and that it made them accepted by God between the yearly sacrifices.
I had read through the Bible many times and had never seen this beautiful truth of God, stating that he looks at man from a different level than man himself does. God's eyeview is on the top side of this covering; man's eyeview is on the underside.
This has been referred to practically every time God has dealt with me. God wants us to know our position in him. As we desire to live for him, and we WANT him as our Lord, the blood covering is there! He sees us through the covering as the flowers and trees which he has planted himself. He sees us like Christ because we are accepted in him, all wrapped up and covered in his love. With our faith in him, he wants us to know this position. He wants us to know that the day is coming which the Apostle Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 1:12 where he said, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." This will be a day of beauty and a day of reward!
God wants us to be aware of what is important to him. When we know how much he cares about certain things, then we will want to care about them. He says, "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke"? (Isaiah 58:6-7).
God wants us to be interested in the things he is interested in, and that is people! "Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?" God is giving us an inside picture of his heart. He is telling us about the things that are REALLY important!
He said people are doing a lot of things that are "good" things, necessary things, things of this life, and things that need to be done. They have a real value while in this life, so they are not worthless. They have a reason here, but they are not all things which are going to remain. He mentioned specifically certain books which people spend all their time writing, books which may have value, but do not meet the needs of people.
Singing performances, unless directed to the need of a life, are temporary and will not go on. Even sermons that are preached which can be giving out information, may be preached to a CROWD of people, but not to the NEED of the people! These may help to guide and motivate people and steer them in a certain direction, but they will not be something that actually remains.
Buildings have a great purpose, but God doesn't need buildings. He has buildings which put those in this old world to shame.
He spoke about 'giving' campaigns. He said if you give for credit, you get your reward here, but not in heaven. Often an individual's missionary vision has been hurt because of a desire for credit or recognition. It is all right if people have to be motivated, but this kind of giving is not going down in God's book. He wants giving from the heart! These are the exact words the angel used: "These things may have satisfying reward in this life, and they are important, but they will not remain."
"What will remain?" I questioned. He referred to Philippians 4:17-18 where Paul told them to bring a gift out of their want. It wasn't that he desired that they bring a gift to him, but as he said, "I desire fruit that many abound to your account." So, when this book is open, it will show that these people did something special, not for reward here, but for the Lord.
In John 15:16, Jesus' prayer was that the fruit of your life should remain. God wants us to have something that is in the book forever, because he loves us so very much!
I'm sure this ministering angel has been with me many times before. While I was in the hospital many years ago, I heard a voice while I was very, very sick. The message that came to me almost every day was: "Strengthen those things that remain." Today he is talking about the same thing. He wants us to strengthen those things that last forever.
People are special to God. If you want to know where God lives on this earth, look where people are and you will find his address because God lives where people are hurting. He wants to help them. He involves himself with the needs of people. It is when we get down on the level of human need and take a person into our hearts and actually meet their need that something is written down in our book in heaven.
Other things may help, but the fruit he wants is your personal love, your personal help, and your personal concern. When you see an individual hurting and your own heart actually hurts with them, this is when you care!
Recently, I asked the children in my church, "What is Jesus like?" Look at their answers:
"Jesus is somebody who loves to help you."
"If you are hungry, he will provide food."
"If you are sick, he wants you well!"
"He loves you!"
This is the way little children understand the message from God. God's desire is that we be like Jesus and we will always find him moving in the areas of human need.
The angel spoke about personal involvement with our own family - with our own flesh and blood. Not what we DO for them, but what we ARE to them. What they mean to us! Some members of our own family may have been real "stinkers." They may have taken advantage of us. They may have lied to us, and we said, "I'm writing that person off." God doesn't want us to hurt that person; he wants our heart to go out and love them and help them in every way we possibly can. That is God's nature.
This message applies not only to our own family, but to the family of God. In Galatians 6:10, it is written that God desires for us to do good to all men, especially to the household of God. He wants us to represent Jesus and to be like him. This is what is recorded in our heavenly account. We can help that person who is lonely! We can help that person who is hurting! We can help that person who may be filled with frustration! Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me" (Matthew 25:40). These are the deeds which are written in our book.
The angel said it was more important to be like Jesus in meeting the area of a person's need, than to be witnessing to people about salvation. That really surprised me. We have become so conditioned to the idea that we aren't doing anything for God unless we are able to get out and witness and to skillfully use the Word. But this angel said, "When you are helping people, you become a living word to them which says, 'I care and God cares for you!'" That doesn't mean we exalt ourselves as Jesus; it simply means Jesus is living his life through us. We become a word that is alive to them, not a dead, printed word, but a living word. This is something we can do, and it is more important than witnessing, quoting scripture or teaching. Instead of witnessing, we BECOME a witness of what Jesus is really like.
This is something everyone can do! We don't have to have a special talent to lay up treasure in heaven. Any Christian can make a deposit in the bank of heaven every day, because there are people who need help every day! When we care for them, we are bringing the heart of God to them in their place of need. When we do this for God, something goes into our account!
While we are waiting for the coming of Jesus, let's get out and get our book full, not doing it for that specific reason, but doing it because that is the way God's heart beats for people. When we are close to him, we will feel the same way. Things which are done because of his love and his Spirit in us are placed in our account in the archives of heaven!
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus taught that when we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and do a service to people, we are doing this as unto him. This includes a visit to a rest home to cheer up a person who is depressed, or caring for a little child whose mother is so weary she can hardly stand. When we have been tired ourselves, but have said, "I want to share this load with you," and haven't looked for a reward, we are doing this as unto Jesus. These deeds are recorded in the book!
We will be doing what Jesus did when we show kindness to individuals by helping them feel their worth when they have been beaten down and are depressed, when their self-worth and their self-esteem has been crushed.
God cares for people, and the only way people will know that he cares is through you and me. That is why it is so important for us to know what he is like. God said not to glory in wealth, or wisdom, or might, or other things of this world, but to glory in this, that you know God, that he is a God of justice and a God filled with kindness.
People often get their thinking confused. They think the only things you do for God are what you do in a spiritual way. When we minister, it might be hard to relate to a person's spirit, but it's not hard to relate to their physical needs, their bodies and their emotions. Jesus always ministered to both spiritual and physical needs.
For example, one day a man came into my office who was involved in homosexuality, a way of life that I hate. I had a real battle with myself. He didn't want prayer and he wouldn't even admit his need for deliverance from homosexuality, but he was hungry. He hadn't had any food for a while. I had to ask myself, "What would Jesus do?" I knew that Jesus would separate the man from his sin, so I did the same, and in peeling away the vileness, I found the signature of God. This man was hungry!
Jesus said, "If your enemy hungers, give him to eat." I have to confess I had a hard time because I thought about people who deserved food more than he did, so I told him, "I know what your life is. You cannot hide it, but you are hungry, and God cares about that, and I care." Then I provided food for him.
I didn't do it to get something recorded, but I know that act of kindness is in God's book. I wasn't doing it for that reason, but when you feel the working of the Spirit in your heart, he gives you love for people, and that is your motive. For "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Galatians 5:22). All of these are traits of God which reach out to people.
I wish I had known a long time ago how God feels about people and how much he loves them. When Jesus walked on this earth, he was searching for people in need, and he is still looking for them. He has multitudes of emissaries walking around, and is saying to them, "I want you to get out there where the need is." When we have lovingly prepared a meal for someone who has been sick, and have brightened up their day by caring, something is being written down in that book.
Caring for those who are not in the family of God is also important. We care when we help the fatherless and the widows who don't know which way to turn because they can't find direction. God said through this angel, "This is pure religion and it is undefiled. This is what will last and be recorded in the archives of heaven."
I remember some of those hell, fire and brimstone evangelistic sermons that used to make straight hair curl, trying to scare people into heaven. I heard one man say, "God takes all the sins that he is holding in reserve against you and holds them over your head to keep you going straight!" Then he would thunder on, "You're going to have to face every sin because they are all written down in your book and held in reserve. On the day of judgment, God is going to take a big screen and projector and show all your sins to the world, including your family and friends." Then he said, "The wrongs that you did before you were saved are all forgiven, but everything you do after you are saved is kept in reserve to be held against you." People really squirmed when they heard a message like that, and it seemingly moved some people toward God, but praise God, it isn't true!
As the angel gave me this message, he said that this is in conflict and contrary to the character of God. When you confess your sin, he destroys it, wipes it out, and says he will never, never remember it again. If you have been deceived into believing that on that glorious day of judgment a lot of condemnation is going to be brought against you, I have good news for you! It simply will not happen that way. It's going to be a BEAUTIFUL day when, instead of judgmental condemnation, God says, "THANKS!"
Christ is our foundation. Nothing can move him. Your faith and trust in Jesus puts you on a foundation that can never be destroyed. God tells us that all we have done which is like Jesus will be permanent and lasting.
Luke said (Luke 3:17) that God is going to separate the chaff from the wheat on that day. He is looking for the kernel that is going to last! The angel actually made the statement that "God is not interested in the chaff." He has no use for it; he is removing it from your life so only that which is perfect, that which is like Jesus, will remain. All he is interested in is what is inside of that chaff - he wants that little kernel and is going to remove the shell and find the life inside that will last forever! Hallelujah!
In 1 Corinthians 3:12, the apostle Paul made reference to the foundation that is going to last forever: "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work will be made manifest (exposed): for the day shall declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." He refers to the removal and burning of the chaff, revealing that which will last forever.
The things of this life are going to pass away on that great judgment day, but to the believer it will be a time of great reward where God brings praise to his people. There is not going to be a person present at this believers' judgment who will hear one harsh word of condemnation, because Jesus has already paid our penalty through his death.
As the light of heaven begins to glow before us, and the things of this earth begin to melt and fall away, there is going to emerge a body of believers from all different levels of spiritual growth and spiritual life. All of the things which are transitory are going to be gone, and those who have pleased God will stand on that firm foundation in the eyes of God!
This day is special to God. It is a day that he has looked forward to for a long time. This is the day Paul talked about when he said he knew he could trust God to keep those things which he had committed to him against that day! He continues in 1 Corinthians 4:5 where he says, "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have PRAISE OF GOD!" "At that time God will give to each one whatever praise is coming to him" (TLB).
Every person is going to hear those words, "Thank you, thank you! You did a good job." Some people do more than others, but EVERYBODY there will have praise of God.
"Then shall EVERY man have praise of God." The apostle Paul said that the day was going to declare it. All the beautiful things God has written down for you are going to be known on that glorious day. God doesn't do things that aren't important, so think what it will mean to him when he takes your hand as you stand before him, looks you in the eye, and says "Thanks! Thanks for all those things you did for me!" Every Christian is going to hear those words, "Thank you! You did a good job!"
My human mind could not comprehend how God could ever say thank you to me. I shall never forget the awesomeness of the moment when the angel told me that on that glorious day, God would say those words, because it is beyond my ability to understand that God could love me so much that he would every say, "Thank you, Roland Buck!"
I asked the angel to explain what is meant by "things of darkness and the counsels of the hearts," and this was his answer: "God will shine his light on the hidden corners of the hearts of those who have served him because of their love, not expecting thanks. For these things, too, they will hear God say thanks." This does not mean in relation to evil deeds. The angel referred to it as the beautiful, but hidden things that people have not known about your life. God is going to tell you good things that you don't even know about yourself! He knows all of your thoughts, and even those good thoughts are worthy of praise!
I don't know when Jesus is coming. How I wish the angel had given me some indication, but he didn't. Events pointing toward his coming are happening fast, however, and angels are moving hindrances out of the way. People are being moved about and touched by God more than I have ever witnessed before.
Many more people are going to be saved and turn to God when they see us doing God's work for him by meeting their needs, than when we are trying to put the "bee" on them for salvation. People are spiritually hungry. They are longing for someone who actually becomes a living word expressed right in front of them. This is something everyone can do, not just a few skilled people, because we can all beam out that love of God.
Webmasters note: Just as I was typing this section out I heard the garbage truck outside my house. It's more than 90 degrees out there at the moment. I quickly ran downstairs and opened my garage door, carrying two ice-cold coca-colas in my hand. One of the young collectors immediately spotted my intent and ran over, covered in sweat, and with a smile and a thank you gladly accepted the cool drinks for he and his hard working partner. "I appreciate all your help," I said, and retrieved my empty trash can. It was rather painless - you can do it too. Nice timing Lord ... Praise God!
When you know God is going to say "thanks" to you some day, doesn't it make you feel like finding someone in need and helping them?
God has put great emphasis on family relationships through these messages brought by the angels. Maybe you have some members of your family you haven't talked to for a long time. Why not give them a call and say, "I'm excited! I believe our circle up there is going to be unbroken because God is working to bring whole families to himself." Sometimes the people in our own family seem to be the most difficult ones to talk to, but among the easiest to whom we can show the love of Jesus.
What this world needs is Jesus! Just a glimpse of him, and it is through us that they can see him.
The last thing the angel said on this subject was that the real desires of our heart and the longings that we have in this life will be met when we take care of another's need in the place of Jesus. The angel stated that we could see what God's interests really are in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. I read it, and sure enough, it was written right there in the Bible just as he had been telling me.
"No, the kind of fast I want is that you stop oppressing those who work for you and treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and bring right into your own homes those who are helpless, poor and destitute. Clothe those who are cold and don't hide from relatives who need your help. If you do these things, God will shed his own glorious light upon you. He will heal you; your godliness will lead you forward, and goodness will be a shield before you, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. 'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply. All you need to do is to stop oppressing the weak, and to stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an everflowing spring" (Isaiah 58:6-11 TLB).
At the same time you are reflecting Jesus by these acts of kindness, let the message of salvation bubble out of you like a well-watered garden, like an everflowing spring. This is what Jesus did. He never forgot the spiritual needs of people, and neither can we! Both are vital!
When we are giving love and concern to people, God is writing in the archives of heaven those acts for which he will say to each of us, "THANKS!"
Isn't it almost more than our finite minds can understand to know that on that great day, God will greet us with a big welcome and say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Thanks!"
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