This concept of our faithfulness of heart vs our fruitfulness has been my hardest battle to date in my walk. I think that’s why I respond so positively when I find things like this to better help this heart of mine understand who I am in Christ and all that was accomplished on the cross.
Essentially, in this video, Piper recalls a church member of his who once worked with Billy Graham. She told John of a time when Billy was preaching to a select few of his ministry. These people held no high office in that ministry. They were just simple layfolk, secretaries, letter stuffers, and so forth. He said to them that there were many of them who would get a greater reward than himself from the Lord in the day they stand before Him.
The audience, I guess in disbelief, knowing that Billy had led thousands to Christ thought he had probably lost his mind. Sensing the disbelief in the crowd, Billy stresses what he was saying was true. That their faithfulness to the Lord and His work trumps the quantity of fruit they bear.
It also brings to mind:
Mark 12:41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Again, it’s a matter of the hearts position in it’s desire…what it sees as its chief need and want. Fruit will naturally follow the desire, but that setting of course to the winds that blow us heavenward is what must come first, and it is what pleases Him. This woman’s desire was to give to the Lord all she had. Why? Because she loved Him so greatly. Not because she was obligated to do so.
Heb.11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Our faith and our trust in Him alone is what will stand the test when all the works of our life are burnt away like chaff, revealing that purely refined gold nugget of the only thing He desires from us…our trust.