Do Our Good Intentions Count for Anything? — 1 Kings 8:14-21

If we have faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our good intentions, even though we cannot do the good that we would like to do, still count with God.

King Solomon said that his father, David, had wanted to build a house for the LORD, but the LORD told him, “You did well to consider building a house for my name . . . but your son . . . shall build a house for my name” (1 Kings 8:18-19).

As Christians, we can think of many good things that we would like to do to honor God and help others in the name of Jesus, but for some reason we are not able to do so. Perhaps we lack the time, talent, or treasure to become a missionary or help our church as much as we would like to be more of a help. Everyone reading this can probably think of something they wanted to do or would have liked to do or still would like to do, but that is not possible under the circumstances. For example, a person might want to help people in a foreign land learn about Jesus or learn to read the Bible in their own language, but due to circumstances beyond their control this has become impossible. Instead, they give as the Lord Jesus enables them and they pray, and they pray when that is all they can do—perhaps our gifts and/or our prayers are exactly what someone else needs to do the Lord’s will.

If something like the above can describe your thoughts and desires in some way; then, Jesus can say to you, “You did well!”

In (1 Corinthians 3:12-16), the Apostle Paul wrote, “ Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

Our good intentions count for something, because we may think we have no “gold, silver, or precious stones” to build with, but only have “wood, hay, and straw;” however, the Lord Jesus sees into our hearts and knows that we would have used what we did not have, if we had had it, for His glory and to express our love for Him and others. We may think what we have done for the Lord was so unlike what King Solomon did for the Lord in building the temple that all our efforts were “wood, hay, and straw,” but the Lord sees into our hearts, and the Lord Jesus will consider that because of our good intentions. “We did well.”

Finally, remember that Solomon did not end well, and neither did his kingdom. As Christians, we can end well at any age and any circumstance, for we can pray when we cannot do anything else, and we can pray that others will come to know the true God and Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. When we do this, if this is all we can do, when we end our pilgrimage on earth, Jesus can say to us, “You did well.” Jesus will be able to say to us as He said in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

You can ask your questions in a Comment (I should get an e-mail that you have made a Comment) or you can send your questions to me directly to lgp@TheIBLF.com. I will take questions on the passages in each week’s Uniform Lesson Series Sunday School Lesson and in each week’s Gospel of John lesson that we are currently studying if you send them to me directly or make a Comment on one of my postings. I will try to answer as many as I can.

May the Lord Jesus bless your Bible study and teaching in this New Year!

L.G.