If you are a Christian and you think you are doing good deeds then the following verses from Matthew 7 should be the most frightening words you will ever read in the Bible:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Many will go about doing good deeds for the glory of it, for the reward of it, for the praise they receive, for all sorts of reasons except the two good reasons: to please God and to thank Jesus for what he has done for us. Good deeds done in gratitude from a humble heart will, I believe, be recognized in heaven and bring a smile to Jesus. Good deeds, even prophesy and casting out demons, done to bring worldly reward to the doer will tell Jesus that such people never knew him. He will send them away. Remember if you want to find JOY, put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Doing good deeds for your own pleasure will not be putting Jesus first and others second. This is not to say that when you do good deeds for Jesus and for others, that you will not receive joy in the process. I think that we are rewarded with a sense of joy when we serve Jesus. This is the reward he gives us when we do good for him. But if we set out to do good deeds for praise from others, monetary reward or some other worldly gain, we are not doing these deeds for Jesus and no matter how good these deeds are, Jesus will not recognize the people that do them as his disciples. So those people who run around patting themselves on the back because they did this for the poor, gave that to the hungry or went on a difficult mission trip are likely to hear Jesus say, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Those who do all the same things and are saying to themselves: ‘I am not worthy to do this for Jesus’, ‘I am helping these people because Jesus did so much for me.’ or ‘I am helping these people because Jesus has helped me so much.’– these people will have the joy of serving Jesus and I believe will have Jesus greet them warmly in heaven.
May your service for Jesus be blessed with the joy that only Jesus can bestow.