Jesus took great pains to point out that what has value to God and what has value in this world are two different things. What qualifies as success in God’s eyes is often different from what even many in church consider successful. We are called to bear fruit but only as a product of our abiding faithfulness in Christ. Consider all the different passages where Jesus or Paul point out what really matters.
Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows. “Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
(Mat 10:29-32 NET.)
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.
(Mat 10:39 NET.)
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.”
(Mat 10:42 NET.)
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’
(Mat 25:37-40 NET.)
For whenever someone says, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. So neither the one who plants counts for anything, nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth.
(1Co 3:4-7 NET.)
For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward.
(1Co 3:11-14 NET.)
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight — the only thing that matters is faith working through love.
(Gal 5:6 NET.)