I often struggle with this question: 'Is my view of Jesus' love too narrow?' Are there acts of faith which I may consider unacceptable, that are appreciated by our Lord? Maybe you struggle with this thought as well...
In (Mark 9: 38-39) we read these words:
" 'Teacher' said John. 'we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he is not one of us.' 'Do not stop him,' Jesus said. 'No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.' "
Now we need to be clear here. There are those who preach a doctrine which is completely godless, having nothing to do with the salvation message of Christ Jesus. For people such as these, their works are damning, and their fate has already been decided. But we aren't talking about such people in this passage.
Jesus is telling His disciples that good works, done in the name of our Savior, are actually appreciated by Him. What's more, they are worthy of reward...(V39). However, that reward is not necessarily one of eternal salvation. The reward spoken of here is one of recognition and gratitude.
As followers of Christ, we know that there is
(1). "...one hope, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all..." (Ephesians 4: 5-6).
(2). We know that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2: 8).
(3). We are not saved by good deeds alone nor by faith alone, but by the works we do because of our faith,(James 2: 18-26).
(4). Finally, no man comes to the Father except through the Son, (Matthew 14: 6).
I believe this passage shows us a sincere love which Jesus has for anyone who attends to the needs of his fellow man. But it also points up even more clearly that if a person is willing to do good in the name of Christ Jesus, he should also want to follow that desire to it's fullest extent!
Seek out the fullness of Jesus' love and receive all of the rewards which it brings!