Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Setting Our Hearts to Do Good

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith."
Galatians 6:9,  10

In 3 John 11, we read that "He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God."  If we are striving to live our lives for Christ, striving to walk in His footsteps, we MUST do good.

However, we will not get by with just doing good to those who do good for us, or those we like.  In our Lord's Sermon on the Mount He gives us these commands:
   "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who    curse  you, and pray for those who spitefully use you...Give to everyone who asks of you.  And from him who takes away your goods, do not ask them back.  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.  But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.  For He is kind to the unthankful and evil." 
(Luke 6: 27, 28, 30-35)

At times, these commandments may seem very difficult.  Especially those concerning how we treat those who hurt us.  But remember, "...this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."  (I John 5:3)  God did not give us commands to weigh us down, but to build us (and others!) up, and draw us closer to Him.  No matter how others respond or how much good there is to be done, we must "not grow weary in doing good" (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

Why is doing good so important?  Other than the facts that we have direct commands from our Lord (Luke 6: 27-35) and that we must do good to be pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:16), if we know to do good, and refuse to do it we are in sin (James 4:17).  Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2).  We want to stay as far away from sin as we can so that our lives may be pleasing to God and that others might be brought to Him through our example.

The more bountifully God blesses us, the more good He expects us to do.  In 1 Timothy 6:17-19 we see a direct command given specifically to those who are rich:
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, not to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  Let them do good, that they may be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

We may not have much, but if we have more than the bare necessities then we should consider ourselves richly blessed and should be all the more willing to give and share with those who are less fortunate.  Doing good to others does not always require a financial sacrifice.  Often the greatest sacrifice that we can give is that of our time.  We should be tenderhearted and compassionate to all who we come in contact with.

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