Why are we doing good works? Is it because we are workaholics? Is it because we have things to prove to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters? Or is because we do good works, because it makes God happy?
Sometimes in life we all need to step back and take a good look at the bigger picture. What’s the big picture for those who believe in Jesus Christ? Its simply this, am I spending time loving the Lord God instead of only being bothered about good works?
Here a lesson from the Gospel about Mary and Martha:
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)
Do take note in the above verses in which Martha was doing good works in serving Jesus but her sister Mary (also these both were the sisters of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead) was paying more attention to Jesus and listening to His Word. Martha had every reason to complain about Mary not helping her serving Jesus. However Jesus didn’t condemn Mary not Martha on this. But he showed Martha that she needed to get her priorities right towards the Lord. What could be this priority? Its that spending time with the Lord God with his Holy Word matters much more than doing good works serving the same Lord God. Don’t get me wrong, but Jesus never told Martha that the service she was doing was a sin or evil but rather he let her know not to get troubled in doing so much good that she forgets to wait on Him.
Verses to reflect on:
- Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
- Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
- 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
- 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:18-26)
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
Each moment of your own life story,
Use your time for God’s glory.
For God created times and seasons,
Never for futile but wise reasons.
Invest your time in the Scriptures and prayer,
And unto Christ case each worry and care.
For the world and its lusts are passing away,
But God’s will doers have eternal life to stay.
Be alert in these days of deception,
As faithfulness to God’s law has no exception.
Do good, think pure and worship God wholly,
Refrain from sin, unkindness and things unholy.
O Lord God, let your grace shine upon my mind, so I that glorify you in spirit and in truth. Let my intellect never be like those who couldn’t recognise your Son Jesus as the Messiah at their time of reckoning. So please take away from me, any blindness that prevents me from receiving true wisdom from you above. Open the eyes of my mind and spirit, so that I honour Jesus Christ in all that I do. Guide me by the Holy Spirit, so that I remember every counsel from you O Lord. And most importantly, cause me to remember Jesus Christ in my thoughts every day. You have created my mind, and I ask that you take away each and every hindrance, that’s in any way preventing it from doing all the good that you want me to do. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord Jesus the Redeemer of the world, I pray that this Christmas and even further on, that you lead your people in a special way, to care for the poor and the needy. I ask in faith that you cause more of your preachers to speak about feeding the poor, being kind to the lonely, and visiting widows and orphans in their afflictions. Let them not shy away from preaching about the need to do good works in the name of the Lord God. By the Holy Spirit, give each and every of my Christian brothers and sisters the grace, to cheerfully help those in need of food, clothing, shelter and respect. Let us be the light that shines in the darkness to those who are in despair and gloom. I also pray that the people of the world, too do whatever they can, to bring good things to those in trouble. I ask eagerly that those in law enforcement are kind to the homeless and rescue people from slavery all over the world. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
O Lord Jesus, give me courage to take you with me wherever I go. Just like Joseph and Mary did not abandon you right since your childhood, let me always hold on to you forever. Let my heart be like the good soil that you spoke of, which bore fruit a hundred fold. Let not my heart be like any bad soil which has initial joy in you but having no root it withers away. Not let the Enemy of my soul steal away my desire for you by his evil deceptions. In days of luxury and enjoyment, let me cling on to the Gospel by having more self control in my life. In days of trouble and pain, cause me to always call upon you O Lord. Always cause me to be brave in spirit and in truth, so that my deeds are always good and so give reason for others to glorify God our Father in heaven. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
O Lord God help me to speak of your Son Jesus Christ, without shyness nor any fear. Guide me by your Holy Spirit to preach about Jesus, and the Holy Gospel to the lost and the unsaved. May it be a witness to them for their salvation. Bless my mind and memory, that I remember all the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, especially in regards to Jesus the savior of the world. Give me the power to refute and resist the lies of the Enemy, God haters and heretics, about your Son Jesus. Let me speak of the greatness and humility of Jesus Christ. Let me speak of His healing and saving grace. Let me speak of his love and resurrection. Let me speak all of this for your glory and not for myself. I ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Lord God who created the heavens and the earth, grant that I do more and more good deeds to glorify you. Cause me to speak of Jesus Christ the Saviour, to those in need of healing and counsel. By your Holy Spirit, lead me to works of charity and mercy, so that the poor and the oppressed get relief from their woes. I give up each and every thing that causes me to be selfish, so that I be more generous towards the noble cause of the preaching of the Gospel, to the ends of the earth. Make me more creative in helping others. Take away from me all shyness and fear of doing good works in the world, so that all who see me give glory to you O Lord my Father in heaven. Above all keep sanctifying me and help me to be free from all deception and pride, so that I be a good example to friends and family and all who interact with me. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
O Lord God creator of time and seasons, I praise you for sending your Son Jesus Christ, to enter into our earthly timeline to save sinner’s. I pray that you please forgive me of all my sins, as I forgive those who have sinned against me. I ask for your forgiveness, especially when I didn’t value the gift of time, that you have given to me. Help me to understand, the times and seasons that you want me to rest, and those when you want me to act on. Open my vision, to reckon my time on earth as belonging to you alone, so that I may value my days in your presence. By your Holy Spirit cause me to meditate each day upon your wisdom and knowledge so that I always be obedient to you. Make me more diligent than the shepherds and the Magi who didn’t stop in their efforts till they found the Lord Jesus. Cause me spend my time, not on useless and worldly things but rather focus on things that bring you glory each and every time. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen