Monday, July 28, 2014

Doing Good for God

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your GOOD WORKS and give Glory to your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16 HCSB).

The Lord said whatever things we do in His name is very important to Him, and it is evidence of our faith and He abiding in us, fulfilling His word, promises and His love in action for mankind (Colossians 3:17, 23-24).

Throughout the world, there are non-Christian charitable organisations, including in some of our local communities, doing good. With love and respect, these organisations are doing good in their own names. They give out of their abundance and compassion for the needy, yet without a message of hope and faith. Moreover, some religious organisations give to the needy to advance the cause of their religion and message. Similarly, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ commands all Christians to have their light shine before men; why? So that God may be glorified through our good works (Matthew 5:14-15).

Therefore, whether we give from a religious or human compassion motive naturally, people benefiting want to be able to identify the source so that they may give ‘glory’ and build their trust base and dependence. This race of doing good is open to all including the devil, who is using this as a tool to trap people (Genesis 3:4-5). Also, individual people and organisations are doing so to receive some recognition or reward, or both. In contrast, the Scriptures counsel us not to expect anything in return (Luke 6:35), for God will reward us. As Christians, if we insist on acknowledgement, our doing good comes not from God but ourselves.

Unfortunately, in today’s business environment, no one gives without promoting their ‘brand’ in order to attract attention, and this practice is well entrenched in the church too. We do good to attract attention to our church and loyalty to our ‘brand’. When people respond to our ‘brand’ or message because of the good they received from us, we would have used God’s name but created followers for ourselves. The fruit of our good works must show through people’s faith and obedience to God. This is simple to spot, if we consider our inner attitude and our response to others in similar situations as we are or were.

Responding Out of Love for God

Our Lord Jesus Christ was at all times God-conscious. He did not mind about His own affairs and needs; He shared His life for the benefit of mankind, out of love for God the Father (Acts 10:38; Luke 9:58; John 4:31-34). Likewise, Nehemiah’s heart was bent on doing the will of God, and his love for God changed the lives of many of his contemporaries (Nehemiah 5:1-19).

King Josiah, who became king at only 8 years old, proved himself to be a righteous leader, with a zeal for acting out of great love for God: "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left" (2 Kings 22:2). His heart was with God, doing good for The Lord. He began restoring the Kingdom of Judah to the Way of the LORD, and as the Bible says, "...neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength..." (2 Kings 23:1-25).

Furthermore, Moses and Joshua had no personal riches to share with others; they were doing good for God and shared their lives and families with the children of Israel (Hebrews 11:26; Joshua 10:12-15) out of their love for God. Aaron, his sons and the entire Levite tribe had no inheritance among the Israelites; they were doing good to God out of their love for Him (Deuteronomy 18:1-5) for He was their inheritance.

If we have God as our inheritance like the Levites, we live to do good in His name without a need to identify and declare to others our works. In fact, the best deeds of love are always hidden from the sight of others (Matthew 6:1-4). We must have an ‘eye’ spiritually to identify the needs of others and do good in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17; 1 John 3:17). In so doing, we secure temporary and eternal rewards (1 Timothy 4:8).

Briefly, for the sake of making this article brief, and in order to render it as practical as possible, I will share some personal experiences. This is by no means intended to draw attention to people or myself, but for the purity of our faith and obedience to God. After I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1990, I was eager to do everything the Bible says. The more I read the Bible, the more I wanted room to practice what it says. In my inexperience, I shared the gospel and opened my apartment to strangers, because the Bible says so. As a result of my efforts, I suffered abuse from my own immediate company who were Christians who criticized me saying that I am not Jesus and that I would not be able to save the world. These and many other similar statements were negative and meant to discourage me; even though the very same folk telling me making these statements were beneficiaries of my doing good. I preached the gospel in trains, public parks and on the streets. I shared whatever I could with those in need. My obedience was driven by my love for Christ Jesus. I have never publicly mentioned this except for the benefit of the work of God (2 Corinthians 12:10) to encourage you into action.

Similarly, to proof Scripture right, we have not failed to receive God’s due blessings for our efforts of love and obedience (Galatians 6:9). He raised up people, who love and fear Him, to minister to our needs and the needs of this ministry. May the faithfulness of the Lord remain upon these brethren and those who share their lives and belongings with those in need forever and ever in Jesus’ name!

To the Glory of God

In conclusion, doing good for God is not just tithing, offering, or fasting to sympathize with the needy; it requires personal involvement (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Among other Scriptures in God’s Judgement and rewards of us, the Lord will measure our attitude or heart’s intention against His stipulated commands (Matthew 25:34-46; Jeremiah 17:10). Therefore, we need to ask ourselves: in our work, did God receive the glory and was He acknowledged? We or others may appeal for help from the body for the benefit of the gospel; we may also need to pray for discernment to determine if our doing good or helping is for the benefit or promoting of some culture, religion, ministry or individual. The broader reality should be to MAGNIFY CHRIST and point man to obedience in Him (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Finally, let us do good for Christ not loudly, but in silent obedience. You may not be noticed by others and it should not be your motive, but God is following your work to determine your rewards.

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10 NLT).

Why are you doing good? Is it with the wrong motive of receiving rewards instead of love for God? Have you been doing good works to promote yourself or your “brand”, instead of glorifying God? Have you neglected the needy or avoided personal involvement in doing good for God? If so, please repent. If you are not yet born again, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed Love,

Brother Glenn.