March 9, 2023
The Apostle Paul – “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works…” (1 Timothy 6:18)
The Bible puts a high premium on “good works” in the lives of Christians. The Apostle Paul writes, “God has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
The Apostle Peter writes, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10)
The question of whether or not we love the Lord and others can only be answered by the actions of our lives. We should answer that question the same way Jesus answered a similar question on one occasion. John the Baptist was in prison. From his cell, he began to wonder about whether or not Jesus was really the Messiah. He sent a few of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you really the Messiah or should we look for another?” Jesus didn’t answer that question with words alone. Instead, He told them, “Go and tell John that the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the lepers are healed and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Jesus said, “Tell John what I’m doing, and he will know whether or not I am really the Messiah.” In the same way, we can’t say we really love the Lord and others if we’re not really doing anything to demonstrate our love toward the Lord and others. The Apostle John writes, “Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” (1 John 3:18)
Jesus went around “doing good” (Acts 10:38), and if we are His followers we will be doing the same through our serving and our giving. So, let me ask you, are you rich in good works? Are you involved in helping the needy, serving the poor, using your gifts and talents to minister to children, teens, senior adults or other adults? Sam Jones was an old Evangelist who would host “Quitting Services.” In those services he would give people an opportunity to come forward and announce what they were giving up for the Lord. Some would say, “I’ve been drinking and I’m not going to do that anymore.” Others would say, “I’ve been involved in immorality and I’m not going to do that anymore.” Still others would say “I’ve been involved in lying or gossiping about others and I’m not going to do that anymore.” One lady came forward and said, “I ain’t been doing nothing, and I’m not going to do that anymore.” Some of us haven’t been doing anything for the Kingdom of God – we haven’t been serving the Lord with our time or talents, and it’s time for us to stop doing nothing and start doing good in our efforts to help and encourage others. Sometimes we are so hung up on pursuing riches or making money that we don’t have time to be “rich in good works.” That may be why we haven’t been blessed by the Lord recently in our lives, relationships, or finances. Why should the Lord bless us and provide for us if we’re being selfish and stingy with our time, talents and money?
Fortunately, the opposite is also true. The Apostle Paul writes, “He (God) will not forget how hard you have worked for Him, and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians.”(Hebrews 6:10) The Lord takes note when we care for others, help others, and serve others, and when He notices that, that’s when He blesses us in new and better ways in our lives. The happiest people in the world are not those who are self-focused, but those who are focused on serving and helping others.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out your answer to the following question: What should I be doing to better serve the Lord and give to others through the church? If you’re leading your family through this devotion, discuss the same question with them and then pray for the Lord’s direction.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, help me to use what You’ve given me to serve you and help others. In the name of Jesus, Amen.