Created for Good Works

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepares in advance for us to do” Eph.2:10 NIV

Called to Good Works

Most followers of Jesus Christ understand that our efforts or good works do not save us.  Instead, we are saved by grace through faith in Christ.  Our salvation is a gift from God (Eph.2:8).  However, we understand that we are created to do good works.

The Bible contains instruction for the Christian concerning the role of good works in the life of the Christian.

James tells us that faith and good works go together.  Our sterling actions point to the fact that we have faith in Jesus Christ Jas.2:14-18).

Paul, in Gal.6:10 encourages the Galatian brothers to practise doing good to everyone as the opportunity presents itself.

The Apostle Peter says that we should use our God-given gifts to serve others (1Pet.4:8-11).

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Serving your Community

Countless possibilities abound which you are at liberty to explore and implement as they come to mind.

As faithful Christians, our occupation is our prime means of ministering to the needs of others, serving them diligently, knowing that in so doing we are serving Christ (Eph.6:5-8).

Jesus made it clear that when we respond positively to the needs of the hungry, the stranger, the poor, those in prison, the sick and the disabled, we are acting in response to him (Mat.25:34-40).

When we ignore the poor beggar on the city street, we ignore Jesus.  When we cannot find time to visit the sick and the elderly, we have not set aside time for Jesus.

Giving to the needy is an important area we ought not to neglect.  James tells us that pure religion is to look after the widows and orphans in their distress (James1:27).  As children of God, we ought to give generously to help the poor and those affected by natural disasters.

It is a pleasure to see the majority of our churches providing food, toiletries, and other assistance to the disabled, the sick and other unfortunate members of the community.  In this, we are doing what Jesus and the Apostles commanded.

Read: What Does God Require of Christians?

Give What You Can

You may not have money to give to the needy, but do you have time?  Then volunteer some of your time to read for the elderly, run errands for them or help in whatever way they may need you. Take the decent used clothing that you no longer need, sell them and give the money to a needy family or person.  Invite a destitute person to your home to share a meal.  Offer to provide transportation for the disabled to get to their appointment.  If you are a teacher, you may want to help by giving private tutoring to a group of underprivileged children in your community. Countless possibilities abound which you are at liberty to explore and implement as they come to mind.

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Serving In Church

Followers of Christ are called to serve each other and use their gifts and talents to help develop Christian values in younger members. We tend to flock to those areas of service where people can see us.  Many times, this tendency leads to a shortage of persons to serve in behind-the-scene but critical areas. If the service you are providing in the church does not bring you to the forefront for all to see, it does not mean that God has forgotten you.  God sees what you are doing and will reward you in due season.  Therefore, continue to perform your service with all your heart and to the best of your ability.

Serving is our calling. Jesus said he came to serve and not for others to minister to him. The same has to apply to us his children. Whatever you give in service to the poor, the unfortunate, the elderly, the disabled, the stranger, the outcast and the people of God will never be treated casually. God will richly reward you both in this life and the one to come.

Related: The Fruit of Love

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God Takes Care of His Children

And why  do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed  like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more cloth you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Mat.6:28-31

 

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It was the summer of 1967 when I was sitting in a classroom with other students who were aspiring to be teachers. The lecturers were preparing us for the task of imparting knowledge, skills, values and attitudes into the students who would come under our tutelage. Surprisingly, the first philosopher and educator they exposed us to, was Jesus of Nazareth. I will always remember how our tutors pointed to a particular teaching method that Jesus frequently used, that is, he regularly took his listeners from the known to the unknown. That principle remains a pillar on which effective instruction stands to this day.

Don’t Worry – Trust God
When Jesus wanted to teach his followers that they could trust the heavenly Father to take care of them, he drew their attention to two familiar scenes in nature. He talked about the birds and the wildflowers. Jesus reminded his audience about specific facts concerning flowers and birds, and then he brought them to appreciate how much God cares for us. Continue reading

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Hannah: A Woman Whose Life can Inspire Us In Rough Times

646011554The first chapter of the first book of Samuel opens with the story of Hannah.  Hannah was an ordinary woman of her day, married to a man who had another wife.  The name of her husband was Elkanah and the second wife was Peninnah.  Peninnah had sons and daughters, but Hannah had no children.  Whenever Elkanah took his wives and children to Shiloh for worship, Peninnah would take the opportunity to harass Hannah concerning the fact that she was unable to bear children.  On those occasions, Hannah would become depressed and overcome with crying and loss of appetite.  Although Hannah was childless, Elkanah loved her and hated to see her unhappy.  He tried to comfort her by expressing his love to her both verbally and by giving her double portions of the provisions he would provide Peninnah. Nothing Elkanah did could console Hannah as long as Peninnah made fun of her inability to have children (1Sam.1:1-8). Continue reading

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Jesus is Lord, Caesar is not

The people of God have in every era, had to affirm that Jesus is Lord. The evil forces of this world have long waged war against God’s people for their insistence that Jesus is Lord, not Caesar. Christians have endured slaughter, death by wild beasts, horrific torture, confiscation of possessions, beatings, stonings, the exile from their country of birth and all other kinds of inhumane treatment because they refused to deny the name of Jesus.

Thousands of years ago, God allowed the nation of Judah to be taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar took the most intelligent Jewish men to Babylon to train for positions in his kingdom. He selected four notable men, who proved to be extremely valuable to his administration. These were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Dan. 1:1-6). Continue reading

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Paul’s Prayer For The Philippians

When we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters what do we ask God for on their behalf? Too often we are concerned that they prosper, have good health, and live a fulfilling life. God wants all of that for his children but above all of that, he urges us to seek first the kingdom of God (Matt.6:33). King Solomon, who, early in his reign as king of Israel, realised that his greatest need was for the acquisition of wisdom and understanding if he was to be successful in leading his people (2Chron.1:10). Instead of asking God to make him rich, he asked for wisdom. Paul, in his prayer for the Philippians followed a similar line of thought as did Solomon.

Paul in this prayer focused on spiritual things. Paul knew that the thing we cannot see are eternal and so he concentrated on those things that will last through eternity.

“And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Phil.1:9-11

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Searching For Living Water?

Millions of people everywhere have long felt that something was missing from their lives. In pursuit of that elusive “something” many like King Solomon have sought to find that missing ingredient to life in music, art, pleasure, travel, work and other endeavours. Surprisingly, the achievements gained from these various pursuits have not satisfied that missing element in their lives. So life for the majority has become an endless but vain quest to find living water that will satisfy their weary souls.

Jesus in one of his trips from Judea to Galilee had to pass through Samaria. The journey was a long one, and the sun was probably warm that day. About noon that day he decided to take a rest near a well while his disciples went to a nearby village to purchase some food. While Jesus was there all alone, a Samaritan came to the well to fetch water for her household. Jesus politely asked her to give him a drink of water. She was surprised that a request like this had come from a Jew. Her recollection of Jews was that they had no regard for Samaritans. Jews regarded themselves as peculiar and looked on others as being inferior to them. Putting that difference aside, the woman would have given Jesus the water, but he had nothing with which to draw the water (John 4:1-9). Continue reading

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In What or Whom Are You Trusting?

 

The presence of trust in humans is vital for healthy psychological balance. It aids in fostering, deep enduring relationships that can result in a richer, more fulfilling, more productive and happier life.  Every child expects that his parents will make provision for his physical, psychological, social, emotional and moral needs. Every spouse assumes that the other will be faithful, show respect, love, kindness, understanding and render help and support always. People trust their politicians, to tell the truth, keep their promises, act in the best interest of their nation, and follow the wishes of the people. We trust our employers to treat their workers fairly and with respectfully, pay them decent wages, and provide them with safe working conditions. We have faith in our religious leaders to teach the word of God faithfully, furnish a healthy church environment that will assist in our spiritual growth and healing, be good examples of the things they preach, genuinely love and care for those they serve, and instruct and encourage others to be good ambassadors of Christ. Continue reading

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – A Powerful Validation of Christianity

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead provides compelling evidence of the authenticity of Christianity including all its claims, promises, prophecies and its founder Jesus Christ himself. This world has many religions, but none of them, except Christianity, can testify to the death and resurrection of its founder. None, but Christianity offers salvation by grace through faith in the sacrifice of the sinless God on their behalf. Only Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of the sovereign God who made heaven and earth and all people.

 Hundred saw the resurrected Jesus

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to hundreds of persons over a 40-day span(1Cor.15:6). They saw him talked with him, touched him, ate with him, and watched him return to heaven in a cloud. Those eyewitnesses received instructions from Jesus to proclaim his resurrection message to all the world (Acts 1:8). 1Clement 42:3 says, “Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come.” Continue reading

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The Meaning of Easter

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” John 11:25-26 NLT

Easter morning is the central event in human history, and we can think of this historical occurrence in three tenses: Easter past, Easter present, and Easter future.

Easter is packed with mind- boggling truths that every Christian ought to be aware of. It speaks of the power of God to transform us into his glorious image. It testifies to the fact that as Christ was raised from the dead, we too will be resurrected.

Watch Ken Boa for greater insight into this subject.

Source: The Meaning of Easter | Ken Boa

 

 

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The Jewish Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread Have New Meaning For Christians

These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the Lord. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’ ”Lev.23:4-8

The first Passover

For the ancient Israelites, the Passover meal consisted of roasted lamb and bitter herbs. The lamb for the sacrifice was selected and set apart from the other animals a few days before the actual slaughter. The lamb was to be a yearling male sheep or goat and without blemish. It was to be killed and roasted with the head and internal organs intact during the twilight period of the fourteenth day of the first month. They smeared some of its blood on the door frame of the house where the ceremony was to conducted. They were instructed to eat the roasted lamb along with bitter herbs and unleavened bread the same night (Exodus 12:1-11). The lamb’s blood on the door frames protected the houses’ occupants from having their firstborn executed during the night when the angel was sent to kill the firstborn in homes where the blood was missing. Continue reading

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