Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Marilyn Barber
As printed in The Voice of Evangelism

Up to this point, we have cleaned our cup that it might be filled with godly things that would please our Lord.  Love, humility, kindness, forgiveness/forbearance, and self-control have been put into our cup (life) so far.  How willing have we been to keep away those things of the world that would deter us from accomplishing this task?

Willingness is an important characteristic for a Christian to have.  First, we have to open our eyes to see what needs to be done.  Perhaps we can see what needs to be done and maybe even appreciate the ones that are doing it.  However, do we ever think of helping?  Are we willing to put forth the effort or are we just going to sit by the wayside to watch others do the work?  Our Lord needs a lot of willing workers for His kingdom.  There is much to do.  It all takes effort with willingness.

Much can be accomplished with those who are willing.  Ex.35:29   God had commanded the Israelites through Moses to do certain work.  All the Israelite men and women who were willingand it was done!  Skilled people to whom the Lord had given ability were summoned for a task—who were willing to come and do the work.  Ex.36:2   Solomon was exhorted to serve God with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind.  This is found in 1 Chron.28:9.  Things we want to do often need to be set aside if we are truly going to put Christ and His church first in our lives.  Matt.6:33   Are the words seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness words with meaning by which we live or just nice words that maybe we have memorized.

Zeal follows willingness.  If we are willing with zeal, then we are eager to do what is good for Christ gave Himself to redeem us.  Titus 2:14    No dragging of our feet.  We are not only willing but eager and want to serve the Lord with zeal, enthusiasm, and joy.  We take our strength from our joy in the Lord.  Neh.8:10   We are not working for this person or that person, we are working for the Lord.  So whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Col.3:23,24

All of us are different.  We have been endowed with different gifts and abilities.  We are not expected to do something for which we have not been given the ability to do, but too often we say, “I can’t”.  The desire is not there to learn or develop a skill or talent that may not be realized.  The Corinthians were given opportunity to help the Christians in Jerusalem financially.  This statement might apply with many opportunities of various kinds.  2 Cor.8:11   Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your  means.  Jesus knows our “means” and our limits.  However, we cannot excuse ourselves from what we know we could do.

Do we realize that we can lay up treasure for ourselves in living a life of service to our Lord?  1 Tim.6:18,19   Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds…they will lay up treasure for themselves…for the coming age.   We never do what would be called a good deed for our own glory.  Jesus made that clear in the Sermon on the Mount.  Let your light shine before men—what is our light?  The deeds, words, and attitudes that are shown before men.  What is the purpose?  To glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Matt.5:16  

Whatever we do for the Lord in never in vain.  Our work for the Lord needs to be bountiful (abundant) since we know it is not useless.  …always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Cor.15:58  

We work for the Lord as individuals, but do we ever think of our part in the corporate church of the world?  How are we impacting the world or our community for Christ?    The  symbolism of a body is used for the church corporate.  Are our “joints” becoming immobile?  Does our arm work but not our leg?  Eph.4:16   …according to the working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body…Is our lack of willingness to work with zeal and eagerness dwarfing the congregation where we reside?  May it not be!  Paul prayed that the Colossians would be fruitful in every good work.  Col.1:10   Jesus is well aware of our works individually as well as corporately.  Rev.2:2   I know your deeds and your toil, and your perseverance…As long as we are able, we keep working for the Lord.

This study would not be complete without mentioning the fact that works or good deeds will not save us.  The world holds many good people that are very prolific in good deeds; but they have not been covered by the blood of Jesus to be saved from their sins of which we are all guilty.  Rom.3:23   We cannot carry these sins to our grave or we pay for them ourselves.  Rom.6:23   Christ died that we would  not have to die.  Rom.5:8,9   We can be made right in God’s sight through putting on Christ in immersion.  Our old self dies and we have a new life in Him as our sins are forgiven.  Rom.6:3,4; Acts 2:38

So where does this leave the value of good deeds with willingness, eagerness, and zeal to perform them?  Grace has been shown to us by providing a way of salvation but now since we are His workmanship, we are created in Christ Jesus for good works.  Eph.2:8-10   We are now God’s instruments.  Rom.6:13   God uses us for righteousness.

James explains how our works or good deeds show our faith.  It is not enough to just consent to a truth.  We show that we really have a strong faith when we put that into action.  Examples are given of Abraham and Rahab.  James 2:21-26   For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

As we eagerly and willingly work for our Lord, what a blessing it is to know that He does not forget.  Heb.6:10   May we keep serving our Lord until the end, never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.  Rom.12:11 


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