13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. — 2 Thess. 3:13 NLT
Paul warns the new converts about idle minds and idle hands. We should show others the love of Jesus Christ by being a good example to them. Paul worked as a tentmaker to buy his own food. He admonishes us to always be a help and not a burden to those around us. We should encourage each other in doing good deeds and helping unbelievers. If there are those among us who are unable to work either permanently or temporarily, we need to help provide their needs. Jesus tell us that when we do this for others here on earth, it is the same as doing it for Him. We should always be working for our Lord and Savior. James tells us::
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.-James 4:17 (NKJV)
When we see a need, we need to meet that need to the best of our ability. Doing good works here on earth is how we lay up rewards in heaven.
Gal. 6:7-10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the Lord.
— Malachi 3:13 NLT
Have you ever experienced those feelings? You know, the ones where the devil comes to you and says something like this: “Look at that person over there, they don’t follow God’s commands and look how prosperous they are?” Or perhaps, he said: “Look how much fun they are having, they party all the time and indulge their fleshly lusts and it doesn’t look like God is punishing them? Been there, done that. After committing my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I also know the feeling of watching others prosper while living that old lifestyle. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
But , you know what? I wouldn’t go back to that lifestyle. The view through the bottom of a glass might be great tonight, but what about tomorrow? You are still going to have the same problems plus a hangover. There is no relief in drugs or illicit sex. There is a perceived relief while you are participating in these things, but what about long-term? Aren’t you really looking for a Solid Rock to stand on? Aren’t you tired of walking on the slippery paths of deception? Do you really want to dig your way out of another mire of quicksand? Aren’t you really looking for long-term peace? The kind of peace that lets you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow every night? The kind of peace that causes you to look forward to tomorrow morning and every day thereafter? Isn’t that what your heart and soul desire?
Then talk with those who fear (have a respectful awe of) the Lord? They can tell you how to find it. If they don’t ask you, then you should ask them about Jesus. They can tell you how to break the chains of bondage and be set free from satan and his insatiable demands. They can tell you about a Savior that satisfies you instead of you having to meet his demands. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. So light, in fact, that most days it won’t even seem like a burden. Take the time to ask Jesus and He will set you free. Those that the Son of God sets free are free indeed!
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. — Galatians 6:9 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. — John 15:15 NLT
What an honor to be called friends by God, the Creator of the universe. What a great privilege to be chosen to join Him in His work to expand His Kingdom here on earth. If we accept Him and His call, we will spend an eternity with Him and each other. As friends of God, we are to learn from Him and bear fruit worthy of that friendship. As Jesus said, we must do what the Father does. We can know what the Father does by studying the lifestyle of Jesus because He only did what He saw the Father do and only said what He heard the Father say. If we believe in Him as our Savior then we will love each other. We will go about doing good because He has “called us out of darkness into His marvelous light”. We will trust the Holy Spirit completely to lead us into His truth.
9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. — 1 Samuel 10:9 NLT
After Moses and Joshua had died, God raised up Judges in Israel. The Israelis would turn away from God and God would allow the enemies of Israel to be successful in battle against the them When they wept and repented, God would raise up a judge to deliver them and to govern over them for a time. Each time this happened, God had someone prepared to be the judge for the next few years. Samuel was the last of the judges. This was because the Israelis wanted a king over them, so they would be like the nations around them. By asking God for an earthly king, they were rejecting God as their king. Through Samuel, God warned them of the negative things that would happen if they chose an earthly king. Still, that is what the people wanted and that is what God gave them. He chose Saul to be their king. Before Saul could take his position as king, God gave him a new heart and filled him with His Spirit. God never chooses any of us to do something for Him and His Kingdom without the proper preparations. If we are not already prepared, He will prepare us and give us everything we need to do His bidding. When we feel a special call from God, we may very well feel completely unprepared to complete the task. But, we can be assured that by the time God puts His plan for us into action, He will have prepared us to do the job better than anyone else could possibly do it. God chooses ordinary people and turns them into His extraordinary servants. All He wants or expects from us is our willingness and obedience, He will do the rest.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Eph. 2:10 NLT
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:26, 27 NIV
In the days that James lived and penned this book through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, people were weighed down with ritualistic religions. They were bound by rules that said “you must do this”and “you must not do that”, particularly, in the areas of eating and drinking. Those that did a decent job of following the rules considered themselves to be “religious”. They attended the services at the temples or synagouges and prayed at the right times, etc. Much like today, when we go to church on Sunday morning for a couple of hours and mumble a few (if any) prayers or spend anytime reading the Holy Scriptures during the week. We seem to feel that if we do those things, we are fulfilling our duties as Christians. We can spend the other 166 hours of the week doing whatever we please. We can gossip, criticize and say and do all kinds of things. We Christians would never steal, kill or destroy, we don’t commit the “big” sins. But the two areas in which we do fall short are in our speech and in our “not doing”. Jesus gave us a solemn warning about the things we say:
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” — Matt. 15:10
We must take this warning seriously and be very careful of what we say.
There are also many verses about how we should treat others. Jesus says that if we see a brother or sister in need and take care of that need for them, it is the same as doing it for Him. If we don’t take care of that need, it is the same as refusing to do it for Him. Helping others is how we show them the love of Jesus Christ. It is these actions that will draw others to Jesus.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. — 1 John 3:16, 17