We should thank God daily for delaying the return of Jesus. Each day gives us a new opportunity to witness to those in our families, neighborhoods and those that God puts in our path. Each new day is a new opportunity to labor in the fields that “are white with harvest” and bring more sinners to Christ.
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.–James 5:19, 20 (NKJV)
To spread the Gospel, we need to know the Gospel. So we need to spend more time each day in the Word. Not just reading, but meditating on the Word and asking God to open our eyes to see more of His truth. Then our words and our deeds will bring more glory to Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. This will fulfill our purpose here on earth, which is to glorify God in all that we do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
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.
14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. 15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. 17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.–Hebrews 13:14-17 (NLT)
We are strangers in this land, we are just passing through. While we are here our job is to carry out the Great Commission. Jesus said go into all the world and make disciples. Don’t just tell them about the plan of salvation, but baptize them and mentor them. That is what we do, as we walk, we witness about Jesus. We should have a continual attitude of prayer and praise, letting people know how much we love the God we serve. Because His Spirit indwells us, God is always with us teaching us what to say as we walk together. 8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.–Micah 6:8 (NLT)
Obey those that God has put in authority over us in the church. We should always be praying for and encouraging them as we go about doing our good deeds. Above all else, continually praise God. Praise Him with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It will also help to make the rough ways smooth.
9 Dear friends, we are saying this to you, but we really expect better things from you that will lead to your salvation. 10 God is fair; he will not forget the work you did and the love you showed for him by helping his people. And he will remember that you are still helping them. 11 We want each of you to go on with the same hard work all your lives so you will surely get what you hope for. 12 We do not want you to become lazy. Be like those who through faith and patience will receive what God has promised.–Hebrews 6:9-12 (NCV)
This passage should not be interpreted to mean that we must work for our salvation. That would be in direct conflict with other passages that clearly state that we are saved by”grace through faith”. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that dong good works after we are saved is how we lay up rewards in heaven. This should encourage us to help our neighbors and others that we see in need of food, housing, clothing, etc. God gave Adam and Eve the job of tending the Garden of Eden. Work in and of itself is not a curse. God expects each of us to be busy doing good works. We are instructed to “redeem the time”. James tells us that we show our faith in Jesus by doing good works. If we want to enter into the rest mentioned earlier in Hebrews, we must continue in faith and be patient. The day will come soon enough when we will receive our rewards.
1 Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does his love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? 2 If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose. 3 When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves.4 Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others. 5 In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.–Philippians 2:1-4 (NCV)
Living a holy life requires us to put Jesus first, others second and ourselves last. We receive strength and comfort from God so that we can continue doing good deeds and helping others. Jesus went about doing good. When we are ignored or mistreated, do we show forgiveness and mercy or do we want to exact revenge? God says that revenge is His and we are to do everything we can to live peaceably with others. Yes, even with those who persecute us. If we humble ourselves and do these things, God has promised to exalt us in due time.–