“Paying It Forward” has become a popular practice in recent years. Did you know that November 13, 2013 has been named World Kindness Day? There is even a Random Acts of Kindness week set for February 10 – 16, 2014.
If you have been reading my blog recently, you know that we are looking at the life of Christ. We have considered how to be like him in our Attitudes and now we are looking at how to be like him in our Actions. I found the following poem with this thought in mind.
From the example of Jesus,
Who went about doing good,
We are to honor our Savior
By helping wherever He would. —Hess
Not long ago I met a wonderful gentleman who was doing a couple of odd jobs for my mom. I was told later that this man is generous to many people, spending much of his free time helping others. He is reluctant to take payment because this dear man believes that if he does enough for others, and is a good person, he will earn his way into heaven. Friends have tried to explain to him that his generous acts of kindness do not determine his worthiness for heaven.
The only thing that qualifies anyone to enter into the eternal presence
of God the Father is their relationship with the Son, Jesus Christ. This dear
man chooses to believe it is his actions that qualify him to live with God for
ever in heaven. However, Isaiah explains very clearly that:
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” Isaiah 46:6 (ESV)
Our good works do not determine our eternal destiny. Our good works are to be the outcome of a changed life through Jesus Christ. Doing good, even being good is not enough. Our eternal home depends upon our acceptance of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” Titus 3:5 (ESV)
Lord, help me to recognize where you want me to help to make someone else’s life easier. Help me to see what you would do. I want to do these acts of kindness because of my love for you, not because they will help me to “make it to heaven.” Thank you for providing a way for me to be a child of God that has nothing to do with what I “do”, because I could never “do” enough to be worthy of your forgiveness.
In recent postings we have considered how to be like Christ in our Attitudes. Today we will look at being like Christ in our Actions.
Peter summarizes what Jesus did while he lived on earth in Acts 10:37 & 38.
“… God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him.” (HCSB)
No, I do not have the ability to perform miracles; only God is
able to do that. However, “doing good” to those in my life is completely within my control. For Christians, that is one way to live in obedience to Christ.
Many people, whether they are followers of Christ or not, have
naturally generous hearts. They see the kindnesses that need to be done, and they do them, quickly and easily.
I need to put a lot of thought into my acts of kindness. I need to be very intentional. I stop and ask myself this question, “How am I able
to make today better for someone else?” Sometimes it is as simple as taking the time to listen to someone’s problems. No advice or remedy is required, only a listening ear and a compassionate heart. Perhaps it may be to mow the lawn for someone unable to do it. Maybe it means to take an undesirable shift for someone at work, or to offer to do a task that no one else wants to do. Possibly it is to leave a bag of groceries at the door of a family who is
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3 (NRSV)
Think and meditate on this verse often. Ask the Lord to help you
see with new eyes and an open heart fresh ways to touch lives throughout your day. Listen to that still small voice that reminds us to pray for the one who is sick, make a call to encourage the person going through a tough time, or give a ride to someone who needs it.
However, as we do these things, we need to remember to have the
same attitude that Christ had. These acts of kindness are for the benefit of the receiver. Never “perform” good deeds for the recognition, nor to give the impression of somehow being ‘better’ than the person helped.
Jesus was facing his ultimate act of “doing good” as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he continued to be humble and
“Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me--nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42 (HCSB)
Father, help me to be like Christ as I live every day. Help me to “do good” in every aspect of my life, and to do it with the same attitude that Christ had, humble and obedient.
Debi Snider... more