Honestly speaking, can we do anything acceptable to God? Can the unclean bring about the clean/holy? (Job 14:4). No one is righteous before Him (Romans. 3:10), in other words, all have sinned and lost the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Remember, we are justified solely because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Romans 4:25).

If so, can we please God by doing any gooddeeds? Indeed, God is the source of all goodness and He does not need kindness performed by sinful man. What is actually our status as implied by Job?

“Look up to the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you. If you sin, how does that affect him? If your sins are many, what does that do to him? If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects only a man like yourself, and your righteousness only the sons of men”. (Job 35:5-8. NIV)

What meaning is derived from the verses above?

“Look up the heavens…” shows that our status is in the world while the Most Holy God is in Heaven. He fills the entire universe and never lacks anything

If we sin and commit great offense, no impact on God who is so great? Can our sins shake God’s throne and cause Heaven to be chaotic then God becomes confused? No, He is not the least perturbed with all that we do.

On the contrary, if we do right / good, God does not need any man’s gift or kindness. It is He who gives us abundantly.

So, what is it that He wants ? God does not mindthat we do good deeds and perform all religions rituals to do good and notto commit evil. That's why every country in the world has laws against those who do wrong; even cultures and traditions try to organize people to live well so that families, households and nations are not messy up and shattered.

When we do good, we give a beneficial impact on society, especially when we receive the grace of His salvation (pure gift from God), our good deeds are taken into account by him.

The problem is, “What is the response of people who have been given the gift of salvation?”Actually a lot of activities and services can be done and here it shows  the different paradigm between  the saved and unsaved yet.

For those who have been saved, the success of life he earns is because of the grace of God; whereas those who have not converted always think prowess makes them so successful that all glory is only focused on themselves. Such “ungrateful attitude” is an abomination in the sight of God.

How do we know if we got grace? When we worship in church, listening to the Word of Christ with an open heart and understanding; we, then,  later practise His Word like a seed that falls on good heart.

The choice is in our hands, when the seedof God’s Word falls by the wayside, (many people passing by makes us unable to listen to or concentrates on the Word), the seeds will be taken by the Devil (birds) so that we do not believe and will not be saved.

When the seed of the Word falls on stony ground (stone is a tool to punish people in ancient time), the seed of the Word is not durable because our hearts are filled with 'judgment /accusations'. Therefore, we like to blame / punish others.

Similarly, if the ‘soil’ of our heart contains thorn bushesso that we are drowned in worldly concerns and pleasures of life, the seed of the Word will die (Luke 8: 11-15). Ask for help from the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts so that the seed of the Word will grow well and bear fruit!

Actually, God never asks for something we do not have. The problem is that we do not want to give because we are stingy. Honestly, we could easily feel pitifulto see someone in trouble but it is very difficult when asked to humble  in order to obtain His righteousness. Illustration: person who is facing death penalty will not be comforted when given delicious food  or funny stories. What he is expecting is letter of remission from the president/king.

How foolish it is if the letter of clemency is already in his hand but he does not appreciate it because of arrogance or ignorance.  Then he even throws the letter! For that we need to practice in order to understand what God's plan in our lives is so that we can bear fruit doubly.

What's the duty of a “new”man in Christ Jesus? Doing good deeds that have been prepared byGod from the beginning that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Note, salvation is a gift of God but our good works will be taken into account by him. Example: Jesus promised to those who give a cup of water to the followers of Christ will not lose his reward (Mark 9:41).

The Bible gives examples of good deeds of a person and his wages,i.e:

  • Rebekah
After Sarah died, Abraham knew that his son, Isaac, needed a wife to be with him. Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer, to find a soulmate not a Canaanite woman, but a woman from his relatives. Abraham became an example of a good father by watching his marriage life (Genesis 24).

Surprisingly, Eliezer having different faith from Abraham, had great respect in the faith of Abraham, his master. He always said that the God of Abraham would make it succeed in carrying out the mission of his master (v. 42.48). In his prayer, Eliezer asked for a sign when a girl was willing to give a drink to him and also to the camels, the girl deserved to be the wife of Isaac. What happened? Eliezer stopped near the springsand sawRebekah coming to draw water.

When Eliezer asked for a drink, Rebekah soon showed extraordinary kindness by giving him a drink also drink to the camels. Eliezer assessedRebekah to be a good match for his master because of her gorgeous looking and lovely behavior. Furthermore, Rebekah was still included relatives of his master. Rebekah was given gold and silver jewelry and  clothes (v. 53). He proposed to her parents  to be the wife of Isaac.

Implications: learning for young girls not to be haughty in practicing good deeds by helping people (much) older.

  • Moses

Although living in comfortable conditions in Egypt, Moses never forgot the suffering of his people. When looking at the compatriots persecuted by the Egyptians, the nature of nationalism arose then the Egyptianwas killed and his body was hidden in the sand (Exodus 2: 11-12). He could not see the injustice before his eyes.

What can we do if you see a crime happening in our sight? If we have an authority to prevent it, do so.  If our hands are not able to do it, stop it using our words. However, if we pose a danger if we do so, tell ourselves that we are not going to do anything like that. Thus, we will become a tough guy in our standpoint.

What are the consequences faced by Moses after he killed the Egyptian? Moses’s safety was threatened; therefore, he fled to the land of Midian. When sitting on the edge of a well, seven girls came to draw water. At the same time came the other shepherds who intended to expel them. Seeing the sights of this unjust, Moses could not stay silent.

Soon he drove away the shepherds and helped the women ofthe Midianites by drawing water for them. What reward did Moses get for the goodness he did? He was accepted in the family. Later he was married to one of them, namely Zipporah (Exodus 2: 20-21).

Implications: a lesson for the young men not to remain silent about the unfair treatment of the weak (women) in the bullying. Please try to help them.

  • Reuben

When Joseph was threatened to be killed by his brothers who were jealous of him, Reuben as the eldest brother showed kindness by persuading them not to kill him. Instead, he suggested that Joseph be thrown into the pit by the intent that he wanted to release Joseph from their hands and brought him back to his father (Genesis. 37: 20-22). We know the rest of the story, Reuben’s kindness brought Joseph alive but was sold and stayed in Egypt.

It turns out that God had a planto make Joseph a ruler in Egypt. What about the life of Reuben, the other brothers and their father? When the famine struck the country, they were looking for wheat in Egypt and helped by Joseph. Obviously, the acts of kindness are never forgotten and there is always a reward. Joseph had been used by God to save the Egyptians and the whole family from starvation.

  • Esther
Queen Esther could live comfortably in the palace of King Xerxes but when reminded by Mordecai that people (Jews) would be killed all, Esther was not silent. Instead,she  used her position to face the king. Finally, the nation was saved because of the courage and kindness of  Esther who did not think of her own safety (Esther 4: 10-16).

Matthew 25 confirms the difference in the character of persons who are saved by those who are not saved /have not been saved yet. It is like the sheep’s characters that are much different from the nature of goats though their voice sounded the same. In fact, every person is in need of food, clothing, housing, health and freedom.

Do not live only a self-centered life because Jesus teaches us to care for the needy who are not able to meet basic needs. Moreover Galatians 6: 2,9 remind us to help each other to bear the burden and not to grow weary while doing good (especiallyto our brothers and sisters in faith) because when the time comes we will reap the rewards.

Who needs to be helped? Indeed, we must do good to all persons, but especially to fellow believers (Galatians 6:10). It is emphasized by the Apostle Peter in his writings that said that our faith may grow up to godliness love of brothers and sisters (brothers in faith) and love for everyone (2 Peter 1: 5-7).

Warning, many brothers and sisters no longer appreciate the grace of God and then quickly have turned to follow another gospel / false one (Galatians 1: 6). It is our duty to remind them with patience, responsibility and love so that their faith is not easily shaken to be in  part of salvation.

Let us be more active in doing good especially prior to His return, because God never deceives us, He has prepared rewards for us. Amen.

Transalator: Samuel Sirait
Editor        : Interpreter Team

Sunday, Lemahputro, March 8, 2015

Assistant Pastor Janche Suhatan


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