Daily Thought - "deeds Matter – Integrity Part Two"

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. – Matthew 6: 1-4 (NLT)

    Yesterday we looked at how much our words matter as Christians and how we need to set the example of Christ in our communication. Equally important to God is our deeds. We saw this past week in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and outpouring of good-deed-doing on Staten Island as neighbors who never knew each other reached out and lifted each other up at a time of great need. These things are never lost on a merciful God who expects us to act with the same measure of grace and mercy we have been shown by Jesus. When it comes to our faith, God has made it a point to remind us that faith alone is not enough:

    What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. – James 2: 14-17 (NLT)

    Our Christian integrity starts with a change in who we are as compared to the world. It is not enough to say the right things – we must do the right things as well. It is in fact our faith in a merciful God that should make us be more merciful as people. That is the correlation. As Christ has done unto us – we need to do unto others. Of what use is a Christian who knows the entire Bible yet operates outside of the benevolence of God? That would be someone who has mastered something intellectually but not spiritually. It is the spirit of God inside of us that should make us want to reach out and help our fellow man and not just in times of dire need such as this past week. In fact, every single day we pass people, talk to people, and love people who are on the broad path to destruction and yet we simply refuse to extend to them the Gospel that saved us. What we do matters to God. Let us look at a couple of examples from the Bible.

    King David is described as a man after the very heart of God. He slew Goliath because he had faith when no other fighting man in Israel did. He wrote the majority of the Psalms and led Israel to one of the more prosperous times in its history. Towards the end of his reign David envisioned building a glorious temple for God but the deeds he had done in his life, not withstanding all of the positive above, would prevent him from being allowed to:

    Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel. “My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. – 1Chronicles 22: 6-8 (NLT)

    Remember this verse the next time someone tries to sell God as being a pro-war and pro-death God. Despite all of the good things David had done in his life, he was prevented by God from building the temple. Sometimes we think in this walk that as long as I have more positive on one side of my ledger I do not have to worry about the negative and that is simply a lie from the pit of hell designed to prevent you from repenting of what you need to repent of. I know people who have perpetrated grievous sin within the house of God who simply do not seem to get it. Raising your hands on Sunday while they are still covered with blood in the spirit realm is not lost on God. It does not matter how sincere you are from that point on. It doesn’t matter how much work you think you are doing for the Lord. A rotten foundation is a rotten foundation. There is no forgiveness without repentance and there is no repentance without confession. One of the most dangerous positions a Christian can be in is in desperate need of repentance but refusing to think they have done anything wrong. The world operates on a “what have you done for me lately” basis – not God. He operates on a “what have you done” basis alone. Remember, the Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Unfortunately there are too many Christians who tremble not. Too many who are blindly singing kumbya and never even considering that they may need to look inward.

    How much do deeds matter? Take a look at Moses! This is someone called by God directly. Led the stubborn and complaining Israelite people for decades after decades in the wilderness. Towards their final arrival and entry into the Promised Land, God tells Moses to speak to a rock and have water gush out for the needs of the people. Moses makes a dramatic scene and strikes the rock instead. Here was God’s reaction:

    But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” This place was known as the waters of Meribah (which means “arguing”) because there the people of Israel argued with the Lord, and there he demonstrated his holiness among them. – Numbers 20: 12-13 (NLT)

    Moses probably was having a bad day. He probably was a little upset. He had probably grown weary of the grumbling and complaining of the Israelites. He had just cause for being upset! Did not matter to God. What mattered was his deed. Does that mean that Moses lost “credit” for all the good he had done previously? Of course not! But the rock striking incident carried a heavy price as Moses would never be allowed to see the Promised Land he spent so much of his life walking towards. We need to stop looking at our deeds in relation to each other. The object is not to have more on the good side than the bad. The object is to have none on the bad side at all! At a bare minimum the object is to recognize the bad, repent, and accept what ever reaping might come with our sowing. Deeds matter.

    That brings us to the final point and the key verses. There is an inherent danger even within our good deeds. It is within our deeds of good that we can start to think more of ourselves than we should and have pride start to seep in. The principle that plays out then is simple. The more we think of ourselves, the less we think of God. It is unavoidable. We need as Christians to let our deeds speak for themselves. Blowing our own trumpet is not the Christian way. Let others speak greatly of us – not ourselves. I know these verses will grate a lot of people but here are the words of Jesus:

    “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’” – Luke 17: 7-10 (NLT)

    We are servants in the harvest field of the Lord. We have a duty and a calling to fulfill. God has saved our sin-sick souls and has prepared works for us to do. We do not do them to be seen by men. We do not go bragging about our deeds or the deeds of our church. We need to stop breaking our arms from patting ourselves on the back. We simply do our duty and let the world see our actions speaking louder than our words. Why? Because no matter how much you try and wrap God up in it; bragging about good deeds takes the spotlight off of God and onto us. Look at what we did! Look at what the church is doing! No beloved. Just do it and when people look and wonder who those people were they will realize they were God’s people, doing God’s duty.

    Deeds matter.

    Rev. Anthony

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