Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Basis of Good Works
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” -James 3:13
Many people devote great energies to serve their church or community in some capacity, whether it be as a Sunday School teacher, as a member of the church’s executive committee, as a volunteer on a mission trip or in a soup kitchen, or some other mode of good works. An important question must be asked: For what purpose is this work done? Some do it to quantify one’s self-worth via accomplishment. Others do it to broadcast and proclaim their good activities to those around them, as the Pharisee does in Luke 18:11-12. And, still others do these works to check off a “master list” of tasks, working to achieve the ultimate prize that is God’s love. Works done in this way are baseless and bear no fruit in the kingdom of God.
Throughout Scripture, especially in James 3:13, it is seen that our deeds must come from (moreover, must be rooted in) humility founded in the wisdom of God. Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10, and Proverbs 15:33 show that this wisdom comes from the intimate knowledge and reverence of our Father in heaven, who is greater than all. Moreover, this wisdom opens our eyes to see that the God who reigns on high showers His love freely and unconditionally to all of His children. There is no work that can earn God’s love - the life and death of Jesus Christ were all the “works” needed to manifest His love for us (see John 3:16).
Now, here’s the kicker: Because we are so loved by God and we, by reflex, love others because He loves us, we, His children, are compelled to DO things for Him and His kingdom. BECAUSE God loves you and, by wisdom, you know it, you join the executive committee to serve. “Because [God’s] love is better than life, [your] lips will glorify [Him]” by being an active, committed member of your church’s praise & worship team (see Psalm 63:3). BECAUSE God loves you and has equipped you, in humility, you go and do!
Well … that is how it should be anyway. In reality, is that the case? Let us evaluate ourselves in the light of His wisdom and see what is the basis of our works and life.
Prayer: Almighty Father, Your love overwhelms us. You showed us the greatness of Your love on that cross. By that love and the wisdom of knowing You, stir in us a passion to do work for the betterment of the children in Your Kingdom. Lord, equip us to reach out to the homeless, loveless, and hopeless, so that, through us, they may see Your light. May we decrease so that You may increase! In Your mighty name alone, AMEN!
Thought for the Day: 'God showers His love freely and unconditionally to all of His children.'
Dr. Shaun Rajan, St. Andrew’s MTC, New York
Theme for the week: Seeking the wisdom of God