Thursday, August 9th,
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message by Kris Jackson
of Nazareth...went about doing good..." (Acts 10:38)
They are only two words but on them hang the
definition of Christianity. Jesus went about "doing good". Does that sound too
simple, too pragmatic? We want to do miracles; He only calls us to do good. We
want to do the impossible; He only demands we do good. Some think they are too
good to just do good. The priest and Levite passed by the man in the ditch
"on the other side". They changed lanes to dodge duty. But the Good Samaritan
had compassion, poured in the oil and wine, took the injured man to the inn and
paid his hospital bill. Jesus said, "Go and do thou likewise". Wesley's theme
was "do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you
can, as long as ever you can". He was a worker, not a shirker. Yes, Wesley is
known for doctrine, for the Wesleyan movement brought a reemphasis to the
doctrines of sanctification and holiness, but his creeds were certified by his
deeds. How about ours? I know believers that would sooner pray all night to see
their sick neighbor healed than to cross the street and cook him some chicken
The two words "do good" appear twenty-six times
in the Bible. We are told to "do good to them that hate you" (Matthew 5:44).
Praise for the persecutors; that's a novel idea. "Do good, and lend, hoping for
nothing again" (Luke 6:35). Hmm..." Fred, you can borrow my charcoal grill and if
you don't bring it back, great!" More unique people skills. "As we therefore
have opportunity, let us do good..." (Galatians 6:10) We won't find opportunity
if we are not seeking opportunity. Tozer noted that when we are confronted with
such opportunities we usually ask, "Is he a Christian?" or, "Is she worthy?"
Show me the scripture that says Jesus had people fill out questionnaires before
pledging help. Scribes and Pharisees pulled their fallen oxen out of the ditch
on Sabbath days. Jesus instead lifted helpless men and women out of the ditch.
It is a contorted theology that takes better care of pets than people.
On the flipside, "To him that knows to do good,
and does it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). We instinctively know what is
right, right? Doing good is one career that needs no college degree to access.
Sometimes we do so in the public eye to spur others unto similar good works
(Matthew 5:16), but more often our deeds should be so secretive that the right
hand doesn't know what the left is doing (Matthew 6:3). When the supermarket
owner and civic club leader pose for a newspaper photo, holding a six-foot long
copy of a check, you know it was P.R. marketing and not charity. Jesus said,
"The kingdom of God comes not with observation", nor do the deeds of that
kingdom. Consistency is the key. The sower cast seeds on the wayside, among
thorns, on the rocks and some on the good ground. We sowers are to cast deeds
as well as seeds and cast them on all types of soil among all types of people.
And it will always cost something, often money, always time and energy. "But to
do good and to communicate forget not..." (Hebrews 13:16) Dad and Mom always told
me to "be good", but instruction is better than command, so they also taught me
to "do good". I only wish I would have always honored their tutorial.