To truly advance in Christ’s service and draw more souls into God’s Kingdom, we must actively align our priorities with the teachings of Scripture when it comes to performing good deeds. This isn’t just a lofty aspiration; it’s God’s divine will. As believers, our journey isn’t merely about embracing the Bible’s teachings; it’s about putting those principles into action, mirroring the love and compassion that Jesus Christ exemplified during His earthly ministry.
To effectively prioritize good deeds within the body of Christ, we must draw inspiration from the teachings of the Bible. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus succinctly encapsulates the greatest commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” These commandments lay the bedrock of our priorities in doing good.
Motivation for Good Deeds
Our motivation for engaging in good deeds firmly rests in the Word of God. As Christians, we derive inspiration and guidance from Scripture to shape our actions and priorities.
The apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 6:9–10 provide a robust foundation for our motivation: “And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
First and foremost, Paul urges us not to tire in doing good. This underscores the paramount importance of steadfastness and perseverance in our acts of kindness. Even when confronted with adversity or setbacks, we are encouraged to persist in doing good, knowing that our efforts will not be in vain.
Secondly, there’s a promise of reaping a harvest in due season if we remain steadfast. This harvest may not manifest immediately, but it serves as a reminder that our good deeds have a lasting impact and will ultimately yield blessings and rewards, whether in this life or the next.
Furthermore, we are impelled to seize every opportunity to do good. This highlights the significance of actively recognizing and acting upon moments presented to us for acts of kindness. It prompts us to be proactive and attentive to the needs of others, thereby reflecting Christ’s love in our actions.
The directive to do good to all underscores the inclusive nature of our kindness. Our good deeds must not be restricted to a select few but should extend to all people, irrespective of their background, beliefs, or circumstances. This resonates with the broader message of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
However, there’s a special emphasis on doing good, “especially to those who are of the household of faith.” This prioritization underscores the importance of caring for fellow believers, recognizing the unity and bond we share as part of the body of Christ.
Moreover, the Bible teaches us that every good deed carries a reward, redeemable in due time. Hebrews 6:10 assures us, “For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” Our good deeds have a heavenly reward awaiting us. This serves as an added motivator, reminding us that our acts of kindness are not in vain and that God sees and rewards our efforts, even if the reward is not immediate.
Priority Areas for Good Deeds
- Honoring Those Who Preach the Word: Galatians 6:6 instructs us to communicate with and support those who teach and preach the Word. 1 Timothy 5:17 highlights the importance of honoring elders who labor in the word and doctrine. This underscores the need to prioritize support for ministers and leaders within the church.
- Honoring Parents: Ephesians 6:2-3 states, “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” This commandment reminds us of our obligation to honor and care for our parents as an essential aspect of our Christian duty.
- Serving Employers: 1 Timothy 6:1-2 underscores the importance of servants (employees) honoring and serving their masters (employers), especially if they are fellow believers. This reflects our commitment to working diligently and with integrity, especially when our employers share our faith.
Practical Implementation of Good Deeds
In practical terms, our commitment to good deeds must extend beyond the church walls and encompass our daily lives. James 2:15–16 underscores the importance of not merely paying lip service to good deeds but actively taking concrete actions to help those in need.
We can find inspiration in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), where Jesus teaches us to be compassionate and selfless in helping those who are suffering.
Roles of Churches in Prioritizing Good Deeds
Churches play a crucial role in shaping the priorities and actions of believers in their pursuit of good deeds. The following are roles that churches can fulfill to assist their members in becoming effective in good deeds:
- Creating Avenues for Service: Churches should actively create opportunities for their members to engage in acts of service. This can include organizing volunteer programs within the church and encouraging members to participate in community service projects. By doing so, churches become not only places of worship but also centers of active service where believers can put their faith into action.
- Nurturing a Culture of Giving: It’s important for churches to cultivate a culture of giving and generosity among their congregations. This can be achieved by teaching on biblical principles of stewardship and generosity. Churches can establish forums where members can regularly contribute to assist the needy, following the example of the early church in Acts 2:44–45.
- Supporting Skill Acquisition: Churches should also consider providing opportunities for skill acquisition and development. Members can impart their skills to other brethren within the church, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-sufficiency. This aligns with the idea of the church as the body of Christ, where each member has unique talents and abilities to contribute, as emphasized in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.
- Equipping and Encouraging Leaders: Church leaders, including pastors, elders, and teachers, have a pivotal role in guiding the congregation in their pursuit of good deeds. They should be involved in honoring and supporting those who labor in the word and doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17, Galatians 6:6). Leaders can inspire and equip the church to engage in acts of service by setting an example through their own service.
- Providing Practical Resources: To facilitate service within the church, churches can establish practical resources such as job boards where employers can connect with potential employees. This not only benefits church members but also strengthens the community. By doing so, the church becomes a bridge between those in need and those who can provide assistance.
- Promoting Unity and Cooperation: The idea of the church as the body of Christ, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, underscores the importance of unity and cooperation. Churches should encourage members to work together harmoniously in their service endeavors, recognizing that each member has a unique role to play. This unity extends to collaborating with other churches and organizations to maximize the impact of their collective good deeds.
In conclusion, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us firmly grasp the profound truth that, as Christians, our priorities in doing good should be anchored in the timeless teachings of Holy Scripture. We are called, yea, commanded by our loving Creator, to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to embrace a sacred duty to serve our fellow believers with unwavering devotion. But hear me now, it does not end there, for the Word of God instructs us to extend our kindness, our love, and our benevolence to all who cross our path. It is in this comprehensive love, this selfless service, that we fulfill the very essence of our Christian calling. Let it be etched in our hearts and engraved in our actions: love God, love our neighbors, prioritize our brethren, and extend grace and goodness to all we encounter. May the Lord’s light shine through us as a beacon of hope and love in a world that so desperately needs it. Amen.