Ready and Aimed with Good Fire

“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18

“[He] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works… Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people… And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” Titus 2:14; 3:1-8,14

“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13

We may admire those with backbone, expertise, or aplomb who speak and serve publicly on the frontline of a certain discipline or arena, but we’re all on a frontline somewhere. Our space may be more confined, our venue less glamorous, our role seemingly insignificant, but good work for the Lord is always important in His eternal scheme, and never wasted. Who are we to minimize what He’s called us to do?

Paul was a great exemplar of using his gifts of intellect, oratory, and debate, and he encouraged God’s people to be ready and zealous in their areas of gifting, too. Good works are what we were made and saved to do. They are uniquely prepared for us by our Savior and therefore vital to the health of His kingdom. They are needed in the church and in our culture to build up people and to communicate the gospel. They are an appropriate outpouring from our regeneration by the Spirit. They are a grateful response to Jesus for His perfect work in our redemption, and a sure sign of it. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

How prepared am I, how filled with holy fire, to do God’s ordained work? When weary in it, He gives strength, but have I grown weary of it, falling to sloth and self-indulgence? Will I daily seek His humbling, convicting, and correcting in my attitude, goals, and efforts? Is my aim to be ready, whatever the cost or requirement? (Isaiah 40:28-31; Matthew 25:1-10)

How readily do I listen, quell gossip, or contribute for another’s benefit? What am I doing to prepare for the good work of prayer for my leaders, my church, my community? Where in my schedule should I build margin so I can be available when urgent needs arise?

Lord, purify my daily aims, and keep me devoted and zealous in good works. May they reflect Your righteousness, mercy, and lovingkindness, and further Your fame.

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