Thursday, September 12, 2013

Weekly Writes: RnR [Good Works]

I've read through the Bible, but I am constantly being bombarded with new verses! I'll read something and become blown away by the enormity of it, even though I probably already read it. Milton Vincents A Gospel Primer called my attention to a new verse this week that reminded me of something I was proud to witness in Cheyenne the other day.

First things first, Vincent's book talks about making the gospel your obsession and how it will change your life, just as it did his. Today's section was all about how we are created to do good works. The verse he quoted was Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." THEN he says this, "Being naturally lazy, I do not normally thrill at the prospect of work; but the more I embrace the saving work of God on my behalf, the more I find myself embracing the works for which God saved me. .... Indeed, gospel-motivated works do for the soul what food does for the body. They bring refreshment, enjoyment, blessing, and strengthening to the doer of the deeds, even more so than to the receiver." (p.37)

"Being naturally lazy..." THAT'S ME! I work my butt off in the classroom, but have to force myself to do laundry, cooking dinner, washing the dishes... because I'm naturally lazy. BUT if I think of the task as, "I know Kyle enjoys a clean, organized home..." my motivation increases because I'm no longer doing it for myself. (That's just one example...)

What's even bigger than doing tasks at home is the concept of having a heart for the poor (which is the next section in the Gospel Primer). He talks about the heart he has for the "... downcast, poverty-stricken, and those in need of physical mercies." (p.38) As Christians, Christ calls us to help the widow, the orphan, and the homeless. I was witness to the most amazing man the other day in Cheyenne. Him and his wife were about to go into a restaurant when he saw a homeless woman sitting on a bench down the block. He said something to his wife and she nodded, patiently waited (like this is a normal thing for him to do) as he asked the woman if she was hungry. She said she was and his reply melted my heart into a million pieces, "Well, come on then, eat with us!" (By the way, she did NOT hesitate!) WHAT AN AMAZING ACT OF SELFLESSNESS! I love people like that and it inspired me to turn around and do something like that for someone. (Reminds me of a commercial I saw once... .)
Milton Vincent tells us that we should be "gospel-motivated" in everything that we do, so that when we minister to the poor we "preach" to them the gospel through word and deed. Who knows what "act of kindness" you'll start and if you minister to 10 people those 10 people may minister to one other person who will minister to someone else and the chain reaction that follows is mind blowing.

More importantly you minister to the poor, the downcast, the widow, the orphan because "they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ." (p.38) The gospel message needs to serve as a daily reminder that our souls were in poverty, deprived of life, before Christ generously breathed life into it. Reminding yourself of that fact daily will instill in you a "heart" or a "connection" to the poor and the needy, because you now have "a desire to show them the same generosity that has been lavished on you" (p.39) because of what Christ did on the cross, saving you from your sins, making you holy and blameless so that you could appear before God in heaven. If it wasn't for that act of generosity, we'd all be doomed to die an eternal death in hell. What's more motivating than that?!

With all of my heart I believe that God shows you something over and over again in multiple ways, putting something in your brain and heart because He wants you to do something about it. I don't believe it was coincidence that I witnessed the most amazing act in Cheyenne the other day and then read this section in Vincent's "A Gospel Primer" titled, "A Heart for the Poor" and then read the Voice of the Martyrs story of persecuted Christians in Sudan and how we can help. God has put this on my heart for a reason. I can't ignore it. Join me!

Start here.

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