“For God will reward every person according to what he has done. Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honor, and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life. Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour out his anger and fury. There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles. But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. For God judges everyone by the same standard.” (Romans 2:6-11 TEV)
Life is growth. If you have life, you know the importance of development and improvement. Nobody is a born-super hero. The time you entered on this planet, you are growing and advancing in different arenas of life. More knowledge, more experience, more character, more practice – the list goes on. Even the good nature that Christ has implanted in us, is growing from time to time. God does not make you perfect at the time you were saved. Even though you become a new creation and all former things are gone, even then you are not made perfect. I love the truth that our God wants the best from us. So He works patiently in us to transform us to the likeness of His Son.
The above scripture portion teaches us the truth that God will give glory, honor and peace to all who do good. The practice of doing good is not gained in one instant. Nobody is perfect, God alone. It is this perfect God who helps us in our imperfection. When you feel lazy or afraid to do a good deed, does this great God reject you? No. But only if you have the desire to please Him. Good deeds, biblically means, doing the things that please God. When you fail in one chance of doing good works, God will give you a second chance. It is your responsibility to surrender to God and do what He says.
However, we have learned the truth that God demands us to practice good. And our good deeds are kept in the records of heaven, so that at the right time we will receive our due reward. You may say, “I have done many good things in life. But even then I landed in this misery.” When we do good for our own benefit, it may not be successful. But when you do good for God’s glory, God will take care of the results.
“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 HCSB)
“He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people who are zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:14 NRSV)
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for all those who belong to the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10 HCSB)
“God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus, he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 TEV)
What do you understand? Spiritual life is not only about fellowship, prayer, worship and Bible-reading. Today too many Christians are content with these. But today we have learnt that doing good deeds is an essential part of our daily spiritual growth. And beware! It is highly precarious to take this message for granted. Doing good is not only beneficial for both the doer and the one who gets help, but it also inspires others to do good. The most important thing is that people praise not us, but our Heavenly Father who gets all the glory.
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17 NKJV) Sin, biblically means, to disobey God. If you received one command from the Lord and you are sure that God wants to you to do it; and even then you fail to do it, without doing anything you have added one more sin to your life.
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10 ESV) Finally, we have now the confidence that God sees the motives of those who do good. So He rewards us not just according to what we do, but according why we do it.
A good personality, good character, good behavior – we all desire such things. But sometimes we fail in giving a helping hand. This world is not going to change by mere speech. But if we reflect the example of Christ to those who come in contact with us, many lives are going to be changed.