Good Works?


I was just reading the bible this morning, and after completing John, Jesus’ words echoed in my head, as He said in several different ways

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

It should be very simple to ascertain that when Jesus repeats Himself several times in several different ways, especially in the critical time just before He was betrayed and gave Himself over to be executed, that it is very important.  It is also important to note that moments earlier He said:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34, 35).

I believe that this “new commandment” He gave is to add back the lost frame of love that all the commandments were intended to have from the beginning, and all of these commandments He is referring to should be framed in this same love for one another.

On to my main point.  I decided to head back to Matthew, and read all of Jesus words, searching out what His commandments were, so that I can keep His commandments in the most real and practical way that I understand and have the ability to do.  So I read through “The Beatitudes”, which I have come to understand are more of a section of speaking where Jesus gives the true orientation of God, His kingdom, and His people.  It is not a list of things to do, or I would quickly go find someone to morn, try and find a way to become poor in spirit, or find a situation where I could become persecuted for righteousness, and insulted because of Jesus, and that just does not make sense.  Orientation of the hearers is very important, and so Jesus blesses them with the revelation of the true reality, quite opposing to what they have been shown by the world they lived in at that moment.

The first section that looks to be an actual command is Matthew 5:16, where He says:

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven”

So how do I put this into practice?  What good have I done?  What good works?  I have been studying for some time and have learned that God is at work all around us, all of the time.  I am blessed to have been able to see God powerfully at work around me each time He has shown me, and He has sown me several times.  But that is His work, not mine, I did not do it, but I was graced to see it.  I do my best to join Him where ever I see Him at work, but so often those are not public activities, but more of private situations and conversations with random people.  I do help out with the church website for Edmonds Adventist Church (edmondsadventist.org), and I also put the Weekly Sermon Podcast and other special series up online.  I also do this blog, and I do have some mention of God in it, and what ever else comes to mind that I am working through with Him or in life.  I think that is as close to this first commandment that I can get right now.  I am not doing it for myself, at least I do not think that I am.  I really do hope that if someone were to read the things I write, that it will do them some good, maybe bring them to think, and it would be totally cool if people would look to God and thank him for something that they got in any relation to something I did.

On to the point where I turn what I have done to God, for His glory.  I enjoy being able to make available the sermons and special series from Edmonds Adventist Church.  It is a blessing to me to be able to put these things up online knowing that God can use it for His will, if He chooses to do so.  It is exciting, and priceless to hear that God has used some of the things I put online, to change or better someone’s life, where they were able to move forward with God in some way, or forward in life in a good way.  This is one of those “treasures” that no one can steal, it will never rust, and moths will not destroy it.  It is one of those “treasures in heaven”.  It is a blessing to me, and I pray it is a blessing to others.  It is exciting to join God where He is at work, and I do know that He is at work in the Edmonds Adventist Church, that is why I am there.

Keep your eyes open for where God is at work, and then join Him where you find Him working.  It is not easy, it takes a lot of work, time, and willingness to change, but most good things are not easy, and take a lot of time and effort.  The cool thing is, nothing can ever take it away from you, it will never get old, these joys will not need an upgrade in the future in order for them to be of any use, they will never burn up in a fire, and you can never loose them.  It still seems very odd for me to look at things this way, but I would just suggest you try it.

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