"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" - Ephesians 2:10 (NIV).
As believers, one of our inescapable call is engaging in good works. The Apostle James had an occasion to expound on this, perhaps after observing some slackening by the brethren. "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:14-19).
What James is here reminding us is our faith is not mere words, but the proof of it is seen in how we demonstrate it by meeting the needs of the body and even strangers around us. It is quite easy to find one who has all the words of faith but yet just as James notes, there are but empty. "If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom" (James 3:13).
One further motivation for engaging in good works is that good deeds also inspire the faith of those around us, as "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" ( Mathew 5:16). Hence, it is another way of evangelizing the Gospel of Christ.
It is a hallow faith where one proclaims all the faith in God but can't show it by way of good works. The Bible notes, "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, may you teach us to demonstrate the faith we have in you through good works that glorify you and inspire faith in you, this I pray in Jesus's name.
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“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.