When you think of Christians who are known for their good deeds, Mother Teresa usually tops the list. She is someone who gave her life to those who were less fortunate than herself. While she is certainly the most famous, she’s not the only Christian to be known for her good deeds. In fact, each of us should be doing things for others, not as a requirement for salvation, but as a fruit of it. Giving to others should spring out of our love for God.
When I look at my own circle of friends, I’ve got friends who care for orphans, feed the homeless, provide disaster relief around the world, are surrogate mothers for those who can’t have children, run foster homes, who give money sacrificially, are missionaries and so much more. Jesus said we would be known for our love and our fruit. To do good deeds, you don’t have to do big things that change the world. Just do something that changes the world for one person at a time.
Romans 7:4 says, “And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God” (NLT). When we become Christians, each of us are capable of producing a harvest of good deeds. The only way to get any harvest is by planting seeds. Look around you today. See where you can plant seeds of God’s love in other people’s lives through a good deed. This world needs to see more of God’s love, and you and I are the ones He’s called to do it.
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
Most every one of us are familiar with Ruth’s vow given in Ruth 1:16-17. Ruth said to Naomi, “Don’t ask me to leave you! Let me go with you. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and that is where I will be buried. May the Lord’s worst punishment come upon me if I let anything but death separate me from you!” (GNT)
Ruth perfectly demonstrates what it means to leave your father and mother and cleave to your spouse. I know that scripture was for men, but here Ruth does it. When her husband died, she clung to her husband’s family still because she knew that Ruth had no one left in the world. It may have been out of respect for her husband, it may have been done because she didn’t like her parents, or because she truly loved NaomI. I believe it was the last one, but we don’t really know.
No matter what, it’s the depth of her vow that draws us to this story. To me, it’s the same vow and devotion we should enter into with Jesus. In II Corinthians 2:2-4, Paul says that we, the Church, are like a bride engaged to Christ. He doesn’t want us to be a bride like Eve who was deceived and corrupted who will “abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ.” He doesn’t want us to be easily deceived or to turn back to the life we once knew. We are committed to Christ the was a spouse is committed. Jesus deserves our full devotion.
Just as it’s wrong to cheat on your spouse, it’s wrong for us as believers to cheat on Jesus by going back to sinning. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord, you have taken the vow to go where He goes, live where He lives, till death do you part I believe if we as Christians began to show that kind of commitment in our Christianity, we could change the world. If we could leave this world and cleave to Him, the depth of our commitment to our vow to Christ would be just as compelling as the story of Ruth and would draw in those looking for something real.