Thursday, October 23, 2014

Doing Good While We Have the Opportunity

The Church of the Holy Rood
 Several years ago my husband and I had the privilege of traveling to Scotland as well as several other countries.  It was not only a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate our anniversary in a special way, but also a chance to travel to places where history was made.  One such location was the city of Stirling, Scotland which not only had a monument to William Wallace ("Brave Heart") but also The Church of the Holy Rood where both John Knox and Ebenezer Erskine had preached the Gospel of Salvation.
     As we toured this old church, I noted in several places both on the wall as well as in the graveyard behind the church, inscriptions in stone commemorating the lives of various individuals who had died in the faith.  One such writing touched my heart.  It described a woman who had been the wife of a pastor, a faithful mother, someone much loved by others and a caring person who demonstrated the love of the Lord.  What a testimony to a life well lived that brought glory to God!  In fact, all of us should have this type of epitaph when we leave this world.
     In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul wrote some encouraging words for all believers to walk out.  Chapter 6, verses 9-10 read:  "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."  I believe that this is how the good lady written about on that stone wall had lived her life, and this is how we should live ours.  We are told, by the Apostle, to not grow weary in doing good.  This is not always easy is it?  There are days at work when our fellow man may say or do something that arouses a desire in us to strike back with a harsh word.  Likewise, for those who are young mothers, it can be difficult to continue on when the weight of family demands may be at an all time high.  Yet, Paul tells us not to become weary in doing good.  Realistically, only the Holy Spirit can help us be successful in this endeavor.
     Furthermore, Paul encourages us to do good to everyone and especially to fellow believers.  This should not be hard, but we also struggle with the old flesh that at times would rather do things our way and ignore the needs of others.  Keeping this in mind, the first place we need to start is in prayer before our heavenly Father.  We need to ask God to open our eyes and show us where we might be a blessing to people we encounter.  Today, for example, a gentleman came into our office distressed over a situation concerning his eyes.  I sought the counsel of my husband and took time to explain the best approach to this gentleman.  He needed someone to help him sort out what he should do, and after our brief discussion, he felt reassured.  All I did was listen and try to answer his questions.  This is what he needed.  It is that simple.  We do good to others when we listen to them, visit the sick, help someone grocery shop, call a friend who needs encouragement or give someone a ride to an appointment.  We demonstrate the love of Christ in many simple ways, but we need to look for the daily opportunities.
     Not only are we to do good to others, but we are to especially look for ways to bless our fellow believers.  In the book of Corinthians, Paul talked about how we are all part of the body and each one of us cannot do without the other part.    Therefore, by serving one another, we are glorifying God.  Life is short here on this earth so we must make use of every opportunity to do good.  One small act of kindness can change the course of someone's life.  Selah1

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