Pastoral Perspectives

Good Works!

The works that we often think of doing can be mundane and monotonous! They can be a chore and a drag. They can also be draining and despairing. How can we approach work with the right attitude and in its right perspective? How do we look at work in itself? When I look at work with the lens of biblical understanding, it is refreshing!

The question lies in this: “What are we created for?” In Christ, for Christ and with Christ, work takes on a new perspective! The Word of God teaches us in Ephesians 2:10 ESV that “. . . we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” In this Bible verse, we are taught that in Christ, we are created for good works. That means that each one of us is to demonstrate good works in our lives. Good works are doing good things for the glory of God. (see Matthew 5:16). Things that are considered good are services rendered with the purpose of building up the people of God. When you do good works, others see them, they may give glory to God. We are to be a wonderful shinning light for Christ wherever God puts us in, be it in the marketplace or in the church. Good works done with the love and compassion of Christ will be a wonderful testimony of the grace of God working in and through our lives! Are you ready for every good work? Am I ready for every good work? Let us, as God’s beloved and chosen children, always be ready for every good work. Yes, be ready for every good work! Are we ready?

In Titus 3:1, I have learnt this biblical truth: “Remind them . . . to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.” We all need to be reminded to be ready for every good work. We also need to be reminded to do things that are acceptable and pleasing to God. Good work needs preparation and readiness. It is not easy to do good work! We cannot anyhow do the work which God has entrusted us to do! If good works are easy to be done, then they do not need readiness and preparation. The question which may have in mind might be this: “What are good works?” Good works are excellent and profitable works or deeds. They are the results of good thoughts put into practical actions. They are beautiful, beneficial and bountiful works! They are works that are accomplished for the glory of God. They are works that are for the building up of the body of Christ. They are works that are unselfish, uncompromising and unaccommodating! Good thought produces good work. Someone shares this with me: “I think good works are to show forth a good example of Christ-like character of ourselves to people, as we are carrying our Father God’s image with us. Giving all glory to our Father in Heaven is the outcome of good works.”

Besides this, we also need to be devoted to doing good works for the Lord. This is what I have learnt in Titus 3:8 ESV, “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.” Likewise, it is being emphasised in Titus 3:14 ESV, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” Good works help to relieve others of their urgent needs and concerns. They are fruitful and productive works. When someone is in serious financial crisis, how would the people of God render the appropriate help or assistance? One way is to bring out this need to the Social Concern ministry with the permission of that person who is in urgent need. The Social Concern ministry people would then arrange for a meet-up with him or her to find out more about his or her need. Through this process, the need can be properly and effectively addressed.

Besides this, we also need to be a model of good works to others as what Titus was instructed by the apostle Paul in Titus 2:7-8 ESV, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” In order to be a model of good works to others, we need to be authentic in the things we do, doing them sincerely and truthfully, no pretense and no pride, but showing forth integrity, dignity and sound speech. When people see the good works which you have done and accomplished, they immediately know that you have done them well and wholeheartedly as a sweet offering to the Lord our God.

The final question for each one of us would be: “What kind of good work can you carry out as God’s servant?” I would like to suggest two possibilities here. You can be involved in teaching the children in the sunday school or the youth zone or the young adults, depending upon how God leads and directs you and also upon how prepared and ready you are. You would need the necessary training to equip you if you are keen in serving in this area. You can also be involved in giving a listening ear to those who are troubled or distressed. After listening, you can also offer to pray for them provided they are open and ready. You can also recommend them to professional help if required. Serving others and/or praying for others in this manner can be considered as doing a piece of good work for the Lord. Let us, therefore, display good works in our lives that will bring glory and honour to God.

Pr George Ang

August 12, 2018