When it comes to displaying godly behavior, the ways of doing so are numerous. In the latest issue of Gospel Minutes the following point was made after noting Joseph’s willingness to stand-up for his brother Benjamin during his incognito interaction with the rest of his brothers:
This is one of our principle duties as Christians. We are not here to just go through the motions of worship and religious activities. We are here to protect the weak. We must act when we see children abused. We must act when we see domestic abuse. We must act when we see people at risk or in danger of maltreatment and do all we can to protect them. In the process, we may (like Joseph) discover what it is in the hearts of others. In the meantime, we will be rescuing a helpless victim. (Taking Responsibility by David Thurman – Gospel Minutes – Volume 66, No. 16)
The social justice movement abuses the essence of the gospel, but the essence of the gospel comes with the responsibility of societal justice. In other words, we have a responsibility to love our neighbor, and that includes not only doing right ourselves but also helping others when they are wronged. This responsibility can be seen in the lessons of the Good Samaritan, the woman taken in adultery and even in the interaction between Jesus and Simon the Pharisee (not to mention Jesus’ crucifixion and everything that surrounded his injustice).
As Christians, we cannot “fix” the world but we can help others by being a light that reveals the difference between right and wrong.
“But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:13 NKJV)
As of August 23rd, the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort has sent at least 14 semi-truck loads of help to the Louisiana area. More shipments will follow, so if you’re looking for a way to help out the people who have been hit so hard by the recent flooding, you don’t have to look any further than the provided link above.
Early in my preaching, it was my belief that my successes should be shared with everyone. Even now, I sometimes catch myself trying to impress someone with my pride in what I’m able to do.
Wow, what a foolish thing! The last thing I need is to justify my work by showing others how well I think I’m doing it!
Have you ever thought that one of the things God’s word does better than anything is its ability to hold up our motives and put them on public display. All the Lord has to do is say, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves ; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” (Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).
Paul defines selfishness and empty conceit as the way I’m conducting myself when I try to show others what a great preacher I am. Not only has he defined my shortcoming, but he has shown how he wants me to improve. It isn’t necessary for people to get the headlines of my success. It is more important for me “to regard another as more important.”
Shouldn’t it be enough for me to glorify God, who already knows about my successes and failures? He’s the one for whom these labors are made. We are obeying his commands.
Besides, my reason for doing this job is not so I can become the one everybody wants to turn to and glorify. The reason is so that people will hear the gospel so that the power of God will save them. If I preach the truth, then I’ve done what God wants (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18).
Thank you, Lord God, for your word that cuts through our pretense and lays our motives bare before your eyes.
Problems persist on my personal site, so here goes the Daily Bible Devotional again on TFR.
Humans are selfish, thinking first of their own desires. In order to be the people of God, we must repent of our selfishness and think first of our neighbor. Jesus explains how:
In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 NET
We already have a good idea of how we want to be treated, how we want others to judge us. With this measure we should treat others.
In a word, this idea expresses the sense of Scripture and, we may add, the sense of our Lord Jesus’ coming to earth.