Tag Archives: good works

Looking Good

Let your light so shine before men, that they may SEE your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. —Matthew 5:16

“Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles… that they may by your good words, which they shall BEHOLD, glorify God…” —1 Peter 2:12

A young boy was trying to make some money selling apples at a public market. He would approach people with his basket of apples, and ask, “Apples! Would you like to buy an apple?” He wasn’t have much success.

One businessman who noticed the boy’s disappointment approached him and asked to see one of the apples.  He took the apple and began to polish it conspicuously on the sleeve of his jacket. He then began to stroll casually among the people eating the apple and commenting on how delicious it was.  Then he told the boy to try again.  In a short time he sold every apple. The difference? The apples had been made attractive to the potential customers.

This is a lesson to all of us of how we can interest others in the gospel of Jesus Christ: We must make it attractive to them—show them the difference it has made in our own lives. The Apostle Peter wrote that a wife could win her unsaved husband to Christ without saying a word, just by living a holy life before him (1 Pet. 3:1). As Paul wrote in Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without.” We are Christ’s “living epistles, “known and read of all men” (2 Cor. 3:2).  Since “man looketh on the outward appearance,” we should therefore “polish” our outside so others will want what we have on the inside.

The beauty of a changed life can attract others to the One who makes us beautiful. You are a walking advertisement of the Gospel of Christ.  Make it look good!

Avoiding A Spiritual Breakdown

Avoiding a Spiritual Breakdown

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. —Titus 3:8

Maintenance is one of the most important words in the English language. What would our lives be without maintenance? Everything requires maintenance—Homes, clothes, cars, roads, relationships, etc. When something is not maintained, it deteriorates very quickly.

A mechanic who used to work on my car gave me this wise advice; “Al, the oil in your car is the life blood of your engine. If you change your oil regularly, your car will last you a long time.”  A slogan I read recently reminded me of this fact—“Oil is cheap, engines are expensive.” Or, as one advertisement said, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

This is all in accordance with the scientific law of entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodyamics—Everything runs down unless an outside force applies more energy to it:  The roof leaks (Eccl. 10:18); clocks run down; knives get dull; a flame goes out; and cars have a breakdown.

Your spiritual life also requires regular maintenance also (see text verse)! Paul wrote, “Let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful” (Titus 3:14). It is absolutely essential to maintain your communion with God through prayer, reading the Bible, and worship at church.

The opposite of maintenance is NEGLECT! If you do not maintain these good works, your spiritual life is heading for a breakdown.

It’s not magic—it’s maintenance!

Nothing To Boast About

Nothing to Boast About

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. —Ephesians 2:8-9

One of the issues Paul had to deal with in his ministry were those who taught that believing the Gospel was not enough to save a person.  Some taught that a person must also be circumcised in addition to believing in Jesus (Acts 15:1).  Paul said that kind of teaching comes from a “desire to make a fair shew in the flesh” (Gal. 6:12).  By adding some element of “good works” to salvation appeals to the flesh and pride of man.

A Christian saved by grace has nothing to boast about (Eph. 2:8-9). That is one reason why a self-righteous man has a hard time getting saved. Man likes to think they contribute something to their salvation.

One common accusation unsaved people direct at a Christian is, “You just think you are better than I am.”  When someone says this to you, here is a good way to reply— “Oh, no. I don’t think I’m better than you. You’re much better than I am.  If fact, I’m so rotten that I had to have Jesus die for me so I could go to heaven. But you are so good, you can get to heaven without Him.”  That is how you “answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit” (Prov. 26:5).