I recently read a book titled “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan, where he narrated the story of a sixteen-year-old girl who accomplished the extraordinary feat of sponsoring fourteen children, all on her own! She worked year-round, she worked three jobs in the summertime, and she worked hard to pay for the child support. Fourteen children (at about thirty dollars a month for each child) is a big commitment for a high school student to make! And I quote Chan here, “When other teenagers are saving for a car, she’s saving lives! Instead of spending her hard earned money on herself and her future, she gives it to these fourteen children because she believes God loves them just as much as He loves her.”
I had to stop reading that book at that very moment. Emotions overwhelmed my soul as I thought about the girl who would want to work so hard so selflessly to bless other lives. For us, it doesn’t even seem logical, let alone practical, for a teenager to do something like that. So then, what had been the motivating force behind her actions? What kept her going in pursuit of her goal even in the busiest, lowest, and most difficult of days? It might have been easy to have been good, or to have loved when there was a reward in the form of love in return, or genuine appreciation from people. But what about then, when it became extremely hard to keep up with the same diligence when things went out of hand, when people wrongly judged or criticized her intentions?
This is where the Bible says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith” (Gal 6:9-10) Another verse: “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matt 5:16)
In other words, the Word emphasises on our goodness turning into good actions, consequently blessing the church first and then, the people around it. Good works do not always imply starting a charity work or getting associated with a philanthropic organization. We need to pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the good work that we are supposed to do, which might be as varied as just cleaning the garbage dumping grounds in the locality, or even stopping women from being sold into sexual slavery. Whatever it is, we need to ask God to show us how to be beneficial to our community, and when He reveals it, to go ahead and do it.
We are the children of a Father who is good! And there is no limit to His amazing goodness. If His goodness doesn’t consequently flow into us and further out of us into the hurting world around us, there is something seriously wrong in our relationship with this good Father in heaven. Can I be the first one to admit it? Yes, I haven’t been a good steward of my Father’s goodness to me.
But will you join with me in asking God for ways to get out of our regular, usual and comfortable routines and go out there to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this generation? We would love to hear your responses and commitments.