Don’t Tire of What’s Good
If you are anything like me, you can remember studying subjects in school that caused you to stare at your homework with a feeling of hopelessness. Perhaps you felt that the teacher had determined you were a lost cause. That’s a difficult environment in which to learn. John Calvin once noted something similar, writing, “There is nothing that can alienate us more from attending to the truth than to see that we are deemed to be past hope.”
It’s easy to feel hopeless in our Christian walk—to “grow weary of doing good.” Perhaps many of our contributions to the needs of God’s people have been abandoned simply because we grew discouraged about their effects or discouraged by our own ongoing inability to get to grips with defeating sin and growing in holiness. We must stick with it! As we work at obeying the Lord in the Christian life, God works in us to change and grow us (Philippians 2:12-13). And John assured the believers of his day about their faith in Christ when he said, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers” (1 John 3:14, emphasis added). How many of us would finish that sentence in that way? Yet even Jesus Himself said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
So, do not give up. When the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he recognized their exemplary “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). What was true for the church in Thessalonica could be true for us: our expression of faith can, like theirs, be practical, tangible, and persistent. They were not a flash in the pan followed by enthusiasm fizzling out; their acts of Christian kindness were consistent over time.
Doing good is tiring, but we must be careful not to tire of it. For one day the King of Glory will say to the righteous, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). Until that time comes, we have the privilege of obeying and serving Christ with unwavering hope. So, how are you showing tangible expressions of Christian kindness toward the wanderer, the stranger, the prisoner in affliction, the widow, the destitute? Is it time to ask God for strength and purpose to be about His work and to get started, or restarted, in “doing good”?
Seven Chosen to Serve
1Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists1 arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3Therefore, brothers,2 pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
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