Doing Good

How can some people do so much good in this world? Let us talk about doing good. It was written that Jesus went about doing good. This one sentence tells us much. Didn’t this same person tell us that no one was good but God. He also made very clear that everything he did was the will of God. This idea of the will of God may surprise you. Isn’t everything the will of God?

This seems to confuse some. Why does God allow evil to be done? He could stop it. He certainly has the power to do so. It says that in the future he will stop all evil actions from being done by any creature to any other creature. The lion will lie down with the lamb and not in its stomach. Satan will be bound and held from any activity.

So we know that God can and will deal with all evil and it will be incapacitated. But who will then act doing good? Good angels will do good. But what about men? Those that do good now will do more in the future. What do we need to do to become these do-gooders?

We are born to receive and not to give. Look at the child who is told to give one of his toys to another child. He is stunned. What? Give my toy to them? Just for a while. It’s called sharing, he is told. He slowly hands the toy to the other child. The child smiles. Not the giver.

This inherent selfishness is our problem. What if you conclude that something is good for you? This same act is bad for another. Let us take an extreme example. Some is trying to kill you but you have the means to kill them first. Should you do so? Stop, you say. Drop your weapon! They advance toward you.

It was self defense, the judge says at your trial. But you have taken a life. You are alive and free. But your mind goes over the event again and again. What would have happened if you said, steal what you like, I am going upstairs?

The law says you have done no wrong. You consider the raw feeling you had of self preservation. It was him or me, you think. That was all you could think at the time. That very deep sense of self and preserving it at all costs is not that far from the child told to share. You were defending your stuff against one who came to steal. You bought that gun to protect yourself. But you came downstairs to protect your stuff.

What can be done about this? Anything? Should anything be done? Isn’t it natural to defend your stuff. Yes, it is. But there is another nature that Jesus exhibited on this earth. That is doing good with all you heart even at your own expense. This is opposite on our natural state. This is the great plan of God for men: to change their nature to good. It is a job only God could attempt and accomplish.

Where do we begin? We are told to begin with repentance. I don’t think so. The disciples did not begin that way. They began with the attraction of Jesus. He shocked them over and over with his unselfish behavior. Peter had a moment where he said to Jesus that he was nothing like Jesus and that they had nothing in common. But Jesus said to him, we will work together to change the world. This is not a direct quote, by the way.

Jesus said that when he was lifted up, he would draw all men to him. Some say he meant the cross. He was not drawing anyone at that moment. Other say he meant his resurrection. He spent his time convincing his followers that he was alive rathe than this great drawing to himself. When did he draw all men to himself? It began after Pentecost. Many were draw powerfully then.

He draws all men to himself now, from on high. But after you are drawn to him and he is exactly what a man was made to be. We find him telling us to imitate his earthy life and so inherit glory. It seems that the glory of God appears in this life as something people do not envy. No one envied the wealth of Jesus. No one envied his magnificent house. They didn’t marvel at his great education that had made him so smart. If fact, he appeared as an ordinary man. One could only admire him for his character, his kindness, his readiness to help others. Sure, he did so with the power of God is miraculous ways. But he always said that the works of power were to help people believe in him. To help believe his words which were also from God.

Jesus outrageously told his disciples that they would do greater works. He told them to wait until they were imbued with power from on high. That he would soon send the Spirit of God to be in them.

This is the true beginning of the enablement of men to become good. The Holy Spirit will come to live in a person. This very nature of God that we can share with Jesus. He wanted us to have this great gift of goodness that would come in and change us from the inside.

So, now we are good, right? Sorry, but there is more to it. Doing a good thing does not make a man good. But being good results in genuinely good works. We return to doing the will of God. Someone asks you to do something. Of course, you say. You are my friend. I am glad to do it. Your friendship impels you to act.

So it is with God. His behavior toward us convinces us of his goodness. But we must add faith to this. Our love and trust in him will enable us to want to do what he says. We start out thinking he wants us to do stuff for others. Let’s say we give someone money. Now we have less money. But God owes no man. If God has told you to give (and he has encouraged us to give) he says that it will be measured back to us. There are those who have given to excess and yet they have not had less but more.

I end with this. Imagine this: God tells you to give from your wealth. At that moment, he is setting in motion how his wealth will be delivered to you. Maybe at a moment when you really need it.