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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

MAINTAINING GOOD WORKS


 

Today’s Reading:

TITUS 3:1-11

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (v. 8)

 

We may think that we live in a time that is filled with more violence, resentment, rudeness, and hatred than most and I think we can acknowledge it is pretty bad. In verse 3 “We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another.” That describes a lot of human behaviour with eight terms that seem to get worse as they go – tracking the history of human sin. Even a brief look at the news on any given day shows that the description is accurate.


The undeserved, unmerited loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared right in the middle of the mess of the world and our lives. The good news is simply based on God’s mercy, new life and new birth that put us right with God are possible through the Holy Spirit. By the grace of Christ, we are given the gift of eternal life. God saves us by the renewing of baptism, cleansing us from sin and enabling a new life in the Spirit, in which we become beneficiaries of a great inheritance. We are not saved by any wonderful deeds we have done, but by God’s own mercy. That is the message of the gospel (Titus 3:5-8) – cleansing (forgiveness), birth (by means of washing/baptism), and new life (by the revitalizing power of the Holy Spirit). The source of our hope is that we have confessed the truth of God’s word about who we were and received and believed what God has done for us regardless of who we were and what we did.


It is too bad that some people associate “good works” with the mistaken idea that we can “work” our way into heaven. God has taken the initiative in mercifully and lovingly reaching out to us in Jesus Christ, through whom we are forgiven, reconciled to God, and empowered and commanded to live a new life with the help of the Holy Spirit. Humility marks our life of discipleship because we recognize how undeserving we are and how far God has gone to extend life and hope to us all. We are saved by God for a purpose and that purpose is to do good.


Good works are the way godliness expresses itself in the wider world. Our good works are the expression of our priorities and our attitudes. So, we are not saved by our good works, but our good works demonstrate that we are saved. Listen to Titus 3:8 again, “Be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone (NIV). Let people learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.”


We are to devote ourselves to good works to meet urgent needs so that we are productive followers of Jesus and productive citizens of our communities. We are not to waste our time and energy in pointless quarrels, stupid controversies, dissensions, or anything that is divisive. Speak evil of no one, avoid quarrelling, always be friendly, be gentle, show courtesy to all. Life is too short. There is too much important work to be done. Christians can be as guilty as anyone of spending their time arguing about stuff that most people don’t even care about instead of devoting ourselves to good works to meet urgent needs.


Good works are excellent and profitable for everyone to be a part of – whether it is supporting the work of Evangelism, Hospitality, Caring, mission trips, financial support to needy & widows, visiting people who are grieving or sick, giving someone a ride, giving our time and service as a volunteer – the list is endless. These are things that we are called to do, we are to be energetically engaged in doing good – whatever is profitable and excellent.


When we respond to needs it is an opportunity for us to grow in grace and in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

OLAJIDE OGUNFUWA


PRAYER:

  1. Lord, help me to take away every human behaviour or manifestations of the works of the flesh in Jesus name. Amen

  2. God fill me with your Holy Spirit and Power to live a life worthy of heavenly kingdom in Jesus name.

  3. Father help me to understand that you saved me by your grace to devote myself to good works in Jesus name.

  4. I pray that the Church will rise up to her responsibilities by responding to needs of people in Jesus name.

  5. Oh Lord give our political leaders in Nigeria caring and compassionate hearts in Jesus name.


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