By Pamela Rose Williams
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” — Amos 5:14-15
Amos is addressing the Jewish people in this passage when he refers to “the remnant of Joseph”. Even so throughout the Scriptures Christians are encourage to “do good” while at the same time taught that “good works” are not what earn us a spot in Heaven (Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7). So then why should we do good?
That is a very good question and I think we can let the Bible answer itself on this one. I think Jesus gave the best answer when He said: “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) So then, we should do good works so that others can see our motivation. We ought to be doing those good works so that others will ask us about God … or at least ask us why we do them so that we have an opportunity to speak of the things of the Lord.
Other areas in Scripture teach us that our good works are the result of a loving relationship with the Lord. In this sense our good works “prove” our faith or are the “fruit” of that relationship.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:14-17)
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:18)
Our attitude matters too … we should do the good works cheerfully. Others are watching, especially unbelievers. They will learn from your testimony, which is displayed in your attitude.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Col. 3:17)
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (Heb 10:24)
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; (Titus 2:7-9)
God abhors evil and for that reason we should be careful to know what is evil and avoid it. (1 Thess 5:22)
Next time you do a good work, think about the motivation behind it and you will know whether or not you are doing it for the Lord. When your work is motivated out of a love of you neighbor or a love for the Lord you are doing the right good thing.
Things to Think About and Do
1. List at least 3 verses that talk about the Lord’s hatred for evil.
2. Choose one person today with which you can share this “verse of the day” and then share it.
3. How do you know you are going to Heaven?
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