Doing good blog….

“Doing good” or “do good” is mentioned 34 times in the NIV version of the Bible.  It amazes me that there are so many different types of ministries and so many ways Christians can be “doing good.”  As Max Lucado says in his book, Cure for the Common Life,  “God custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment.”  His book gives lots of insights and methods for finding your “sweet spot.”  So I’m going to put down one verse a week that has a “do good” in it and let’s see how many ministries we can think up!  How about this one:Hebrews 13:77 “Remember your leaders who have taught you the Word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and try to trust the Lord as they do.” TLB

  1. Now this verse should be an easy one to attach ministry to…it’s all about teachers. There are so many places one can “do good” by teaching.  Sunday School, nursery through adult in you church is one place to start.  But there are so many more: such as in home Bible studies and one on one Bible studies and working place lunch hour Bible studies. There’s no excuse for not leading a Bible study somewhere if that is the ministry God has laid on your heart.  Summer time out doors with young moms while the kids play, well, winter too because you could study indoors while kids play.  Not a teacher?  Afraid?  Hey, the work’s been done for you in Stonecroft Ministries Friendship Bible studies.  Anyone can order study materials from the headquarters in Kansas City Mo and anyone can “lead” the study.  They call the teacher a “guide” because you don’t have to know the Bible yourself to teach, just read the materials and discuss the answers. And, as stated before, one on one studies are the answer for the shy or the reluctant.
  2. You can always be a teacher’s helper, too.  Open your home for a study and supply the coffee!  Or, babysit so some mom’s can study. God is always faithful to show you a place you can serve if your heart is open.

” In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” Acts 9:36

  1. Our church has a Dorcas ministry where these women meet almost every week and work on quilts which they then give to many different people.  Alone you can’t do much, together it is amazing how many they make!
  2. Crochet/knit baby blankets to give to local Crises Pregnancy Clinics.  I’ve done this a couple of times.  I asked if blankets were something they needed and met with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”  I crocheted a few while watching TV.  I have thought it is a nice gift to give young couples who attend our church, also.  Maybe even make throws or blankets for couples getting married.
  3. I think it might be really fun to gather with other women to work on these projects….they could even be done during a Bible Study.  With, of course, lunch afterwords!
  4. Speaking of lunch… that is a great opportunity to meet with friends either in a home or out in a restaurant.   Presently I meet with two ladies once a week.. we have a wonderful fun time together.  And one of the ladies really needs the break from her home life which is difficult at present!  Oh, and don’t forget to invite others you may not know as well!  That has to be a fun “do good!”

The Bible passage mentions that Dorcas helped the poor also.  What are the ways we can help the poor? There are a lot of ministries for helping and “doing good” to the poor with a lot of different names.

  1. Bob and I, through out our life, have usually been involved in a Rescue Mission work.  He gave his first sermon at a rescue mission in Oroville CA, after only being a Christian for a few months! One of the most rewarding times happened while Bob was teaching a college/career class at our church.  He took the whole group to the local rescue ission mto lead singing and give testimonies.  This made quite an impression on these young people and after a few times of this that group took over the ministry and made it their own.  Once a month they went to the rescue mission to help.  One of the most rewarding ministries ever is to introduce people to a ministry and have them catch the vision.
  2. If you would rather help in the back ground remember a lot of these organizations need godly people on the board to help guide the ministry from that view point.  Bob served on the Board for Cityteam Ministries for over ten years when we lived in San Jose.  It was a time of growth and expansion for that ministry and Bob loved being a part of it.

What about this verse?  How does this give us ideas for doing good?Mark 3:4   Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

  1. Shortly after Bob and I moved to San Jose we attended a new church.   We went to a Sunday School class and were welcomed with open arms and hearts.  We were even invited to a Sunday meal, and that was even after we explained there were three kids who followed us around.  We had a lovely time and they had lots of food already prepared.  It was months later that we learned that adult Sunday School class had an “invite the new people to lunch” practice.  Each couple signed up and took turns to have a meal ready for the “visitors” who showed up for class.  So anyone who showed up in class for the first time was invited to dinner.  What a great idea!  A chance to get to know more about the church and for those members to find out more about the visitors.
  2. The fellowship over a Sunday meal just doesn’t happen as much now as it used to be.  In our current church we have never been invited to a Sunday meal, and in fact only twice for any meal at all.  But also note we have never invited anyone from church to our house for a meal on Sunday.  Our kids and grandkids have been here a lot on Sundays, but usually not others.  I think the times have changed for all of us and now it is the Sunday meal out with friends is a lot more common and we have done that a lot.  Once a month the older members of our church meet at a restaurant for a Sunday meal.  We have had many meals out on Sunday after church with many friends.  Either way, home or out, it is a great way to get to know others from our church.
  3. New nighbors?  Why not take them a gift of cookies and invite them to your church?  Sounds like a good plan to me!
  4. Sunday sounds like a good day to visit people in nursing homes and hospitals. Choose someone or a couple of someones  from your church or from the newspaper to visit.  Take a gift of a good book or Christian literature for those who are confined to a bed or room…it will bless your heart to help in that way and it will probably brighten up someone’s day, too.

Dear friends, even though I am talking like this I really don’t believe that what I am saying applies to you. I am confident you are producing the good fruit that comes along with your salvation.  For God is not unfair. How can he forget your hard work for him, or forget the way you used to show your love for him-and still do-by helping his children?  And we are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward.

Then, knowing what lies ahead for you, you won’t become bored with being a Christian nor become spiritually dull and indifferent, but you will be anxious to follow the example of those who receive all that God has promised them because of their strong faith and patience.  Hebrews 6:9-12 TLB

What are (or should be) the “good fruit” and “hard work” in this verse? What would this verse look like in our lives?

Last week I was in Arcata, California with my daughter, Susie, and a few friends of her’s.  It was a Friday night in the main square and the city was celebrating “Art in the Park.”  There was music and dancing and vendors and most of the stores were still open.  There were a lot of make shift signs such as “Tax the Rich and stop the war.”  But on one corner there was a lone man passing out small booklets of the gospel of John from the Bible.  He didn’t have a crowd around him and most people were ignoring him.  But there he was, just calmly passing out Bible booklets to anyone who would take them.  I thought of the verse,”But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” Luke 6:27.  He certainly wasn’t popular passing out those booklets, but he was faithful “doing good” as he felt God wanted him to do.  This is a good ministry and certainly not for the faint hearted.  One of Susie’s friends took a booklet explaining she wanted to encourage him that what he was doing was a good thing.  Another didn’t want to take a  booklet so he would have plenty to give out.  I simply said to him, “hey, great book!  You’re doing a good job!”  Actually I thought later that what I should have done was to give him money so he could buy more booklets.

Have you seen other believers doing good in a way that might cause them harm?  Perhaps even be called out to defend his or her beliefs on a public platform?  These types of ministries take a lot of guts.  My deepest admiration to those who serve in this way.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.   Galatians 6:10

This verse reminds of a time when a Christian friend went out of her way to “do good” to me.  We were young, just finished Bible School, and on our way to the mission field.  Bob worked in a factory and as often as possible we held meetings in churches to let others know our dream of serving on the mission field and give them an opportunity to support us.  We were pretty broke, too.  We were living in Cincinnati, Ohio.  We had met some pretty wonderful Christians there.  Among them was a couple who had two kids.  One lovely daughter about the same age as Bonnie and they also had another baby who, although in an 8 year-old body her brain was still the same as an infant.  Their baby girl was in her own room and all of them cared for her and loved her.  I had told my new friend that my Mother was coming to visit and I didn’t think she was a Christian.  So this wonderful busy mom and wife called me a few days later to invite both my mother and me to lunch at her home.  What a nice thing….but then, there was something even nicer which I wasn’t expecting at all.  When my Mother and I arrived there were four or five other ladies there for lunch.  It was a delightful lunch and visit…then, when we were mostly through eating the conversation turned to spiritual matters and each one of those ladies gave their own testimony of how they had become Christians and what God was doing in their lives at present.  I realized later that this whole lunch was planned to present the gospel to my mother.  I was humbled and amazed that these women would take the time and energy to do this for me and for my mother.   When we left my mother told me how much she had enjoyed the lunch and the ladies.  Even now, thinking back on that lunch, I am still amazed at what those ladies did.  Yes, my mother’s faith grew in the years after that, something for which I will always be grateful to God.  These ladies truly did “do good” for the “family of God.”

There are many ways we can use the gift of hospitality to bless others and to lead them to a close walk with Jesus.  Inviting others to our home for dinners, lunches, desserts, and even breakfasts. Hosting missionaries in our homes and fixing meals for others are a couple of ways.  When our hearts are set on “doing good” for other believers God will give us lots of ideas.

As I was praying and thinking this morning about speaking tomorrow and the next day, I asked God to please help me to think of others and really listen to the ladies I meet.  That reminded me of a poem of one of my favorite writers.  Oh, that I could be like this:

If I Really Cared ……..poem by Ruth Senter

I’d look you in the eyes when you talk to me;

I’d think about what you’re saying rather than what I’m going to say next;

I’d hear your feelings as well as your words.

If I really cared . . .

I’d listen without defending;

I’d hear without deciding whether you’re right or wrong;

I’d ask you why, not just how and when and where.

If I really cared . . .

I’d allow you inside of me;

I’d tell you my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my hurts;

I’d tell you where I’ve blown it and when I’ve made it.

If I really cared . . .

I’d laugh with you but not at you;

I’d talk with you and not to you;

And I’d know when it’s time to do neither.

If I really cared . . .

I wouldn’t climb over your walls;

I’d hang around until you let me in the gate.

I wouldn’t unlock your secrets;

I’d wait until you handed me the key.

If I really cared . . .

I’d love you anyhow;

But I’d ask for the best that you can give

And gently draw it from you.

If I really cared . . .

I’d put my scripts away,

And leave my solutions at home.

The performances would end.

We’d be ourselves.

What ways have you used hospitality to help others along with their walk with Jesus?

Thumbing through the Bible, reading different verses about “doing good” for that blog on a page here, I was interested in the fact that there are so many verses about the good we should do as Christians…. in fact, it seemed like there were a lot of verses to support those who say we get to heaven by doing good things, especially if they out weigh the bad things we do (of course they also say we won’t know how much any of it weighs until we get to Heaven).  Whenever I’m a little puzzled or confused about something I ask my In House Expert on all things Christian… husband, Bob.  His answer?

“Of course we have to make the distinction between “doing good” and “being good.”

Of course, of course, … sometimes I just don’t see the obvious.  Just a few minutes ago I was reading in Romans and came across these verses in The Living Bible.”

Rom 4:1-81 Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What were his experiences concerning this question of being saved by faith? Was it because of his good deeds that God accepted him? If so, then he would have something to boast about. But from God’s point of view Abraham had no basis at all for pride. 3 For the Scriptures tell us Abraham believed God, and that is why God canceled his sins and declared him “not guilty.”
4 But didn’t he earn his right to heaven by all the good things he did? No, for being saved is a gift; if a person could earn it by being good, then it wouldn’t be free-but it is! It is given to those who do not work for it. For God declares sinners to be good in his sight if they have faith in Christ to save them from God’s wrath.
6 King David spoke of this, describing the happiness of an undeserving sinner who is declared “not guilty” by God. 7 “Blessed and to be envied,” he said, “are those whose sins are forgiven and put out of sight. 8 Yes, what joy there is for anyone whose sins are no longer counted against him by the Lord.”

There it is….”being good” is something God does for us when we accept Jesus as our Saviour and He forgives our sins.  “Doing good” is what we as Christians are able to do for God with help from Him.  He wants to not only be my friend, He also wants to work together with me to do good to others, especially those in the family of God.

I just feel such love and devotion to Jesus as I really think about the depth of the riches we have in Him.  Praise God for all things…………………….


One Response to Doing good blog….

  1. Susie Lewis says:

    There is so much that we can do in “doing good”. I remember going with dad to the rescue mission and singing! Those are awesome memories.
    Also, Stonecroft Ministries has the “Play & Pray” in the summer and it is going strong in Fortuna, California (it will again once summer gets here!). I love the idea of the Dorcas Ministry, too. If only I knew how to sew. Thank you for sharing this!

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