As I have been leaning into the Father’s presence, he has been talking to me about good works and their purpose. Every single one of us has a purpose and our purposes’ are intertwined to be apart of God’s love story to humanity. As the Body of Christ, the works that the Holy Spirit invites us to be apart of come together and build off one another. Unfortunately, much of the time when we hear of good works being talked about, it is attached to statements like: “we are justified by faith, not works” or “good works will never get you into heaven”. I can agree with both of those statements! Even though religion has twisted the purpose of good works, we must not overlook the purpose God has for them.
What are good works? Let us start with what they are not. Good works are not something we do to earn God’s love. This is simply unbiblical and an echo of religious structures that need to be uprooted. However, because God loves us and we love Him, good works are a byproduct of this faith and love. Paul put’s it this way,
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works.” -James 2:18 CSB
Out of our personal relationship with God, our hearts desire should be to share the same love, grace, and mercy we have received. When you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, you cannot help but want to share the same. A love that fills every void, healing of ‘incurable’ diseases, a father who desires to spend time with you, who listens to you day and night-He is everything we and the rest of this broken world needs. Of course we want to share the Gospel! It is GOOD NEWS for ALL! Good works are a byproduct of your relationship with God. As you intentionally grow closer to Him, you understand that there needs to be a light in the darkness! The person that God has chosen for this task is you!
You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:15-16 CSB
Did you catch that? YOU are the LIGHT of the WORLD and the GOOD WORKS God has called you to do will bring him GLORY! That phrase ‘give glory’ actually means that ‘they should glorify’ God. When we break that down further, this is the Hebrew word doksázō. Doksázō means to value God for who He really is or to personally ascribe God in his true character or essence.
As the light of the world, the good works produced out of you display God for who He is! As Matthew 5 says, you are not meant to be hidden. This world needs you to walk out being the light because it is in darkness. Good works do not add or take away from God’s love, they simply display His love to the World. We can only produce good works that are beneficial to the Kingdom of Heaven by continually building a relationship with Him. It is out of understanding His love for us that we are able to love others and share this same love. It is important to remember that these good works are as unique as we are! God has purposed for us to display His glory to bring hope to this broken world when it is needed most! I think we can all agree that THIS is one of those times.
Will you lean listen to the whispers and gentle nudges of the Holy Spirit and obey His voice? He may ask you to text a friend to let them know you are thinking about them, go to a place you did not even know was on the map to spread the good news, or talk to that stranger that seems cranky in the grocery store. Whatever He asks you to do as the light of this world, DO IT! God has invited you to have a personal relationship with Him not only for your benefit. After all, Jesus displayed his love through servanthood! God has also given you specific gifts to display WHO He is to a world that desperately needs Him, now more than ever.
Call To Action:
- What is a good work? What is a good work NOT?
- HOW are good works produced?
- How can you be the LIGHT of the world today?
- Why is understanding that you are UNIQUE on PURPOSE important as you walk out your God given purpose?
- Ask Holy Spirit to bring you revelation through an example of Jesus or the disciples carrying out a ‘good work’.