Amplified: So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ASV: So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.
Barclay: So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are members of the household of the faith. (Westminster John Knox Press)
ESV: So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (ESV)
KJV: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
NET: So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. (NET Bible)
NIV: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone-- especially to those in the family of faith. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Let us then do good to all men as opportunity offers, especially to those who belong to the Christian household. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: So then, in like manner, let us be having opportunity, let us be working that which is good to all, but especially to those of the household of the Faith. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: therefore, then, as we have opportunity, may we work the good to all, and especially unto those of the household of the faith.
|SO THEN, WHILE WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY, LET US DO GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE, AND ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO ARE OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE FAITH: ara oun os kairon echomen, (1PPAI) ergazometha (1PPMS) to agathon pros pantas, malista de pros tous oikeious tes pisteos: (opportunity: Ec 9:10 Jn 9:4 12:35 Eph 5:16 Php 4:10 Col 4:5 Titus 2:14) (Do good: Ps 37:3,27 Ec 3:12 Mt 5:43 Mk 3:4 Lk 6:35 1Th 5:15 1Ti 6:17,18 Titus 3:8 Heb 13:16 3Jn 1:11) (Especially: Mt 10:25 12:50 25:40 Eph 2:19 3:15 Heb 3:6 6:10 1Jn 3:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 1Jn 5:1 3Jn 1:5, 6, 7, 8)
So then (ara oun) - Therefore based on the fact that the sowing of good seeds guarantees a good harvest (in due time), we need to take advantage of as we have opportunity (Stott adds " this earthly life is full of such opportunity").
Life is a glorious opportunity, if it is used to condition us for eternity. If we fail in this, though we succeed in everything else, our life will have been a failure. (Let us do good to all people - Read about Billy Graham's "missed opportunity" with President John F Kennedy - Billy Graham)
Chuck Swindoll put it this way...
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
William Law (1686-1761) offers an interesting, practical insight on opportunity, encouraging believers to...
Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness, and desolation, with both thy hands, as a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self (Mk 8:34), and entering into a fuller fellowship with thy self-denying, suffering Savior (Php 3:10-note). Look at no inward or outward trouble in any other view; reject every other thought about it, and then every kind of trial and distress will become the blessed day of thy prosperity. That state is best, which exerciseth the highest faith in and fullest resignation to God.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) wrote that...
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.
L P Jacks
The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
A B Simpson (1843–1919)
God is preparing his heroes; and when the opportunity comes, he can fit them into their places in a moment, and the world will wonder where they came from.
Ed comment: Have you ever considered the thought that you are a "hero" in God's eyes [when you are in His will, pleasing to Him] when you seize the opportunity He places before you to do good to another human being, especially believers? Be on the lookout! Be prayed up and filled up with His Spirit, ready to take action for His glory.
John Ruskin (1819–1900)...
Sojourn in every place as if you meant to spend your life there, never omitting an opportunity of doing a kindness, speaking a true word, or making a friend.
An old Arabian proverb says...
Four things come not back: the sped arrow, the spoken word, time past, and the neglected opportunity.
Today in the Word (Moody Bible Institute, 1989 - from Bible.org) has this note on "Kingdom Opportunities"...
The idea here (of kairos) is not clock time but what one writer calls “kingdom opportunities,” those openings for ministry that often come at inconvenient times; a friend who wants to talk, a child with a problem, the chance to lend a hand to someone in need. Paul is encouraging us to keep our lives uncluttered so that we can respond when the need arises—because kingdom opportunities can get squeezed out of an overly tight schedule. (Ed: Are you as convicted as I am? Think back on the past 24 hours - were there some "kingdom opportunities" you saw [or see now in retrospect] and yet deferred because you were "too busy" [too selfish]! Were you so task oriented that you missed the "kingdom task" God gave you the privilege to experience? May His Spirit give us all "kingdom vision"! Amen)
Opportunity (2540) (kairos [see note for "in due time"] is a time favorable for a purpose. In the context of this passage one could interpret this as referring to this present life which affords the believer the one " season" he or she will have to sow good. If one misses this "season", he will also miss the harvest. Within this "season" there are in turn favorable opportunities in a given day that present themselves and should be recognized and "seized" for once they are passed, they will not return, reminiscent of the secular saying "opportunity only knocks once." We cannot lament about the opportunities we missed today for we can do nothing about them. Today has passed. But we can determine to be alert for the opportunities God gives us tomorrow to do good.
Webster says opportunity is the convergence of a favorable juncture of circumstances, but in God's universe the convergence of circumstances is not left to "chance" or "fate" but is under His providential control (see OT example - Ruth just "happened" to be in Boaz's field - Ruth 2:3-note)
Morris adds that
Kairos denotes “the right time” or “the proper time” for anything; consequently a time that occurs only once before it is lost forever. No one can hope to reap the harvest before the time appointed for it by God (Gal 6:9). But if he does not seize the time appointed him for sowing, he will reap no harvest at all (Gal 6:10).
Francis Atterbury said "Neglect no opportunity of doing good." (Sermon on Lk 10:32, 1709)
John Flavel (1627-1691) points out that "Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity."
Hannah More (1745-1833)
The keen spirit seizes the prompt occasion—Makes the thought start into instant action, and at once plans and performs, resolves and executes.
Paul uses kairos to exhort the saints at Ephesus to make
make the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:16-note)
God has set boundaries around our lives, and our opportunity (a state of affairs or combination of circumstances favorable to some end) for service exists only within those boundaries. We are to make the most of our time on this evil earth in fulfilling God’s purposes, lining up every opportunity for useful worship and service.
Barnes writes that...
Ob Portu (from Bible.org) - In the days before modern harbors, a ship had to wait for the flood tide before it could make it to port. The term for this situation in Latin was ob portu, that is, a ship standing over off a port, waiting for the moment when it could ride the turn of the tide to harbor. (Ed Comment: What a great picture of a believer waiting for others who are passing by, intentionally [as led by the Spirit] watching for and seizing opportunities to do good! Lord give us eyes to see those "golden opportunities" You have placed in our path that we might be like ships ob portu, seizing the moment for Your glory. Amen) The English word opportunity is derived from this original meaning. The captain and the crew were ready and waiting for that one moment for they knew that if they missed it, they would have to wait for another tide to come in. Shakespeare turned this background of the exact meaning of opportunity into one of his most famous passages. It’s from Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
An old Chinese adage says, “Opportunity has a forelock so you can seize it when you meet it. Once it is past, you cannot seize it again.”
Some other common sayings that convey a similar thought include:
"Strike while the iron is hot", "There is no time like the present" and "He who hesitates is lost".
Our English word opportunity comes from the Latin and means “toward the port.” It suggests a ship taking advantage of the wind and tide to arrive safely in the harbor. The brevity of life is a strong argument for making the best use of every opportunity God gives us.
The following quote from Napoleon illustrates the idea inherent in kairos:
“There is in the midst of every great battle a ten to fifteen minute period that is the crucial point. Take that period and you win the battle; lose it and you will be defeated.”
For example in (Eph 2:10-note) Paul clearly states that believers now are God's
workmanship (Greek = poiema = "masterpiece") created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
Our goal as believers is to enter into those works that He has already prepared for us, for those are the only eternally lasting and "good" works. The idea of kairos is that God gives each believer opportunities - each new day brings its opened doors, its vast potential. It behooves believers to live in such a way that we are sensitive to when God gives us one of those "kairos" opportunities, because when it passes, it is gone. We can achieve our potential in His service only as we utilize those opportunities He has given us. If this admonition was urgent during Paul's day, how much more urgent today!
Lost Opportunity - “Seize each opportunity to do righteous deeds, because the pull of the times is downward towards moral debauchery.” In 1979, while in seminary in Texas, I was painting for some men who invested in older apartment buildings and renovated them. One of them commented that Texas Instruments was about to unveil a new personal computer, and that if I had any extra cash, I should invest—their stock was certain to go up. I didn’t have extra money, but watched the stock reports, and sure enough, within a year T. I. stock had climbed substantially. But I’d lost the opportunity! -- John Underhill, Spokane, WA (from Bible.org)
Comment: I know a similar story of a fellow physician who in the mid-1980's was approached by a young university dropout who asked him if he would be willing to invest $10,000 in a "high tech" entrepreneurial idea the young man was certain would "catch on". The doctor easily could have given this sum to the young man but was skeptical and so he turned down the young man's request. The young man's name was Michael Dell and today the company is worth billions. Today  this same doctor cannot even discuss this missed opportunity because it literally gives him a "sick feeling" in the pit of his stomach! Now if you're like me, you're thinking
"Wow, he missed the opportunity of a lifetime!"
What if we as believers began to see the everyday opportunities that God places in our path as "opportunities of a lifetime", as opportunities to invest in eternity accompanied by a "divine guarantee" that our "investment" would yield priceless, ceaseless, unfathomably blessed spiritual dividends! I believe we would all begin to invest wisely in the lives of those around us if we kept these secular worldly missed opportunities in mind to motivate us not to miss the divine heavenly opportunities to do eternal good. Open the eyes of our heart Lord to see and seize those "opportunities of a lifetime" for Your glory. Amen.
Opportunities to be kind
Anxious Times - The Irish Potato Famine (1846-1851) resulted in a 30 percent drop in the population of the west of Ireland. The prolonged suffering of the Irish peasantry had broken the survivors in body and spirit. John Caldwell Bloomfield, the owner of Castle Caldwell in County Fermanagh, was working on the recovery of his estate when he noticed that the exteriors of his tenant farmers’ small cottages had a vivid white finish. He was informed that there was a clay deposit on his property of unusually fine quality. To generate revenue and provide employment on his estate, he built a pottery at the village of Belleek in 1857. The unusually fine clay yielded a porcelain china that was translucent with a glass-like finish. It was worked into traditional Irish designs and was an immediate success. Today, Belleek’s delicate strength and its iridescent pearlized glaze is enthusiastically purchased the world over (See Belleek Pottery - Wikipedia). This multimillion-dollar industry arose from innovative thinking during some very anxious times. (Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992) (Bible.org)
IT'S LATER THAN
Kent Hughes says that believers...
ought to be like the little boy whose family clock malfunctioned and struck 15x so that he rushed wide-eyed to his mother crying,
“Mommy, it’s later than it’s ever been before!”
What sanctifying logic! We should also keep in mind that if Christ does not return in our time, He will certainly come individually for us in death. Each ache, pain, gray hair, new wrinkle or funeral is another reminder that it is later than it has ever been before. It is time to love our neighbors as ourselves. It's later than you think. Redeem the time!...
May God help us to love with a sense of urgency and selflessness. Let us cultivate a sense of debt. Just as when we owe someone money and our debt is the first thing we think of when we see him, so may it be with our debt of love (see Ro 13:8, 9-note, Ro 13:10, 11-note). Let us enlarge our definition of neighbor as,
“My neighbor is not necessarily someone like me. It is any person God has (Ed: sovereignly, providentially, not accidentally) put in my way whom I can help.”
Let us cultivate a sense of the time—
“It is later than it has ever been before.”
Let us consciously put off the deeds of darkness (we individually know what these are) and put on Jesus—every day! (Ro 13:12-note, Ro 13:13, 14-note) Let us not be planning out in our mind beforehand how we will carry out the sinful desires that deceptively, continually emanate from our old nature (flesh) (which will constantly wage war with us until we are home [1Pe 2:11-note]). (Hughes, R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books)
Do (ergazomai) is in the present tense and so calls for continuous activity to accomplish or bring about some good through work. This will require dependence on the Holy Spirit in Whom Paul had just commanded them to continually walk (Gal 5:18) and be led by (Gal 5:18). Good works cannot be produced by self-effort or self-reliance but only by the good Spirit working in us to initiate and enable those good works. So the order is - First, BE filled, BE walking by the Spirit. Second, DO the good works.
Do (2038) (ergazomai from ergon = work) means to engage in an activity involving considerable expenditure of effort. To work effectively. The NT uses ergazomai in a literal (to do manual labor) and figurative (especially spiritual - see below) sense. To labor, do work. Ergazomai speaks of "an action as something that stands in contrast to inactivity or talk." (Richards)
To trade or do business (be involved in buying and selling). To work at a trade. To make a gain by trading. (Mt 25:16). Ergazomai is frequently used of business, or employment. Paul used ergazomai of literal work (1Cor 4:12, 9:6, 9:13, Eph 4:28, Col 3:23, 1Thes 4:11, 2Thes 3:8, 10-12).
Richards - A number of Greek words explore the different aspects of "work" seen in the OT. Among the most common are ergazomai and ergon. Words in this group speak of such things as labor, activity, achievement, and business. God is particularly at work in the deeds and actions of Jesus (e.g., Jn 4:34; 17:4)....Ergazomai is also used often in the sense of everyday labor or occupation (e.g., Mt 21:28; Jn 6:27; 1 Co 4:12; 9:6; 1Th 2:9; 4:11; 2Th 3:10, 11, 12).
Wuest - Ergazomai "emphasizes the process of an action, carrying with this the ideas of continuity and repetition. It means “to labor, to be active, to perform,” with the idea of continued exertion being included."
Transitively - To do, to accomplish, to perform, carry out something. To earn by working.
Accomplish - to bring about (a result) by effort. Accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out. This is the sense of ergazomai in 2Cor 7:10 and James 1:20.
Produce - To cause to happen. To bring forth. To bring about. This is the sense of ergazomai in 2Cor 7:10 and James 1:20.
The verb poieo refers to the mere doing of something. Ergazomai is an advance upon poieo and means, “to labor, do work” as opposed to inactivity or idleness.
In the Septuagint (Lxx) ergazomai is frequently found in phrase describing those who "do wickedness" (iniquity) where the word for wickedness is often anomia which means lawlessness and which 1John 3:4 defines as sin.
Ergazomai is often used to describe work in a spiritual sense, implying supernatural work, work that God does, work that God (His Spirit indwelling believers) energizes in and through His children, work that lasts for all eternity! (Jn 5:17, 6:27, 9:4) Of godly sorrow which "works out" or accomplishes repentance (2Cor 7:10). Other spiritual work (1Cor 16:10, Heb 11:33). Ergazomai refers to "spiritual work" by men in a vain attempt to merit favor with God (Ro 4:4-5). In the Septuagint Psalm 74:12 has an encouraging example of ergazomai in the spiritual sense
TDNT - The Greek Usage. These words (ergon, ergazomai, energeo, et al), common from Homer, denote action or active zeal. They occur in relation to all kinds of work, working with various materials, building, and technical and cultural activity. They also denote work as a social or ethical task....The passive is common for the work done, i.e., the result of work, or even its reward as wages or profit. In a weak sense the term can also denote a “matter” or “thing.”
Vine - ergazomai, the Greek word covers much the same ground as the English; it is used, e.g., of manual work, Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; of trading, Matthew 25:16; Revelation 18:17; of the conscience, 2 Corinthians 7:10; of preaching and the work.
NIDNTT - Ergazomai in the intransitive the basic meaning to work, to be engaged on something. Used transitively (linked, for instance, with ergon = work), it means to create, to produce, to perform and also to process (e.g. a raw material).
Ergazomai - 41x in 39v - Translated - accomplish(1), accomplished(1), accomplishing(1), achieve(1), committing(1), do(1), do...work(1), does(3), doing(1), doing...work(1), done(2), make...living(1), perform(4), performed(1), performing(1), practice(1), produces(1), traded(1), work(9), work be done(1), work do...perform(1), working(7), works(1), wrought(1).
Ergazomai - 92v in Septuagint - Ge 2:5, 15, 3:23 ("cultivate"), Ge 4:2, 12; 29:27; Exod 5:18; 20:9; 31:4f; 34:21; 35:10; 36:4, 6, 8; Lev 25:40; Num 3:7; 8:11, 15, 19, 25f; 31:51; Deut 5:13; 15:19; 21:3f; 2 Sam 9:10; 1 Chr 25:1; 27:26; 2 Chr 2:10; Job 24:6; 33:29; 34:32; Ps 5:5, 6:8 ("do iniquity"); Ps 7:15; Ps 14:4; 15:2 ("works [continually, as their lifestyle] righteousness" = description of an OT believer - the righteousness they "work" is God working it through them, based on their trust in and surrender to Him); Ps 28:3; 36:12 ("doers of iniquity"); Ps 44:1; 53:4 ("workers of wickedness"); Ps 58:2 ("work unrighteousness" [Lxx - anomia - 1Jn 3:4 equates "anomia" or lawlessness with sin]); Ps 59:2 ("those who do iniquity"), Ps 59:5; 64:2 ("those who do iniquity" - iniquity is their "lifestyle"); Ps 74:12 (God "works deeds of deliverance"); Ps 92:7 ("did iniquity" - ergazomai in the present tense = their lifestyle), Ps 92:9 ("do iniquity"); Ps 94:4, 16 ("do wickedness"), Ps 101:8 ("do iniquity"); 119:3; 125:5 ("doers of iniquity"); Ps 141:4,9 ("do iniquity"); Pr 3:30; 10:29 ("workers of iniquity"); Pr 12:11; 28:19; 31:18; Eccl 5:9; Isa 5:10; 19:9; 23:10; 28:24; 30:24; 44:12, 15; 45:9; Jer 22:13; 27:6, 9, 11f; 28:14; 30:8f; 34:14, 18; 40:9; Ezek 27:19; 36:34; 48:18f; Hos 6:8; 7:1; Mic 2:1; Hab 1:5; Zeph 2:3; Zech 13:5.
Good (18) (agathos [word study]) means means intrinsically good, inherently good in quality but with the idea of good which is also profitable, useful, benefiting others, benevolent (marked by or disposed to doing good).
Wuest - The word good is preceded by the article. It is not merely what may be good in character as judged by anybody’s standards, but the good spoken of in the context, good which is the product of the work of the Holy Spirit through the (surrendered, yielded) saint. (cf Jn 15:5).
Literally this reads "the good thing," which Vine says is "whatever is most likely to have a happy effect in benefiting the persons concerned." Vine elaborates (similar to Eadie's comment below)...
John Eadie on let us do good means...
John Brown commenting on let us do good notes that...
To all people (pros = toward pantas = all) literally reads "toward all", the word people being added by the translators. The preposition pros expresses direction --- toward, on the side of, in the direction of. It can serve as a marker of closeness of relation or proximity. Vine says the idea is "in your personal and active relations with."
Especially (3122)(malista) means mostly, principally, chiefly, particularly (in the present passage) toward (pros) believers.
Vine rightly reminds us that...
Of the household (3609) (oikeios from oikos = a house or household) are "persons who are related by kinship (this literal sense in 1Ti 5:8) or circumstances and form a closely knit group... with focus on association in common cause or belief." (BDAG). The third use of oikeios is also by Paul writing...
Faith (4102)(pistis) in context refers to all who believe in the Lord Jesus, who trust to Him alone for salvation. Faith in Christ represents a strong and welcome conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, the only One (Acts 4:12) through Whom we obtain eternal redemption and and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. In short the family of God is a unique relationship based on the fact that we all "have received a faith of the same kind" (2Pe 1:1-note). It is a unique relationship among all earthly relationships for it is one which will endure throughout eternity.
Morris adds that...
Regarding Paul's call to focus especially on the household of faith, Stott writes...
James Montgomery Boice...
Adoniram Judson (bio) missionary to Burma alluded to the eternal impact of sowing and reaping when he wrote that...
And remember that you will not always be aware when you are "doing good" (if you were, you might be tempted to boast or take credit or some of the glory- [Woe!]) - Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival was struck by the man’s appearance. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him. Many years afterward that boy—who could never get away from the influence of that wonderful face—became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In a book of memoirs he penned a chapter entitled: "What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson." That lighted countenance had changed his life. Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ!
Over 3000 years ago Moses prayed a prayer that is reflected in the life of Adoniram Judson and might well be an appropriate prayer of every saint who loves "His (Christ's) appearing" (2Ti 4:8-note and Spurgeon's devotional)...
ITS ALWAYS TOO SOON TO QUIT - If God has called us to a task, quitting is never fitting. Yet who hasn't trudged through the lowlands of discouragement, looking to every side road for an opportunity to leave a difficult and frustrating work. Satan is quick to suggest that we might as well give up, go elsewhere, or let someone who is more talented do the job. But we are where we are by God's appointment. If we're in this kind of situation, the noblest expression of faith is a dogged determination to go on with the task.
A minister had been pastoring a church for some time with seemingly little results. Then one night he had a dream in which he was trying to break a large granite rock with a pickax. Hour after hour he labored, but made no progress. At last he said,
Suddenly a man appeared by his side and asked,
The minister told him that the work was futile; he could make no impression on the granite.
Taking up the ax again, the minister struck the rock; and at his first blow the granite flew into hundreds of pieces. When he awoke from his dream, a valuable lesson had been impressed upon his heart.
The "rocks" in our lives may seem harder than steel. Yet, if we are in God's will, they will one day yield. —D. J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Perseverance comes not only from a strong will
REAPING WHAT WE CANNOT SEE - Often we don’t see the results of doing good until much later. Leslie B. Flynn tells about Dyson Hague, a chaplain in an English hospital who visited a ward of dying soldiers. One man asked him if he would write his Sunday school teacher and tell her he would die a Christian because of her teaching.
Chaplain Hague wrote the letter. A few weeks later he received this reply:
TRUE BENEFICENCE - "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men."-- Galatians 6:10.
WE ALL have a mission in the world, though we may never be called to cross the sea, or to visit distant lands to preach the gospel.
Christ's command to each of us, is begun with the person next to you. Do not wait to be neighboured, but neighbour somebody who is in need. The best way to bring in the Kingdom of God is to bring the person whom you can most easily influence to the Saviour. All great work in the world has commenced, not by committees, but by the consecration, self-sacrifice, and devotion of single individuals.
The Apostle indicates three methods of helping people. The restoration of the fallen (Gal6:1). How often in daily life a Christian man or woman is suddenly overtaken by some temptation, to which they yield, and which leaves a deep stain on character. Thus was David overtaken and also Peter! What an agony of remorse ensues! The Psalms are full of bitter repentance for such transgression. The sinful soul has to bear a heavy burden indeed; and too often his fellow-Christians pass him by with averted faces and frowns. No one visits him, or cares to be seen in his company, or tries to help him regain his former footing.
"Christ's law," which we are called to fulfil, is to seek out the erring one, to go after that which is lost, to restore the wanderer, to help carry his burden, considering lest we be tempted, and lapse into the same sin.
The care of Pastors and Ministers (Gal 6:6). If all who are being taught in Church and Sunday School would set themselves to minister to those that teach them, how many a weary servant of Christ would pluck up new courage and hope. Communicate helpfulness, sympathy, prayer, the grip of the hand, the expression of thankfulness for blessing received.
The ministry of all men (Gal 6:9-10). These opportunities of doing good are always recurring, and at every turn there are those who need a helping hand. "The poor," said our Lord, "ye have always with you." Let us bear a little of the burden of each, and specially do it for those who belong to the household of faith.
PRAYER - Give us grace to be encouragers of others, never discouragers; always making life easier, never harder, for those who come within our influence. AMEN. (F B Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
DO WHAT YOU CAN - "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." (Galatians 6:10)
Our Scripture reading today says that we are to do good to all men, but that doesn’t mean we have to reach every man. It means instead that we are to help anyone we have an opportunity to help. Let me illustrate.
Several years ago an article appeared in Time magazine about a doctor who lived through the terrible bombing of Hiroshima. When the blast occurred, Dr. Fumio Shigeto was waiting for a streetcar only a mile away, but he was sheltered by the corner of a concrete building. Within seconds after the explosion, his ears were filled with the screams of victims all around him. Not knowing what had happened, he stood there for a moment bewildered—one doctor wondering how he could ever handle this “mountain” of patients. Then, still somewhat stunned, Dr. Shigeto knelt, opened his black bag, and began treating the person lying at his feet.
When you are faced with the distressing spiritual needs of a lost world, don’t despair. Do good to those around you. Pray and give sacrificially to missions. All God asks is that you do what you can. - M. R. De Haan II, (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
To ease the heartache in our world
Random Acts - COMMIT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS AND SENSELESS ACTS OF BEAUTY.
It sounds a bit reckless to engage in “random” and “senseless” acts. But as I mentally dismantled that strange combination of words, I realized that its various parts are surprisingly compatible with the apostle Paul’s admonition in Galatians 6:10.
God’s Spirit works in our hearts to make us instruments of blessing to those in need, and He may prompt us to do something that appears to others as random and impractical. He puts an opportunity to do good in our path and says to us, “Grasp it! Just do what I want you to do—purely out of love for Me.”
Whether it’s a smile to a stranger, an unexpected gift of money to the poor, a helping hand, a word of encouragement or witness, do it for Jesus’ sake with no strings attached. God weaves “random” and “senseless” responses into the tapestry of events in needy people’s lives so that His Spirit can reach them. Your kindness can help to convince them that God loves them and that Christ died for them. Don’t hesitate to “do good to all” (Gal. 6:10). You can attract people to the beauty of the Savior. --Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Do a deed of simple kindness,
Unexpected Help - Gary, a youth pastor in Michigan, set off in the church van with a group of teenagers and headed for North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. The purpose of their trip was to experience adventure, bonding, and spiritual challenge in the Great American West. The idea was good, but the aging van didn’t cooperate—nor did certain people along the way.
When the van broke down somewhere in Montana, Gary called a church in his denomination. He asked if the young people could spend the night in the church building. They all had sleeping bags and could sleep on the floor. Sadly, the church’s leaders said no. So the group had to stay in a motel while they waited 2 days for repairs on the van to be completed.
Time dragged on and the young people were getting restless. Aware of their plight, a local woman took them to her ranch. She taught them to ride horses, let them help with the chores, and fed them wonderful meals. Meanwhile, the mechanic repaired their van on a cost-only basis. Ironically, neither the rancher nor the repairman were churchgoers.
It’s humbling, but sometimes God uses the unchurched to remind Christians to “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). —David Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Do good to all and kindness show—
Outside The Walls — A rainbow is a sign of God’s promise never again to destroy the earth by a flood (Ge 9:11-17). But that was little comfort to the people of Grand Forks, North Dakota, in April of 1997. Eight blizzards, an ice storm, spring rains, and an early thaw had relocated their comfortable homes, schools, stores, and churches into a world of water.
Hal Olsen, the disaster relief coordinator for International Aid, immediately arranged to “flood” the area with eight truckloads of life-sustaining supplies and gospel tracts. They were distributed by churches in the region.
One man was deeply affected by this help. He had been very hostile to a church across the street from his house and had even tried to block it from being built in his neighborhood. But when he saw how that church responded to people in need, he said tearfully, “Now I’ve seen the church outside its walls.”
Christians must not be content to stay within the walls of their church. Yes, we all need the encouragement, fellowship, and help from our brothers and sisters in the Lord (Gal 6:2). But we also need to extend the love of Christ in word and deed outside the walls—to all people (Gal 6:10). Is your church doing that? Are you?— Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Love demands your loving deeds;
A world in despair needs churches that care.
Why Give? — The director of a disaster relief agency told about a man who had a change of heart after the flood that devastated Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1997. The man had been strongly opposed to the request of a church to build near his house, but he relented when he saw the truckloads of food and other supplies sent by Christians. He said seeing what believers did with their money “outside the walls” of the church building changed his mind.
In Galatians 6:6-10, the apostle Paul provided guidelines that apply to the use of our money. We are to realize that if we are self-serving we will reap a harvest which will pass away when we die. But if we devote our lives to doing good, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, we will reap an eternal harvest (Gal 6:7-8). Moreover, we are to persist in “doing good” no matter how little the present dividends, knowing that the Lord will keep His word (Gal 6:9).
So, when God opens the door for us to “do good to all” (Gal 6:10), whether to fellow believers or to those who are “outside the walls,” let’s do it cheerfully. It’s the Christian thing to do, not only because our compassionate action may cause unbelievers to be more receptive to the gospel, but also because God rewards generosity.— by Herbert Vander Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The good we do is never lost,
What Would You Do? — I shall never forget being in the “big blackout” of November 9, 1965. Not just one city or one county or one locality was involved in this widespread power outage, but eight states and a part of Canada—covering a total of 80,000 square miles and affecting 30 million people.
With no electric lights, candles were in great demand. An announcer on a New York station that stayed on the air because it had auxiliary power reported,
Some store owners let their concern for others in the hour of emergency outweigh their desire for personal gain. Others, however, took advantage of the situation and put their personal gain ahead of their concern for others. The very same circumstances produced both self-seeking opportunists and selfless philanthropists.
How would we react? Would we have pity on those in need and show kindness to them? (Pr 19:17,22). Paul’s words in Galatians 6:10 are the only fitting response: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” — by Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Every kindness done to others
Seize The Opportunity —Heavy rain was falling outside as Marcia, the director of the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf, spoke to our group. Thirty-four teenagers and several adults were visiting the school. But one of our students was not distracted by the rain or the children running around the room.
That teenager heard Marcia say, “My dream for these kids is to have a playground.” She took that sentence, and through the prompting of the Lord turned it into an idea. Later that day she told me, “We should come back and build them a playground.” An opportunity for service was born.
A little over 4 months later, on another rainy day in Jamaica, we held a celebration in that same room. We had just assembled a wooden playground—complete with slides, a ladder, climbing bars, swings, forts, and a trapeze. One student seized an opportunity, and a dream was fulfilled.
How often does God prompt us to take action to meet the needs of others and we let the opportunity go? How many times does the Spirit nudge us to say or do something in Jesus’ name and we shake off the nudging? Like Philip in Acts 8, let’s honor the Lord by responding with action. Let’s seize each opportunity God gives us to serve others in His name. — by Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Jesus said to one and all: