Galatians 6:10 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. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: ara oun os kairon echomen, (1PPAI) ergazometha (1PPMS) to agathon pros pantas, malista de pros tous oikeious tes pisteos.
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.
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:
- 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
- Galatians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Seize the Day
Before the Face of God
So then (ara oun) - Therefore (term of conclusion) based on the fact that the sowing of good seeds guarantees a good harvest (in due time), we need to take advantage of the time God gives us, availing ourselves of every fleeting opportunity. And as John Stott says "this earthly life is full of such opportunity" and I would add, all we need is the spiritual eyes to see the opportunities! Yes Lord, open our eyes to behold those priceless, passing opportunities, those once in a lifetime moments, which will enable us to bear fruit that lasts forever (cf Jesus' desire for us in Jn 15:16). Amen
Billy Graham - 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 (ED: ANOTHER "BELL RINGS!"); 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.
THOUGHT: Have you ever considered that you are a "hero" in God's eyes [when you are in His will, pleasing to Him by His Spirit for His glory] when you seize the opportunity He places before you to do good to another human being, especially believers? Be on the lookout! Be confessed up, repented up, 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.
THOUGHT - 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 on which you 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)
See discussion Redeem the Time
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 -"Neglect no opportunity of doing good." (Sermon on Lk 10:32, 1709)
John Flavel (1627-1691) - "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...
This is the true rule about doing good. "The opportunity to do good," says Cotton Mather, "imposes the obligation to do it." The simple rule is, that we are favoured with the opportunity, and that we have the power. It is not that we are to do it when it is convenient; or when it will advance the interest of a party; or when it may contribute to our fame; the rule is, that we are to do it when we have the opportunity. No matter how often that occurs; no matter how many objects of benevolence are presented-the more the better; no matter how much self-denial it may cost us; no matter how little fame we may get by it; still, if we have the opportunity to do good, we are to do it, and should be thankful for the privilege. And it is to be done to all men. Not to our family only; not to our party; not to our neighbours; not to those of our own color; not to those who live in the same land with us, but to all mankind. If we can reach and benefit a man who lives on the other side of the globe, whom we have never seen, and shall never see in this world or in the world to come, still we are to do him good. Such is Christianity. And in this, as in all other respects, it differs from the narrow and selfish spirit of clanship which prevails all over the world. Notes on the New Testament Explanatory and Practical.
The kairos here refers to the kairos of the preceding verse: as there is one kairos for reaping, there should be also one for sowing; and in proportion as we have it, so ought we to improve it; the season for reaping is coming, the season for sowing is fast passing away.
Kairos is not chronos, tempus, but here tempus opportunum; though it has not that sense always, for it may be importunum. (Galatians 6:10 Commentary)
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.
THOUGHT: 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,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
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!
OF A LIFETIME!
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
Are never hard to find.
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
IT'S EVER BEEN BEFORE!
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
Yet God is my King from of old, Who works (ergazomai) deeds of deliverance (soteria) (KJV = "working salvation") in the midst of the earth.
Spurgeon: Working salvation in the midst of the earth. From the most remote period of Israel's history the Lord had worked out for her many salvations; especially at the Red Sea, the very heart of the world was astonished by his wonders of deliverance. Now, every believer may plead at this day the ancient deeds of the Lord, the work of Calvary, the overthrow of sin, death, and hell. He who wrought out our salvation of old will not, cannot desert us now. Each past miracle of grace assures us that he who has begun to deliver will continue to redeem us from all evil. His deeds of old were public and wrought in the teeth of his foes, they were no delusions or make believes; and, therefore, in all our perils we look for true and manifest assistance, and we shall surely receive it.
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).
Matthew 7:23-note "And then I will declare to them, 'I never (at any time) knew you; DEPART (present imperative) FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE (present tense - as their habitual practice) LAWLESSNESS.'
Matthew 21:28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.'
Matthew 25:16 "Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.
Matthew 26:10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.
Mark 14:6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me.
Luke 13:14 But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, "There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day."
John 3:21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought (accomplished by, carried out, done) in God."
John 5:17 But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working."
John 6:27 "Do not work (present middle imperative + negative - don't start or stop doing this) for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures (abides) to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."
John 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works (ergon) of God?"
John 6:30 So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?
John 9:4 "We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
Acts 10:35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
Acts 13:41 'BEHOLD, YOU SCOFFERS, AND MARVEL, AND PERISH; FOR I AM ACCOMPLISHING A WORK IN YOUR DAYS, A WORK WHICH YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE, THOUGH SOMEONE SHOULD DESCRIBE IT TO YOU.'"
Acts 18:3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade (techen) they were tent-makers.
Romans 2:10-note but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Comment: Good works don't save a person, but they do demonstrate that person is saved. The only good that God calls eternally good is that which is initiated and enabled by His Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, as we yield to Him). Jesus said the same thing when He emphasized the vital importance of abiding in Him if we would desire our works to abide (cf Jn 15:5. In that case, our "works" are really His (indwelling Spirit's) works, worked in and through vessels of honor, who have separated themselves from unholy influences (even our volitional act of separation being enabled by the Spirit! see Php 2:13NLT+), who have jettisoned self-reliance and who continually surrender to the Spirit's leading (Gal 5:18).
Vine: To the one who works good (were it possible [in the strength of our fallen flesh]), with a simple effort to accomplish it, the reward is proffered, whereas it is one who persists in working evil who is punished.
Romans 4:4-note Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
Romans 4:5-note But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
Romans 13:10-note Love does no wrong to a neighbor (one who is near is the idea!); therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
1 Corinthians 4:12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
Comment: Greeks despised manual labor. Paul glories in it, and even the rabbis often worked to support themselves.
1 Corinthians 9:6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?
1 Corinthians 9:13 Do you not know that those who perform (present tense) sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar?
Vine: “those employed in sacred things” or “those who are assiduous in priestly functions.”
1 Corinthians 16:10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord's work, as I also am.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces (present tense) a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces (katergazomai - thoroughly accomplishes) death.
Galatians 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do (present tense) good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
MacArthur: Ergazomai means to be active, to work effectively and diligently, and is here a self-call to great effort in taking every opportunity to sow for God’s glory.
Ephesians 4:28-note He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
Colossians 3:23-note Whatever you do (poieo), do your work (ergazomai) heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
Comment: To work energetically, to work diligently (Lightfoot).
Vine: The verb poieō, to do, is a general term; ergazomai suggests diligence and thoroughness in the doing. The new life is brought into relationship with Christ. This is imparted in order that we may enjoy it all in communion with Himself. The servant, in this relationship with Christ as Lord, lives the higher life, in the recognition and power of which there lies a joy which no earthly circumstances can mar. What mere human nature regards as trying and depressing becomes only a means of strengthening faith, imparting consolation, and stimulating the soul’s enjoyment of the person and ways of the Son of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-note For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-note and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,
Comment: Although the Gr. generally looked down on manual labor as the work of slaves, the Jews had no such attitude. The emphasis here, however, is not on manual labor opposed to some other form but upon working as opposed to idling
2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.
Hebrews 11:33-note who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness (administered justice), obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,
James 1:20-note for the anger of man does not achieve (present tense) the righteousness of God.
James 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing (present tense) sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
2 John 1:8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
3 John 1:5 Beloved, you are acting (poieo = doing) faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers;
Vine: The same two verbs (poieo and ergazomai) are used together in Colossians 3:23. The meaning seems to be somewhat as follows: “in the work you are doing on behalf of the brethren you are acting faithfully,” (or it may be, “what you are doing is an expression of the faith that characterizes you”). ...That is, such work will be sure of a reward.
Revelation 18:17-note for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living (trade) by the sea, stood at a distance,
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)...
This general exhortation is in effect a summing up of the particular responsibilities of the preceding context. It is good to restore the erring, Gal 6:1; to bear the burden of others, Gal 6:2; to share temporal supplies with those who share spiritual supplies with us, Gal 6:6; to sow in the eternal interests of the spirit, Gal 6:8; and to continue unwearyingly in all manner of well-doing, Gal 6:9.
John Eadie on let us do good means...
the thing which is good in each case, as the case may occur. The good thing may vary according to various wants, for it is to be done “towards all.”
The entire paragraph has the idea of doing good underlying it: the restoration of a fallen brother, Gal 6:1; the bearing of one another's burdens, Gal 6:2; communication on the part of the taught to the teacher, Gal 6:3; unwearied well-doing, Gal 6:10; and this verse seems to sum up all these thoughts into one vivid injunction, which not only comprises them all, but enjoins similar social duty in all its complex variety. Whatever its immediate form, whether kindness, or beneficence, or mercy, whether temporal or spiritual in character, it is still good in its nature, and is “the good thing,” adapting itself to each case as it may turn up, in reference to all, generally or more specially. (Galatians 6:10 Commentary)
John Brown commenting on let us do good notes that...
like well-doing, may either be considered as expressive of benevolent exertion, or of dutiful conduct generally. In the passage before us it has almost universally been interpreted in its restricted sense. It is the Christian's duty to "do good":
to endeavour to lessen the amount both of moral and physical evil, of sin and of suffering; to add to the amount both of moral and physical good, of worth and happiness, in our world. To enlighten the ignorant and prejudiced; to rouse to consideration the inconsiderate; to lead the guilty to the blood of atonement, and the depraved to the laver of regeneration; to make the bad good, and the good better; to comfort the disconsolate; to relieve the poor and the miserable,
(The preceding paragraph enumerates) many varieties of the general duty of Christian beneficence. In the performance of this duty, the Christian knows no limits except those which are fixed by his power and opportunity of doing good. He is not to be confined by relationship, or neighborhood, or sect, or even religion. The possession of a common nature is claim enough on his good wishes and good offices. Every Christian is as really, though not quite in the same way as the apostle, a " debtor to the Greek and the Barbarian, to the wise and the unwise." Whether a man be "a Jew or a Gentile, bond or free," (cp Col 3:11) learned or illiterate, good or bad, if he labours under evils from which we can relieve him, it is our duty as Christians to do so.
But while Christians are bound "to do good to all men" they are peculiarly bound to do good "to those who are of the household of faith." Jerome refers this appellation to Christian ministers, who are, in a peculiar sense, "the domestics" in the family of God; but it is better to refer it to Christians generally—the believing family. The application is admirably expressive.
All genuine Christians are bound together
by a very powerful and a very tender tie.
That tie is the faith of the same truth. It is this which unites them to God, "the Father of whom the whole family in heaven and earth are called;" (Ep 3:14,1 5) to Jesus Christ, the elder brother; and to one another, as children of God and brethren of Christ,—"heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ." (Ro 8:17) They love one another "in the truth, for the truth's sake, which is in them, and will abide with them for ever." Duty corresponds with relation. Christians, therefore, are particularly bound to do good to one another. Every poor and distressed man has a claim on me for pity, and, if I can afford it, for active exertion and pecuniary relief. But a poor Christian has a far stronger claim on my feelings, my labours, and my property. He is my brother, equally interested with myself in the blood and love of the Redeemer. I expect to spend an eternity with him in heaven. He is the representative of my unseen Saviour, and He considers everything done to his poor afflicted brother as done to Himself.
For a Christian to be unkind to a Christian,
is not only wrong, it is monstrous.
The obligation to do good to our fellow-Christians extends both to their external and spiritual necessities. It is an important duty, "if we see a brother or sister naked, or destitute of daily food," (Jas 2:15) to give them those "things which are needful for the body." (Jas 2:16)
But it is not a less important duty, when we see a Christian brother or sister laboring under mistake, or in danger of falling into sin, to endeavour to undeceive them, and to warn them of their danger.
Spiritual evils are the worst evils, and spiritual blessings are the best blessings ; and we do good to our brethren in the most important way, when we deliver them from these evils, and put them in possession of these blessings. We are to love our brethren as Christ loved us, and do good to them as he does good to us.
Seize every opportunity...
Christians are to "do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith, as they have opportunity." The idea commonly attached to these words is, that Christians are bound to seize every opportunity of doing good, both to mankind generally, and to their fellow-Christians in particular. This is an important truth, but we doubt if it is exactly the truth which the apostle here expresses. The word "season" (kairos) in Gal 6:9 and the word "opportunity" in Gal 6:10, are the same in the original. That word is the link which connects the two verses.
"In due season ye shall reap." While we have the "season" let us do good; as if he had said,
'The season of reaping will come in due time. Now is the season for sowing. While ye have the season, improve it. In a short time the objects of your beneficence will be beyond your reach, or you will be taken from them. The eternal harvest depends on the short seed-time. There is no time to be idle, for "whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap."
While I have explained the phrase "doing good," in the way in which it is ordinarily understood, as referring directly to benevolent exertion, I am strongly disposed to think that the word is employed by the apostle in its most general sense. Work that which is good in reference to all men, but especially in reference to the household of faith.' It seems to us to refer to the duties of justice as well as mercy.
"Render to all their due;" "wrong no man;" and, in reference to your brethren, let your conduct be scrupulously upright and dutiful.
We find the apostle warning Christian servants against using improper freedoms with their Christian masters, as if their common privileges as Christians brought them nearer a level in civil society; and using the Christianity of their Masters as a powerful superadded reason why they should be obedient to them.
"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour; and they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren ; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit." (1Ti 6:1,2)
And we find him representing the Christian character of a person injured by another Christian as a great aggravation of the offence,—"Ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren." (1Co 6:8) This gives unity to the whole paragraph,— "sowing to the Spirit," "well-doing," and "doing good," all of them being terms of nearly equivalent import.
The practical improvement to be made of this passage is not far to seek. Let us turn it to the use of serious self-inquiry. Let us ask...
Have we never been, are we not now,
"weary in well-doing"?
Are we "doing good to all, as we have opportunity,
especially to the household of faith"?
If we press these questions honestly home, deep self-humiliation will be the result. But let us not, however, despair. The more languid we are, the greater is the necessity for earnest prayer and increased exertion.
The less good we have done in the past, the more diligent should we be in doing good in the future. The season of doing good will soon close for ever.
"What our hand finds to do, let us do it with our might." The season of reward will soon come to those who, " by a patient continuance in well-doing, are seeking for glory, honour, and immortality." " Be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
And if the harvest seems long in coming—if the reward seems long delayed—still " faint not." (Ec 9:10)
"Cast not away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience"—that is, you must persevere—" that after ye have done the will of God, ye may receive the promise." (Heb 10:36) (An exposition of the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians)
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...
the Christian is debtor to all men to do them good by deed and word, Ro 1:14, both on the ground of the common humanity, the solidarity of the race in virtue of its origin in, and descent from, one ancestor, Adam, Acts 17:26, and because all are alike involved in sin and death in Adam’s transgression, Romans 5:12-21. But in Christ the believer is brought into a new relationship, not indeed with all men, but with those who hold the same faith and share the same salvation, and who own allegiance to the same Lord; to these his obligation is accentuated. He is not, however, to relax his efforts in behalf of all; he is to increase them in behalf of those who belong to Christ.
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...
So then you (speaking to the Gentiles who have believed in Christ) are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, (Ep 2:19-note)
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.
Observe, the “causes that are of the household of faith” are to be put first in giving, before such secular benevolences as the Red Cross and Community Chest. (Bibliotheca Sacra 108:429 Jan 51. p. 71)
Morris adds that...
The emphasis is on the fact that Christians are believers. What distinguished Christians from other people was their faith. They were people who had put their trust in Jesus as their Saviour and this was the most important thing about them.
Regarding Paul's call to focus especially on the household of faith, Stott writes...
As the old saying goes, ‘Charity begins at home’, towards kinsmen who may claim our first loyalty, although Christian charity must never stop there. We are to love and serve our enemies, Jesus said, not only our friends. Thus, a ‘patient continuance in well-doing’ is a characteristic of the true Christian, a characteristic so indispensable that it will be taken as evidence of saving faith on the Judgment Day (see Ro 2:7-note).
Life is an adventure of faith, and each of us is like a merchant, investing today in that which will pay dividends tomorrow. We are like the farmer, sowing various kinds of seeds in different soils, trusting God for the harvest (Gal. 6:8-9; Ps. 126:5-6; Hos. 10:12). If we worried about the wind toppling a tree over on us, or the clouds drenching us with rain, we would never accomplish anything. "Of course, there is no formula for success," said famous concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein, "except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings."...No good deed done for the glory of Jesus Christ will ever be forgotten before God. No loving word spoken in Jesus' name will ever be wasted. If we don't see the harvest in this life, we'll see it when we stand before the Lord. Even a cup of cold water given in the name of Christ will have its just reward (Mt 10:42; 25:31-46). (Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament)
James Montgomery Boice...
Paul's great principle here (commenting on the Sermon on the Mount) is that money spent on the body—to clothe, feed, house, or entertain it—while it has value for this life, has no lasting fruit for eternity. Money spent in obedience to the Lord, to spread the gospel and to meet the needs of those who are poor and suffering, will have results not only in this life but in eternity also. (Boice - An Expositional Commentary – The Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5-7)
Adoniram Judson (bio) missionary to Burma alluded to the eternal impact of sowing and reaping when he wrote that...
A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity...the same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever...each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny....
How shall we then wish to see
each day marked with usefulness...!
It is too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power.
Let us, then, each morning,
resolve to send the day into eternity
in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever.
And at night let us reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone, indelibly marked.
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)...
So teach us to number our days,
that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom
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,
"It's no use. I'm going to quit."
Suddenly a man appeared by his side and asked,
"Weren't you appointed to do this task? Why are you going to abandon it?"
The minister told him that the work was futile; he could make no impression on the granite.
"That is not your concern," replied the stranger. "The work is in your hands; the results are in another's. Work on!"
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
but also from a strong won't.
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:
“Just a month ago I resigned my class of young men which I had been teaching for years, for I felt that my teaching was getting nowhere. Then came your letter, telling how my teaching had helped win this boy to Christ. I’ve asked for my class back. May God have mercy on me!” (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
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
That causes us to cry,
Let's do what we can do to help
That needy one close by. —DJD
Do what you can
where you are
with what you have.
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,
Though its end you may not see;
It may reach, like widening ripples
Down a long eternity. —Anon.
A little kindness can make a big difference.
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—
That's what God's Word commands;
For when we're serving in Christ's name,
We are His feet and hands.
Our love for Christ
is only as real as our love for our neighbor.
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;
Look upon your brothers' needs,
Tell them that you love them true,
Prove it by the deeds you do.
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,
Each kindly act takes root,
And every bit of love we sow
In time will bear rich fruit.
It takes only a moment to be kind,
but the result can last forever.
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,
An interesting drama is being unfolded on our streets. The price of candles in many stores has doubled. On the other hand, some good-hearted merchants are offering their candles at half price, or even giving them away.
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
Is a kindness done to Thee;
Christlike love for all my brothers
May the world observe in me.
Our love for Christ
is only as real as our love for our neighbor.
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:
“Take your cross and follow Me.”
When you sense the Spirit’s call,
Seize the opportunity! —Hess
When the Spirit prompts, take action.