May 27, 2009

Rising To The Occasion

Just about done reading The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking read. One point in the chapter on kindness and goodness stood out more than the rest for me, centering on this passage in Scripture:
8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)

We are created to do good, wired for it, and we should seek to do it for the glory of God. But the interesting point is that we are to walk in them, giving the sense of them becoming part of our everyday life, not some special thing we rise to the occasion of doing.

I think it is easier for us to do good in the mission field as opposed to the marketplace, on a battlefield instead of our backyard. Maybe it is pride, we rise to the occasion when we sense the heat of a spotlight on us, no matter how dim. We can go and model Christ on a mission trip or in a ministry, but let's face it, others know what we are doing and why. Can we model Him as easily when we go to buy a quart of milk or grab a bite at a local restaurant when we are just ourselves in our everyday existence? I am not sure I warm up to the good works of Jesus as easily when the warmth of the spotlight is not heating me up. Seems to me a bit of a pride issue that I have like a lot of others.

Rising to the occasion of doing good, in walking in good works create din Christ Jesus should be like rising from bed in the morning. You do it as part of your everyday life.

You should do it with about as much ceremony as getting out of bed. Maybe it is not always the praise inducing, ceremonial occurrence, but you get it down each and every day.

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