Happy Saturday Everyone!
As part of the recent podcasts and writings I have done in regards to having on the proper attire for the wedding feast, and due to recently talking about the separations within the body and the need to keep doing good during these times of adversity, I felt led to write about the prospect of why what you do now, matters later.
I wrote on this at the very beginning when I started this blog, around the time of the ice storm that hit Texas, but I felt it was important to circle back around to these points.
In much of the Gospel of Christ, Jesus taught in parables to teach us all by example what was righteous and how we conduct ourselves when it comes to others. To comfort, empathize, do good deeds, love, give, help -they are His instructions we are to follow. We are told to love others, not just pretend to love others. We are told to give to those in need. We are told to witness the Word and the truth of Jesus Christ to the backslidden and the lost. We are told to lift each other up, not tear each other down. Our example should always be a shining light for others to follow in learning to do the same.
In John 13: 1-13, we read the parable of doing unto others as we would have done unto us. In this parable, Jesus washed His disciples feet. In verse 7, Jesus said to Peter, “You don’t understand what I’m doing but some day you will.” This was a parable given to illustrate living by example. In Verse 8 he further went on to say “If I don’t wash you, you won’t belong to me.” What is being said here is that if we say we are His we are to do the same for others. -Good deeds as Christ would do and has done for us and if we call ourselves His and say we belong to Him then we should be living by example and in doing so we are blessed. That’s what is meant when Jesus says, ‘Some of you are clean, but not all of you’ (those not following in His ways).
This is illustrated further for us in verses thirteen through fifteen when this example was given that since He washed our feet (cleansed of us our sins and taught us how we should do right) so should we do the same as a slave is not greater than His master, and since we are not greater than our Lord Jesus, we absolutely should be obedient to His calling to do good unto others. Jesus said in verse seventeen ‘Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.’
For reference and study purposes, I have placed these verses as well as several others below, that pertain to doing good deeds and giving to others that are in need or support.
Now, Matthew 7:12 further explains the golden rule; Treat others as you, yourself, would want to be treated. This has been one rule I have always believed in since I was a child and I am thankful my parents taught it to me from a very young age because it truly is a Word of Wisdom and it is one of the fundamentals that love for others is built on. Proverbs 8 is also fundamental in explaining the importance of doing what is right as it pertains to wisdom provided by the Word.
Malachi 3 is a great example of doing right unto others and blessing them through tithes. It illustrates the Lord’s promise of a blessing in return for tithing but it also illustrates His recompense for not doing as He instructs. You see this in verse fifteen, where the opposite occurs because of the sin of not doing as He commands. It is a perfect illustration of those who are regarded as self-serving. Those who are unkind to others and do not think of those in need when they are able to help them.
When this pandemic began and many lost their jobs as a result of the lockdowns and restrictions placed on businesses, I was witness to quite a few nasty comments I was seeing online. There was one video (a news clip) where I saw a woman with kids waiting for hours in line at a food bank in a Chevy Suburban and one individual made a ridiculously arrogant comment along the lines of, ‘Well, she can still have that nice vehicle so she must not be too much in need of help.’ Another chimed in and said, ‘yeah, look at her weight, oh she’s really starving.’ Another said, “oh, instead of waiting in line for food, she should get off her rear end and go get a job.” These types of comments are so hateful, I don’t even like repeating them here but I do so as an example to show just how disconnected we really are from those in need. No consideration as to the chain of events leading to that person’s situation and they didn’t even know her!
Anyone making these types of comments don’t realize that they themselves are not only passing judgment, but likely storing up punishment for themselves in doing so. The Word says you will give an account for every idol word you say. How do they know that woman and her kids didn’t just lose their house and do everything they can to hold onto that vehicle? Perhaps they are living in that SUV and that’s all they can afford and they could even be at risk of losing that. I read about a family in California (and I’m sure there are many others) that happened to.
Given by some of the comments I have seen, I have to wonder what the Lord thinks of that because one thing I can assure you by spending time in His Word is that He would not like those types of comments. They are not helpful and certainly not seasoned with salt. I mentioned above about giving an account for every idol word and on the flipside of the coin we are commanded to let our speech be of grace and seasoned with salt so as to have the right response for everyone.
When Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston a couple of years back, I was sitting here at my desk processing medical claims at the time and had coverage of it on the TV in the background. I was alternating between the different cable news channels and I saw this reporter (from CNN) asking this woman with crying and frightened kids how she ‘felt.’ This poor woman had not been to sleep because they were up all night waiting for rescue wondering if they were going to drown. That reporter got told off for asking such a question. I mean, what type of response did she expect to get from someone who just went through that and was exhausted? And that was only one example. People could not get food because everything was flooded and water was contaminated. How many of these folks were Christians; Fellow Brothers and Sisters?
When I saw that, my heart sank and it spoke to me to reach for my credit card and donate to give X amount of cases of water. While I don’t usually illustrate the deeds I do (The Lord told me it was okay to share this one as an example), this serves as an example of empathy and how our hearts should speak to us to do what’s right in these types of situations. I live in sunny Arizona, had a good paying job at the time and was blessed, so I did what I was able to do because my heart spoke to me to do so. Now, just imagine if everyone did that. Every bit counts. Think of how financially blessed many are and have an ability but don’t do anything. They see these situations and shrug it off as not their problem. Sure, it wouldn’t alleviate the immediate problem of the disaster but at least these good works would provide relief to those suffering. Now to those who already do works by faith this doesn’t apply to you so much as it does those NOT doing good works.
So back to Malachi 3; Even if not in these types of situations when things are normal but then these piled on, is it any surprise this country has stored up judgment for itself by cheating God? Think about that for a moment. Disaster or not, we should be giving to those in need on an individual level. We should be lifting up those in need and those ministering the Word to others as that too, counts as they are serving God by preaching His Word and that’s what He desires from all of us.
What you do now matters later and certainly, how we treat others will also matter later when times get tough when we are believing for a blessing to see us through the coming storm. God will remember your works by faith. Friends these are not my words but they are Biblical Words and so remember always to keep doing good and blessing those who bless and encourage you to do right as well. Galatians 6:7-9 tells us we will reap in due season if we do not lose heart and we are further told in 2 Cor. 9 He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly (below).
My friends, it is my prayer that this entry has brought much wisdom to you.
Jesus Bless you. Have a great weekend.
Verses as they pertain to above;
2 Corinthians 8: 3, 5, 7-15 (NLT)
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us —I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
2 Corinthians 9: 6-9 (NKJV)
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
John 13: 3-17 (NLT)
3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
Malachi 3: 8-10, 13-18 (NLT)
8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!
13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the Lord.
“But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”
The Lord’s Promise of Mercy
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
Matthew 25: 33-46 (NLT)
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Galatians 6: 7-9 (NKJV)
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Haggai 1: 5-11 (NKJV)
5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!
6 “You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 8 Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the a]temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. 9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
Hebrews 10: 24-25 (NKJV)
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Romans 12: 9-15 (NLT)
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Colossians 4:6 (NKJV) -See also Matthew 5: 13-16 below.
6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Romans 2: 6-8 (NLT)
6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
Luke 6:38 (NLT)
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Mark 12:30-31 (NLT)
30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Mathew 5: 13-16 (NLT)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 6: 3-4 (NLT)
3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Matthew 7:12 (NKJV)
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Proverbs 8: 6-9, 17-21, 32-36 (NLT)
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
17 “I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.
18 I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
20 I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
21 Those who love me inherit wealth.
I will fill their treasuries.
32 “And so, my children, listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
34 Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
36 But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death.”
Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)
25 The generous will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Proverbs 18: 16 (NLT)
16 Giving a gift can open doors;
it gives access to important people!
Proverbs 31: 8-9 (NLT)
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
Psalm 37:3 (NLT)
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.