REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, is an updated version of his blog first posted on May 21, 2014. Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Faith and Good Works”
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Some of us grew up in Sunday school singing, “For by grace…do..do..do..do…I’ve been saved…Ephesians Two…eight…nine….” (Are you reminiscing?) It was to underscore the importance of grace alone in our salvation. The truth of Eph. 2:8-9 reminded us that it was “not by works” so that we would not “boast” in any of our seemingly righteous acts.
Many of us may have struggled with our assurance of salvation due to our imperfections which always brought forth a sense of shame and guilt. So the message of God’s grace was preached over and over again to scream into our hearts that our feeble attempts to do “good works” does not earn us salvation. And praise the Lord for that truth!
However, it seems that by emphasizing God’s grace, we have distanced ourselves from engaging in Christian “works” altogether. Dallas Willard observes that in most churches, believers are not only saved by grace, they are sadly paralyzed by it. He writes: “The funny thing is we will preach to people for an hour that they can’t do anything to be saved, and then sing to them for a half an hour trying to get them to do something. This is confusing.”
Most definitely, there is a place for “good works” (although not earning grace) in Christian living. Paul admonished that believers must devote themselves to doing what is good. Eph. 2:8-9 flows into verse 10 which echoes today’s passage. Paul says that we are God’s handiworks “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Give effort today to engage in good works that reflect the goodness of God to a broken world that needs healing. Grace is never opposed to effort, but enables us to do good works.
Prayer: Lord, lead me where I can engage in your good works today so that Your light might be seen in and through my life. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 11
Lunch Break Study
Read Acts 4:32-37: All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Questions to Consider
- How did God’s grace manifest tangibly in the New Testament church?
- What good works by the church are displayed in these passages?
- In what ways are you engaging in good works on behalf of the Body of Christ?
- The incredible revival at Pentecost brought an overwhelming number of people into the family of God. Many people had traveled from other regions to Jerusalem and had now over-extended their stay. The believers of Jerusalem shared everything they had. Some went even as far as selling their possessions in order to distribute the wealth to those in need. These were signs of God’s grace powerfully at work.
- Works of generosity and sharing to the extent that “no needy persons were among them.”
- Personal response.
Did you see an opportunity today to give or help or share with someone in need? If not, ask God for another opportunity tomorrow to engage in His good works. Determine in your heart that you will “devote” yourself to doing what is good.