• April 28, 2017

“Let him that stole steal no longer: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that has need.” —Ephesians 4:28

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christians are called to labor with their own hands at a good work in order to supply not only their own needs, but also the needs of fellow members of the body of Christ. “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). The Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 111, reads as follows: “But what does God require of you in this Commandment? That I further my neighbor’s good where I can and may, deal with him as I would have others deal with me, and labor faithfully, so that I may be able to help the poor in their need.”

The Biblical doctrine of giving is contrary to the pagan society in which we live, and it often brings ridicule to the Christian who faithfully walks in obedience to the command. The fallen world is full of the sons of Cain who are gravelling in the darkness, having been taken captive by Satan to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). They are often recognized by their godless speech, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). The Christian, on the other hand, has been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light of God’s dear Son for obedience unto the faith. Scripture is very clear — we are born again by the Spirit of God in order that we might be our brother’s keeper. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

What about you? Do you desire to be a “vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Do you have generous hands that supply for those who have needs? Do you view your labor as not only supplying your own needs but also the needs of others in your church as well? As Christians, we do well to keep in mind the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Would you walk in obedience to this command? If so, find a widow in your church and quietly come alongside of her to help supply her needs. She may not need money — she may just need fellowship. When was the last time you invited a widow in your church or neighborhood to your home for a meal? “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

How do we demonstrate the love of Christ to others if not by practical deeds of kindness? “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (Titus 3:8). Are we too busy or too burdened to walk in obedience to the commands of our Lord to care for the sheep of His pasture? Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Therefore, as a good steward, give of your time, talents, and treasures for the glory of God and the good of His church. Your labor of love will truly be “a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18).

Category: Scott Henry

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