5.1.2015 "Opportunities for Doing Good"

The Scripture for today is Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

“Opportunity” – a favorable combination of circumstances, time, and place.  “Do Good” – be beneficial for.  Paul’s letter to the Galatians exhorts (encourages) Christ followers to not become weary in doing good.  We are promised that our actions in doing good will produce a harvest at the proper time.  Practically speaking – when do opportunities present themselves?  In my life, I find that those opportunities show up when I don’t expect them.  They show up when I am not paying attention and sometimes I miss them. They show up when it’s not convenient.  They show up when I would really like to do something else.  So how is that favorable?  If I define favorable as “winning approval” – “pleasing” to God - then simple acts of goodness are seeds that will ripen to harvest in the proper time.  I met with a lady this week whose life has exploded into crisis due to her husband’s addiction and subsequent violence.  We have lived in the same neighborhood for about 10 years.  I honestly wasn’t expecting these circumstances.  I had other tasks to accomplish during the time that we met but God had other plans.  HIS daughter, HIS beloved child, was hurting.  She needed to talk, she needed prayer, she needed to know that she is loved, and she needed to know that her Father is walking with her throughout this season.  He will NEVER leave her.  He will NEVER forsake her.   My act of doing good was SMALL – I listened, I prayed, I hugged, and I spent time with her.  Her God is BIG – he will carry her, redeem her pain and restore her peace.

Not all opportunities involve a brother or sister in crisis.  Many  times my opportunities are just ordinary, everyday actions – kindness to others, maintaining calm and peace in the midst of tension, modeling the behavior that I desire my children to live out, sharing my time or treasure with others, practicing hospitality, sharing words of encouragement, celebrating with others…. How do I ensure that I authentically do good to all people?  That I sow to please the Spirit?  It isn’t easy for me, to be honest.  The old me struggles with selfishness, sloth, arrogance, and self-absorption.  It is not a pretty picture.  But thanks to Jesus, there is a new me.  A new me who seeks to do good - to sow to please the Spirit.  As I live out my new life in Christ, each day brings new opportunities,

Lord Jesus, your compassions never fail; they are new every morning.  I get a clean slate and a fresh start when I come to you with a contrite spirit.  Thank you for loving and saving me.  Give me a heart like years.  Help me to reach others with the news of your love, salvation and grace.   I love you, Lord Jesus.  Amen.