So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
In the Bible, doing the next right thing is called doing good. Very simply, doing good means to do all the good you can, while you can, where you can. In Galatians 6:9-10, Paul wrote, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Doing good may be caring for a friend who is recovering from surgery. It may be taking a meal to a new neighbor. It may be volunteering in the church nursery. It may be sharing the gospel with somebody who needs to know Christ as Savior.
Why should we do all the good that we can, while we can, where we can? Simply put, we were saved in order to do good. Some Christians get this mixed up. They say, “We are saved by grace–good works are not important.” No, good works are very important. In Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul made this distinction. He said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” See that? The reason God saved you by His grace was in order for you to do good works.
Let’s say I had an apple tree in my backyard. If I asked you to look at my apple tree in the springtime, and you did not see any apples on that tree, you would rightly conclude, “Pastor, there is something wrong with your tree. It is dead.” And no matter how much I argued that my tree was alive, my argument would fall flat, because if an apple tree is alive it produces apples. The apples do not make the tree alive, but they prove that the tree is alive. It is the same way in a Christian’s life: good works are not what saves a Christian, but they prove that a Christian has been saved. James wrote, “Faith, if it has no works, is dead” (2:17). We have been saved for good works–that is why we are to do good.
When should we do good? Look again at Galatians 6:10: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” We are to do good while we have the chance to do good. Your opportunity to do good will not last forever; it has an expiration date on it. That reminds me of the time I was going through my change drawer, and I found a coupon from CVS pharmacy for $10 off Gillette razor blades. I was so excited about finding that coupon, because razor blades cost a small fortune. So I went to CVS and got a pack of the Mach3 Turbo razors, and I proudly presented that coupon at the cash register. The woman scanned the coupon and shook her head. “I’m sorry,” she said. “This expired last week.” I was so disappointed. I had an opportunity to do good, to save some money, but that opportunity had expired. There is an expiration date for your opportunity to do good–the date of your death or the date that Jesus Christ returns, whichever comes first. You will not have that opportunity forever. That is why we are to make the most of every opportunity to do good right now.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #10: Do The Next Right Thing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.