Saturday, January 12, 2008

Doing unrandom acts of kindness

So I have been thinking lately about three or four things lately and they all seemed to converge today into a cohesive thought that I thought I would unabashedly share. I have been thinking about the words of Jesus and a lesson I learned way back in a study I did called "Experiencing God." The words of Jesus from John 5:17 where Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." The principle in Experiencing God is that God is working and we are to join Him in His work. This idea is also reinforced and specfied in Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do. God is working in us and through us to do the works which he has prepared for us to do.

So, life really isn't about what I want to do or what makes me happy or comfortable. It is about tuning in, focusing on and the prioritizing of God's work in and through your life. What a hard and wonderful truth to learn, own and live. But, it is also liberating and exhilrating when His will becomes your will. And so, when you are looking and thinking and praying the will of God into every day life, cool things are bound to happen, right? It is the opposite of that mantra that went around awhile ago, encouraging people to "Do random acts of kindness." Random? That puts the glory back on the person. The works are prepared in advance for us to do to bring glory to God. And He is always working...

It is just easy to slip into life though, isn't it? To forget that you are part of a spiritual war, that you are citizens of a different place, and that you are missionary to the place you are. The reality is that God has called you to be where you are, living near who you are, working with who you are and he is working and He want you to join Him. He wants to unrandom acts of kindess and love to let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

So what work is He doing that you are doing to bring Him glory?

We may be in Africa working with pastors, but the every day interactions leave plenty of opportunity for God works. For example, Kelly the painter. Who would have thought that a relationship with a Jehovah Witness could end up being what it is right now. He has been painting our house for about a month now and as a result of my last email I shared about him, I have gotten some great feedback, and someone even offered to send money for start up costs. Those are not random acts, but God working through people to be a witness to this young man. His life is about to change in a great way. Why him when there are so many young men who would love a break like we are going to be for him? I am not sure, but God has chosen me to help him and has in his sovereingty put Him into our life. I never claimed to be a great and mighty guy. I keep things pretty simple. So, my life consists of looking for how God might be working in the guy at the post office, the guy who sells CelTel prepaid celluar minutes cards and the kids who live next door to us. They are all part of a strategic sovereign plan of our God. The question I realize I need to answer is this: "Are my eyes open, my heart and mind willing and my hands ready to be Jesus to these people?"

Today I had a good conversation with Eve, a director of the orphanage that we are working with. She was telling me about a girl whose family was literally homeless and they lived under a tree. When her mom died, this gal, age 10, came to live at the orphanage. She couldn't read or write, but through some days and nights of extra teaching, this committed director helped get this young lady back on track educationally so that she could be in her age group. I don't really do justice to this story, but on the way home I was thinking about how we really underestimate the power of loving and helping the one. This girl's life will be changed forever, because one person took the time to work at teaching her. She is only one, but this one will never forget this labor of love.

The beauty of this is that God is working and wants to work through you. I am so convinced that the world will not be won through large crusades, huge organization or mega-churches, but, through normal and ordinary Christians, wholly (holy) committed to loving the ones that God has prepared for them. It is about obedience, willingness and faithfulness. It about faith and leaving your comfort zone and combining what you see God doing with the heart of God as revealed in the Word of God. May the Lord lead you today and tomorrow to do the works that He has prepared for you to do, and may your little light shine wherever you are today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steve, what you are writing is absolutely true, I pray that this sinks so deep in us that we can’t escape it. I know we can’t escape it and be joyful living for ourselves.