One thing I am conscious of is that theologians often believe strongly that you shouldn’t use bible verses out of context. I tend to do that a bit and I apologize if I make mistakes, please send me an e-mail if you have advice or suggestions or corrections for me.
I want to talk about doing good deeds. The verse God has given me for this is Genesis 12:2. At least that is the verse I thought I wanted. Unfortunately He gave it to me in Indonesian, in the form of Ang Pao and it wasn’t even the full verse. It was a sticker that just said Kejadian 12:2 “Aku akan memberkati engkau dan kamu akan menjadi berkat” or “I will bless you and you will be a blessing”
I stuck the sticker on my car and I have received a lot of revelation and insight by meditating on what it says. It was only when I sat down to write this that I checked the full verse. I re-read the full verse in English and in Indonesian and I now realize that God was talking to Abram and telling him what would happen if he followed the Lord.
Genesis 12:1 – 3
Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land I will show you. 2 I will bless you and make your descendents into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.
I have heard people argue that to preach the word of God you need to study theology so that you understand the context of the message. I agree completely that we as Christians need to study the bible and theology. But the same people that tell me about understanding the context of the bible do not speak fluent Hebrew. Now, from reading the bible in Indonesian and English, or even different English versions such as NIV, CEV or KJV it is obvious that huge amounts of context, connotation and meaning are added and lost through the language used. It is my belief that the Word of God is alive, through the Holy Spirit.
My point is, it is an admirable thing to study theology and memorize the bible but the Holy Spirit determines what you understand. The most knowledgeable theologian in the world can preach the most amazing sermon and the person in seat A will get revelation and insight into God while the person in seat B will go to sleep only to leave the church service and receive their revelation in the church canteen while chatting to a friend from their office.
Build your relationship with God. Read and study the Bible. Learn all you can about theology. Go to mission school, do whatever you can to arm yourself with weapons to win souls for Jesus. It is good to build your knowledge and faith. But NOW is the time to start doing good deeds. As the sons and daughters of Christ we were each ‘given talents and gifts to be used in the service of others ’, we were called to ‘make our light shine so that others would see the good that we do and praise our Father in Heaven’ ( Mathew 5:16 ) And one of my favorite verses :
James 2:14 – 26
14My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? 15If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, 16you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? 17Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!
18Suppose someone disagrees and says, “It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds.”
I would answer, “Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them.” 19You surely believe there is only one God. That’s fine. Even demons believe this, and it makes them shake with fear.
20Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless? 21Well, our ancestor Abraham pleased God by putting his son Isaac on the altar to sacrifice him. 22Now you see how Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. 23This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, “Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him.” That’s how Abraham became God’s friend.
24You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe. 25For example, Rahab had been a prostitute. But she pleased God when she welcomed the spies and sent them home by another way.
26Anyone who doesn’t breathe is dead, and faith that doesn’t do anything is just as dead! Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead
Or to use a quote from Thomas Jefferson,
“ For it is our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged. ”
God does not have a showroom on earth. He doesn’t hold exhibitions and put on demonstrations for crowds. Our lives need to advertise His love.
If I may, I will share what I get from Genesis 12:1 – 3
Go back to my sticker version, “Aku akan memberkati engkau dan kamu akan menjadi berkat” or “I will bless you and you will be a blessing” I believe that most people like to do good deeds. They find happiness in doing something good for someone else and being appreciated for it. But I believe that if we follow the Lord and we commit to Him, His very nature will change us and the closer we come to Him, the more our lives will be used to bless others.
Notice it doesn’t say “If I bless you, you should bless others “When God works in your life, He transforms you. His blessings come in the forms of revelation, wisdom, health, spiritual gifts, talents, destiny and love. When God blesses you with these things as He WILL if you ‘seek first the kingdom of God’ then you WILL be a blessing to others. It’s not a thing you have to choose.
All you do is love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all you strength, with all you mind and with all your soul and commit to living a righteous life. He will transform you into a loving and faithful husband, He will give you wisdom in your relationships with your children and friends, He will heal you and give you strength when times are tough, you will discover or enhance talents you have and be given opportunities to use them in ways that are pleasing to Him.
The promises of the Kingdom of Heaven are truly amazing. When you repent and give your life to Jesus, you are given the Holy Spirit and the seed of God comes to live in you. But just because you have the seed of greatness in you, it does not mean you will produce great fruit. There is a process we must all undertake. It’s a process of learning, of building, of transforming. We will never reach perfection in this lifetime but as Mother Teresa said “God does not require us to succeed, He only requires that we try”
You always pass failure on the way to success. It is in our nature to be sinful but don’t let your failures take you further away from God. That is what the devil wants. The devil wants us to feel ashamed and inadequate to approach God so that he can influence us. Take you failures and sins to God repent with all your heart and ask Him for His forgiveness so that you can continue on your journey.
‘I cannot do all great things but I can do all things with great love’
God Bless You, Gef