‘And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ (Heb. 13:16)
In this verse God is telling us quite clearly how he wants us to behave to each other and to those around us. If we do this, he will be pleased with us.
We are often so busy rushing around that we can become wrapped up in ourselves, and so become selfish and completely unaware of the needs of others
In John 14:15 Jesus said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”, and in Luke 6:46 he says, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and you don’t do the things which I ask you?”. So in order to do good, we must live closely to our dear Lord Jesus Christ; walking with him, talking with him, and listening to him as we read his Word that tells us we must love each other – as he has loved us (John 13:24–25). And by this, others looking on will be able to tell that we are his disciples.
In 1 John 2:6 John tells us that we must walk like Jesus did. What, me?!! Like Jesus?!
Well, yes, that is what the scriptures say. And, if we are going to behave like Jesus, we need to have the love and compassion of Christ. He saw the needs of the people around him, and he met those needs, even though he was very tired with his journey here on Earth.
How will I know if someone needs help? Well, dear young friend, in you dwells God in the person of the wonderful Holy Spirit. You will need to talk to him and ask him to help you love those whom you come in contact with, and to help you be aware of the needs of others. You see, we are to allow the Holy Spirit to take control of faculties, our hearts and minds, our feet and hands and lips. Part of the fruit of the Spirit is goodness, and we should be displaying his fruit in our lives. So start asking the Lord to use you to help others, and before long you will find yourself putting this goodness into practice.
Our verse says to not forget to do good. The Lord knows we need this reminder: we are often so busy rushing around that we can become wrapped up in ourselves, and so become selfish and completely unaware of the needs of others. To carry out this goodness will mean us being prepared to sacrifice our time, and we may even have to change our own plans in order to help others.
How can I show goodness to others?
Maybe there is an elderly lonely person in your church who just needs someone to call and have a cuppa and a chat.
Has a young person come to your church to follow their education or career? They will need you to take time to befriend them and help them feel a welcome part of the church.
Perhaps you spot a couple with a young family who never seem to have time for a break. Perhaps you could offer to babysit in order that they could have an evening out together.
In the book of James, God tells us that true religion is to visit those in need. WOW! So it’s not preaching from the platform. It’s getting close to those around you. He wants you to look out for each other and show love to each other.
If we are going to behave like Jesus, we need to have the love and compassion of Christ. He saw the needs of the people around him, and he met those needs, even though he was very tired with his journey here on Earth.
The Lord wants you and me to shine out like stars, to show those around us that we have been with Jesus (Phil. 2:15).
I remember visiting an old lady in my church. She seemed quite grumpy at times – but you know, I grew to love those visits; she began to show special love to me and promised to pray for me, and I came to understand that her grumpiness was due to painful arthritis. We had some wonderful times together. Look around you, young friend. The Lord has work for you to do, and you know what? Our verse – Hebrews 13:16 – ends with, ‘God will be pleased with you’.
Doreen Seddon, The Church of God in Liverpool