13 June 2013

Zealous for good deeds, a brief Bible study

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10, Message

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
1 Corinthians 15:58, Message

Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.
2 Corinthians 4:1, Message

Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time” or “Try me tomorrow” when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Proverbs 3:27-28, Message
NOTE on Proverbs 3:27-28, NRSV: We have all hurried by a friend or a stranger in need, telling ourselves that we would help if only we had more time, more money, more courage. ‘Next time’, we say to ourselves, knowing full well that there may not be an opportunity tomorrow.

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha. She was well-known for doing good and helping out.
Acts 9:36, Message

Stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. 
Titus 3:8, NIV

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.
1 John 3:16-18, Message
NOTE on 1 John 3:16-18, NRSV: Real love will be conveyed tangibly and concretely to others’ lives. It isn’t enough to proclaim love to others. Love demands Christ-like self-giving to others. Such love is possible and is to be expected on those who believe.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup - where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:14-17, Message
NOTE on James 2:14-17, NRSV: James stresses the importance of acting out our faith. James reminds believers that doing the ‘will of the Father in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21) is the lifestyle of true believers. He illustrates the need to act charitably and to do what is in our power for others at their time of need. The true character of faith shows itself in what it incites us to do. James’ appeal is to obey what faith demands when allied with love. Our faith is evidenced in acts of love.

Jesus Christ offered himself as a sacrifice, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.
Titus 2:14, Message

NRSV reads: '... a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds’

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