Recently I have been occupied with the topic „works“. In the last weeks I got some bible verses about this topic:
Ecclesiastes 9, 10: Whatever comes before your hands, do it with your strength, do it.
1 Samuel 10,7: Do whatever comes before your hands, for God is with you.
Romans 12, 11: Do not be lazy in what you are to do. Be burning in the spirit. Serve the Lord.
James 4, 17: Whoever knows how to do good and does not do it, it is sin to him.
James 2, 17: So faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.
I think these are clear statements from the Bible that call on us to act. We should do what God tells us to do. Basically these are things like
- To love and honor God (1st commandment)
- Love your neighbor (in prayer and in practice, keyword: double commandment of love/ golden rule)
- To pass on God’s word (boot of readiness)
- help where help is needed and where we can provide it (parable of the Good Samaritan)
Everyone has received his gifts and should use them (parable of the talents entrusted, Matthew 25:14ff). This has nothing to do with actionism, but with listening to God. There are times of rest and times of „works“ – in the ratio 1:6, if one takes the story of creation (Genesis 1) as a measure…
I read a quotation from John F. Kennedy in this context:
Whoever takes action where others are still talking has a big lead in life.
I had to experience this „painfully“: When I was still thinking about how to help the people here during the Corona crisis, the Catholic rural youth Movement were already doing shopping for people in need… That doesn’t mean to act rashly, but just not to be too hesitant and to talk it all down.
A quote from Thomas A. Edison:
It is better to tackle imperfectly than to hesitate perfectly. I believe that this also requires some courage…
We are to do works by faith because:
James 2, 18: Now someone might say, „The one believes and the other does good. To him I would have to answer: „Show us your faith, which does not produce good deeds. My faith I can show you. You need only look at what I do.“
This means as much as that our faith becomes visible through our works/ deeds. So to speak condensed like invisible water vapour on a cold window pane, which then becomes visible as drops.
The beautiful thing is, God gives us promises to do so, which we are allowed to take advantage of:
Genesis 2,7: The LORD your God has blessed you in all the works of your hands.
Epistle to the Hebrews 6,10: God is not unjust that he should forget your work and the love you have shown to his name by serving and still serving the saints.
God does not forget what we do, and we are called to serve the saints – that is, our brothers and sisters in faith.
This is well summarized in 1 Peter’s letter 4, 7 – 11:
Soon the end of this world will be here, where everything comes to its end. Therefore be alert and prudent, do not tire of praying. But above all, do not let up in loving one another. For „love sees beyond error“. Receive each other hospitably and do not complain about the increased work. Each one should serve the other with the gift that God has given him. When you use the manifold gifts of God in this way, you use them correctly. If you are called to speak before the church, then God shall speak through you. If someone has taken on the task of helping other people, then work in the power that God gives him. In this way we honor God with everything we have and do. Jesus Christ has made this possible for us. All honor and power is due to God forever and ever. Amen.
Finally, one last quote – again from John F. Kennedy:
We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.