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Thursday, February 5, 2015
"The Pattern Of Good Works"
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"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works" (Titus 2:7). "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). "Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).
This week in our Daily Encouragement messages we are examining the concept of "pattern" as set forth in the Scriptures. We believe God has provided in the Scriptures a pattern for how we are to live our lives. Today let us examine the pattern of good works.
The apostle Paul uses this theme of walking worthily several times in his writings: "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called" (Ephesians 4:1). "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12b).
1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are in a category of epistles known as the Pastoral Epistles. Our first daily text is a word to Titus, a young pastor. These epistles are especially highlighted for those entering into ministry since they set a pattern for godly leaders. Yesterday we shared a portion from 2 Timothy read at my ordination service over 35 years ago,
Let's spend a few moments examining today's final text which provides a pattern of good works and the nature of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. This involves:
1) Seeking to "please Him in all respects." This is certainly an all-inclusive statement! We are also told to "find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10). As followers of Christ this is an ongoing pursuit and the main source of finding out what pleases Him is found in the Holy Scriptures. Increasingly the effort to walk with and please the Lord will run contrary to the world's way of thinking. It would be an extremely rare media interview where the "expert" directs us to dig into the Scriptures to find the Lord's answer for the problem at hand.
2) "Bearing fruit in every good work." Jesus Christ called His disciples to fruitfulness and good works. "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples" (John 15:8). "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). All over the world today our brothers and sisters are doing this, often unseen and normally unheralded. Their reward here on earth is seeing lives changed. Their greater eternal reward is yet to come. We are called to bear fruit in the tough prison setting, in the lonely nursing home, in the hospice setting where life's journey ends for so many, the pregnancy crisis center or any door you walk through where you can shine the light of Christ in an otherwise dark circumstance.
3) "Increasing in the knowledge of God." To do so we must read, meditate and even pray the Scriptures. Avail yourself to Study Bibles so that you become familiar with the historical settings or benefit from seeing outlines of a Bible book. Character studies of familiar and not so familiar Bible personalities are commonly featured. Above all read the Scriptures but supplement your Bible readings with information that might help you better grasp and understand the Bible.
To summarize our text: We must submit our ways to God in our walk, in our behavior, in our productivity and in our godly knowledge. Let us be faithful so that we bring honor to our Father in heaven, as we practice a pattern of good works!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I ask myself, "Am I living in a manner worthy of Your name? Do I seek to please You rather than myself? Does the fruit of my labor reflect the Spirit of Christ living within my heart? Do I have a zeal for the things of Christ and a desire to know Him better, to reflect His character every day in my life? Am I steady or do I sputter in my Christian influence?" Father, in all these things I want to be more like Christ, consistent in the ways that bring glory to Your name and growth in my spiritual nature. I want my spiritual walk to be the most important pursuit of my life as I journey here below so that I may influence as many as possible to live for Jesus. It is in His name that I pray. Amen.
Colossians 1:10-12 provides a list of items for our consideration. I will phrase them as personal questions:
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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