“God is pleased with works that bring other people to Him,” says Maggie, 11.
This is exactly what Jesus did when he multiplied a boy’s lunch to miraculously feed 5,000 people. Jesus became instantly popular with the people who ate their fill of bread and fish.
The next day when some caught up with Jesus, he told them that they shouldn’t seek him only because he fed him. Rather, they should seek “the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27).
They responded with a question, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
“This is the work of God that you believe in him whom he sent,” Jesus said (John 6:29).
Like most people today, they imagined they could do something to earn what God offers as a free gift.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary offers remarkable insight: “Jesus’ response to their question was a flat contradiction of their thinking. They could not please God by doing good works. There is only one work of God, that is, one thing God requires. They need to put their trust in the One the Father has sent.
“Because of their sin people cannot please God by doing good works for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). God demands that people recognize their inability to save themselves and receive His gift (Rom. 6:23).”
“The kind of works that please God are showing the fruits of the Spirit,” says Thomas, 10.
Yes, the fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy and peace definitely glorifies God (Galatians 5:22-23). The moment a person accepts Jesus as his or her savior, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell forever.
When filled with the Spirit, God infuses into believers his own character traits. The impatient become patient, the depressed become joyful and the worried become peaceful. God can do what psychology can never do.
Two additional benefits of being filled with God’s Spirit are self-control and kindness. Can you imagine how much different driving would be if most people had self-control and kindness?
I wish I could say that my own driving always exhibited patience, self-control and kindness. Like every Christian, I face a daily battle as to who will control my life. When someone rides my bumper at 70 mph on the freeway, it’s so easy to get filled with anger and lose the self-control that God gives when I’m focused on him instead of myself.
God wants all Christians to do good works that glorify him, but he never wants anyone to do good works to try and earn eternal life. Only the work of Jesus Christ on the cross could pay the price to deliver us from sin’s penalty, which is eternal separation from a holy and just God.
“God loves it when we spread His Word and help other people around us,” says Walker, 12.
During our short journey on planet Earth, God wants us to become his ambassadors. If every Christian acted like heaven’s ambassador, this world would be more like heaven.
Think about this: God worked through the Lord Jesus Christ to secure your eternal salvation though his death and resurrection. God wants to work though every Christian to accomplish his heavenly works in this world.
Memorize this truth: John 6:29 quoted above.
Ask these questions: Have you trusted in the one who did all the work on the cross to secure your eternal salvation? If so, are you allowing the Lord to live through you to do the good works that truly glorify him?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING