Do Good

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it" -- when you have it with you."
~ Proverbs 3:27-28

And who are the ones who are "due" good done to them? Everyone in whom the LORD our God says; for truly no human being is worthy or owed (due) any good from God, but we are lavished by His love, mercy and grace in spite of ourselves (Luke 6:35).

Key Passages:

Exodus 35:4-9
"Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's contribution; gold, silver, and bronze; blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; goats' hair, tanned rams' skins, and goatskins; acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece."

Exodus 36:3-7
"And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, and each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, 'The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do." So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp. 'Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.' So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more."

There is nothing "good" we give that hasn't been given to us from God. Therefore anything good we offer to another is from the LORD's contribution, not ours. We make these offerings to God, with His blessings; in the hopes that the benefactor of our gifts will be blessed by God and His generosity so that He alone may receive the praise due Him.

Freely we have been given, so freely we ought to give.

"And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of the meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments."
~ Exodus 35:4-9 & 21

"And the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD."
~Exodus 35:29

Yesterday, my heart was moved to make a phone call today and extend a very simple, not so extraordinary invitation to a sister - an invitation to take her to dinner in order to give her some rest from her troubles: the recent death of a child. And I prayed earnestly about this. I asked God for a sign. I did what I often do, "Oh Lord, I don't want to do this if this isn't from You. I don't want to do this if it's just my own desire and faulty thinking. If this is truly from You, please give me a sign. Remind me in the morning to call. Then let her answer right when I call and let her accept the invitation. Then I will know it is You who have spoken." I continued to pray that same prayer this morning as I became anxious because I had not heard from the Lord yet.

Then the Lord rebuked me, "Child, why do you ask for a sign? Have I not already commanded you, if your heart is moved, if your spirit is stirred to extend any kindness, any good, which all comes from Me, to another poor soul, you shall do it? For what good thought, what good deed or intention ever originated from you? I alone AM good. And every good and perfect gift comes from Me alone. So why do you ask Me for such a thing?"

And why was I behaving in such an evil and adulterous way? Because I wanted to "feel" secure in all that I was doing. If I was going to do something "in the name of the Lord" I wanted it all to work out. I wanted the assurance that what I was doing was not in vain. I wanted it to all work out the way that I considered would make the call worth my time.

Instead of knowing the good I ought to do and just do it (James 4:17), I labored over something that made me nervous (due to fear of rejection because I hardly know this sister), rather than keeping my eyes, heart and mind fixed on Jesus, who saved us not because we were going to accept His sacrifice and look upon His suffering with humble gratitude, but He did what He did because He loves us, much greater and better than we deserve.

So what shall I do with the Lord's rebuke today? I choose to be thankful that the LORD of hosts would hear my prayer and even speak to me. I choose to be humbled that I can approach the throne of grace without being destroyed because I come, washed by the blood of the Son of the Lord God Almighty. I choose not to let Satan use the Lord's rebuke as an occasion to spiral into self-deprecation, but will use my merciful Abba Father's rebuke as an occasion for thanksgiving for His holy discipline in which He is using to train me so that I might yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Most Holy Abba Father, thank You for the right to call upon Your holy name. Thank You that you hear me! Oh what is man that You Lord God are mindful of us?! What kindness, mercy and love! Humiliate me Lord with every opportunity you see fit, so that the beast of my pride may be utterly destroyed. Please help me to remember that Jesus left His place of comfort for me, while He found His full assurance and acceptance in You alone and not from men.

I am very disappointed to find out about this sin of mine; that I would even think twice about sharing Your goodness, Your kindness with others, particularly with those in the faith with whom You have commanded me to show particular favor. But I refuse to sit in this pit and allow my flesh and Satan to use this to deem me ineffective while I wallow in self-pity. Instead Father, I am grateful for Your kind rebuke, for Your directing me in Your love and into Christ's steadfastness.

I am grateful that You have revealed this sin to me Lord. Thank You for testing my heart, finding that which grieves You and leading me in the way everlasting. Make my heart like those Israelites, who loved you so much and was so grateful for You that You had to restrain them from giving. I pray that one day Lord, I will be so in love with You, that You will have to restrain me too. May all glory, honor and praise be given Your name alone! You are my Rock and my Salvation! Amen.

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are in the household of faith."
~ Galatians 6:9-10 ~