DOING WHAT NEEDS DOING!
James, stepbrother to Jesus, told his readers to wait on the Lord before they ventured out into the business world. Yet, in the same context he wrote this, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (Ja. 4:13' 17). How then do we balance what ought to be done and waiting on the Lord to tell us when to do it? What would the Lord himself say we ought to do? Here is the rude awakening of what Jesus expects of us. Doing good or what is right requires no waiting on the Lord, but intending to do what is questionable requires endless waiting on the Lord. "Blessed is the servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. Verily I say to you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods" (Mt. 24:46-47).
Jesus said this regarding the kingdom. The same can be said about being a better person. "But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away" (Mt. 13:25). "For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed" (Ja. 1:13-14).
The Apostle Peter believed that Christians were endowed with godliness so that they could participate in a divine nature that can claim Christ's promises (II Peter 1:3-4). How can a human being become godly? Instantly, we think of holiness, sanctification, seclusion, spiritual worship, fasting, prayer and other religious deeds like kindness and brotherly love (II Peter 1:5-9). All these deal with human behavior. We know that the potential is there because man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), there were sons of God that strayed after the daughters of men (Gen. 6:2), the sons of the Most High were called gods (Ps. 82:6), Jesus identified with being divine, while He was human (Jn. 10:34-35) and His followers could become children of God by their actions (Jn. 1:12-13). Christians, too, can become godly and behave divinely.
I faced death several times and I held on for my dear life; but that is absolutely nothing in comparison to facing God in eternity (Heb.10: 29-31). Faith has the awesome task of persevering into eternity (II Pe.1: 6; Ro.5: 3-4; Eph.6: 18). It is not a matter of enduring or outlasting hardships, illness or even persecutions. Regardless of how severe these may be, they do not last or go beyond the grave. We are living in a time when we are in danger of losing our life, soul or salvation (II Pe.3: 17-22). It is not my idea, but the message that Jesus left behind (Lk.18: 8). We are not being persecuted in the free world, but we are being restricted to practice our religion indoors. Sin can no longer be denounced. Marriage is a thing of the past. The biggest culprit is the word unconditional. It was a superb invention for sinners that do not and will not let go of their wicked ways. Unconditional love and grace is tailor made for people that do not repent. Too many religious leaders please our itchy ears (II Tim.4: 3-4). How often do we hear sermons on the wrath of God, on judgment day or on being rewarded for our works rather than our faith? Have we heard anyone suggest that grace may be a reward rather than a gift for those that carry out the will of God or for Christ here on earth (Eph.2: 10; Mt.7: 21-23)? What has become of the fear of God (Mt.10: 28)? Just how Christian are our public prayers without the name of Jesus (Mt.10: 32-33)?
Socrates, an Athenian philosopher 400 B.C., was of the opinion that people in power did not want the public to think for themselves. His idea was that before we can be someone, we must know ourselves. The truth then, and still is today, that when we do not use our brain, we become like sheep that depend totally on shepherds. Good shepherds will teach us to use our minds and bad shepherds will demand that we trust theirs. A good leader, like the Apostle Peter, urged his followers to acquire knowledge to uphold their faith or their attitude (II Pe.1:5-6). To be a better person, I must know myself. That means, I must use my head and determine what I am capable of. How and on what do I build my life, my personality or my attitude (Mt.7:24-27)? To start with, I had to determine not to remain content with what an accident and circumstances were turning me into. I refused to resign myself to a life that depended totally on others. Particularly, the idea that God had a hand and purpose in my fated destiny was difficult to deal with. Neither could I follow anyone's theory or guidance. There were no shoes I could fit in but my own. I had to dig into myself and try to find the knowledge that I could use to better my lot and myself. I did not uncover my ability to rebuild my life instantly. It was a gradual but productive improvement in dealing with myself. The most remarkable sign was that I became better, rather than bitter.