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December 3 – Continue Doing Good to All People

Galatians 6; Ezekiel 2-3; Psalm 149

Wedding dresses are expensive and, even though they’re only used once as a general rule, they’re a very important part of a wedding. Imagine the shock, then, of soon-to-be brides when they discovered that the company they had contracted with to make their dresses had gone bankrupt. And they couldn’t get their dresses. That had been paid for. One former employee of the bankrupt company in Glen Burnie, Maryland took it upon herself to do something about it. She took over 80 dresses home and finished them for the brides. Denise Simmons commented that she was just doing her job. Mike Rowe, interviewing her for his Facebook show, noted that this was a job she wasn’t getting paid for. Her reaction was that you don’t start something and not finish it.

As part of the program Rowe has on Facebook, he looks for community heroes like Denise Simmons and finds a way to honor their commitment. He found out that she’d be interested in driving an ice cream truck and the next day at a party with some of the brides she had helped, he had picture of an ice cream truck, because you can’t just overnight those, and a check that she could use to buy her own truck. Sometimes there is a material pay off for doing the right thing. Even when there isn’t a Mike Rowe around to give a check, though, there’s always the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve done what you’re supposed to be doing. Paul reminded the Galatians of that. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9-10 NIV)

In the midst of reminding the Galatians that they needed to live by the Spirit, and not by the law, he reminded them that living by the Spirit should affect their everyday lives. When we live by the Spirit, we should be doing and promoting good things. There’s a problem with that, though. It’s easy to get tired when we keep doing good things. We get burnt out. Often, doing the right thing is a thankless task that no one notices, or, if you are noticed, people attack you because they don’t trust your motives. In the face of that type of opposition, it would be easy to throw our hands up and stop doing the good things we do. Paul reminded them that there would be a harvest for doing right. No, most of us won’t get big checks, or a material payback, but God always reminds us of His presence in those situations and that alone is well worth doing the right thing. That’s why Paul reminds us to do good to all, but especially the family of believers.

If you’re looking for reasons to complain, you can find a lot in today’s world. The porridge is either too hot, or too cold. The chair is either too big, or too small. The bed is either too hard or too soft. We can be like most of the people around and complain about those, and other problems, or we can take the opportunities God gives us to work on fixing the problems and doing good to and for others. There’s an old saying that you never do wrong by doing right. As followers of Christ, we are called to search out that which is wrong, and make it right. We’re called to find those who are hurting, and do good. When you look at something wrong and think that somebody needs to do something, you are that somebody. Do good to all, especially to the family of believers.

Lord, You’ve created me for the good works that You’ve already prepared. Help me to do good, and praise You for the opportunity to do it.

Daily Devotion by Bob James

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