I used to think you had to do certain things and stop doing other certain things to eventually get to heaven. Keeping score was a bit difficult, but I tried to make sure I didn’t work any harder than I had to. So my goal was to be the third-to-last person into heaven. I tried to keep some friends around who were just a little worse than me, so I could feel like I wouldn’t be dead last, or worse.
But one day, I discovered that Jesus and the Bible teaches something radically diffrent. He teaches that if we bend our everyday, right-now life to follow him, we begin to live an eternal life now. And that life continues forever. My change came with Ephesians 2:8-9, especially verse 9 which says, “not as a result of works so that no one will boast.”
So why all the talk about doing good? Well, once we understand what God has done for us, we want to do something to help others know about him. He makes a point of helping people, and instructs us to do so in several places.
In his letter to Titus, Paul guides Titus as he teaches the people of Crete. Apparently they weren’t all that honorable, (Titus 1:12-13). Paul’s advice centers around knowing what God wants and doing it. He uses the term good deeds several times. In Titus 2:14, he tells Titus to instruct Jesus’ followers to be zealous for good deeds. In Titus 3:1, which is only 2 verses later, they’re to be “ready for every good deed.” And in Titus 3:8, he is to instruct them to be careful to engage in good deeds.
With a ministry mindset, our brains engage and plan for good works. We don’t just come across opportunities to serve others. Rather we focus, think about, prepare and care. We think about good deeds, prepare for them in advance and do them with attention to detail. We are intentional, mindful, and actively thinking about doing good for others.
How do most of your good deeds happen? Are you spontaneous or do you plan? What can you do today to pay attention to the people around you and ask God to give you ideas of how you might serve others? This ministry mindset is an adventure with Jesus. Have you joined?