Heres a very important question I believe everyone should ask; "Are you doing the right thing?"
Im sure that on the surface you can look at your life and perhaps you could say, Yes, Im doing what is right, Im doing what is required of me, Im doing the right thing. But yet a more important question that needs to be dealt with is, "Are you doing the right thing for the right reason?"
Many people do what seems to be right. They attend church every week; they are faithful to support the functions of the church and the ministry and are very helpful in meeting the needs of others. And Im sure we can all agree, these are the right things to do. However, many attend church faithfully out of the need to appease a guilty conscience, or to mingle with social or business associates. Rather than come together as believers in spirit and in truth to receive a message from Gods word, they have instead made church nothing more than an inexpressible social gathering. Im sure we can all agree; That is not the right reason.
Is Your Heart Pure
Jesus said in Matthew 6:1, Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:5-6 says, And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. In other words, do it, but do it for the right reason.
Notice Jesus said to take heed, that means to be cautious, to be on guard, and go out of your way to make certain that you are not doing the work of God for any other reason but to be obedient to Him and for His glory. Whether its giving, praying or any aspect of Christian living God requires that you do it with a pure heart unto Him.
II-Chronicles 25 tells the story of King Amaziah. He began to reign when he was twenty- five years old. Verse 2 tells us that
he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. Sounds good so far, doesnt it? Yet the very next words we read are,
But not with a perfect heart.
He followed according to the written law of God in bringing judgement while avenging the death of his father, but his heart was not perfect toward God. What was really in the heart of this king came to surface in II-Chronicles 25:14 as the bible says, Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.
Jesus addressed a group of people who were not at all unlike King Amaziah. In Matthew 23:5, Jesus said, All their works they do for to be seen of men
In Matthew 23:25 Jesus said, Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Verse 27 describes them as
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and all uncleanness. They knew the law and observed all the religious requirements in the sight of men, but their hearts were not pure before God.
They performed empty, vain lip service to the Lord, and when God did reveal Himself through Jesus Christ, they rejected the truth! What was truly in their hearts came to surface as they chose to serve the false god of religion, Just as King Amaziah did. If they had sought God with a pure heart, when He came to them, through Jesus, they would have recognized Him as the only true God and rejoiced in Him. But instead, they rejected Him and set out to destroy the work of God. They had a form of godliness; but denied the power thereof
(II- Timothy 3:5).
I believe the church, and more appropriately, we individually as believers, need to examine our lives. Are we doing what is right? And are we doing it for the right reason? Are we actually working for God, being fully obedient to his word? Or do we desire to glorify our name above the name of Jesus Christ? Is our will overpowering the purpose of God in our life? Do we desire to be seen of, and please men, rather than God? Im reminded of the words Paul the apostle gave us in Galatians 1:10, For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Paul knew, all to well what it meant to live a life that only focused on pleasing God. He wrote in Philippians 1:21, For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
It is essential to our walk with God that we realize doing right is not enough, if were not doing it for the right reason. We must let our hearts be changed and conformed to the image of Gods son, Jesus Christ. And the spirit of God, through the truth of Gods word, will make us more like him.
Our Example Is Christ
Our actions and our motives must be ruled by Gods word. Scripture teaches that we are to follow the example given to us by Jesus Christ our Lord. I-John 2:6 says, He that saith he abideth in him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. I-Peter 2:21 says, For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.
What example and what lesson can we learn from the life of Jesus?
He always, without exception, did the right thing; and always for the right reason! Jesus did not come to glorify Himself, but that the Father may be glorified through Him. As I said earlier, our lives are to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and we are to walk after His steps and example.
Jesus gave us the example we are to follow John 8:28-29 when he said
When ye have lifted up the son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. John 9:4-5 says, I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us to
let our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. And in John 15:8 says, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. We are to do all things for one purpose, that is to glorify God. And Jesus told us how to glorify God in John 15:8
Bear much fruit.
Now God is a spirit and those that will worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. To glorify him, you must bear the fruit of the spirit. When God made Adam, we are told in the first Chapter of Genesis that
God created man in his own image
.. and God blessed them, and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply
When we are born again, born of the spirit, we are made in the image and likeness of God, through Jesus Christ, and we will be fruitful and multiply as we allow the Lord to use us to win souls to the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:22,23 tell us what we are to be producing in our lives as Christians.
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance:
For His Glory
God desires for us to walk in His word, so he can fulfill His purpose in us. Yet, it is Gods purpose, Gods work, his power, and plan. And when all is said and done, it will be for His glory.
Youll recall that we mentioned earlier the words of Jesus as he said when you fast, give or pray, dont do it be seen of men, but to be seen of God. Because if you do it to be seen of men, you have your reward. But be certain
it will cost you. I-Corinthians 1:29 says, that no flesh should glory in his presence. So when men desire to be praised and seen of men, rather than God, and they attempt to bring honor to their own flesh, it will cost them the glorious presence of God.
If youre going to do anything for God, His presence must be real and fresh in your life daily; the presence and anointing that only comes through humbly submitting yourself totally and completely to God and doing His will for no other reason than because it is His will.
It is then that your life will become a tool that He can use to change peoples lives and to make a difference in the world for the kingdom of God.
We must walk as Jesus walked and then our lives will be a vessel that will be fit for the Masters use. We must live a life that God can use to bring glory to Him and to change the lives of hurting people who truly need a Savior.
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
We must do the right thing; And we must do it for the right reason
that God will be glorified, through Jesus Christ, in our life.
(1-chronicles 28:9), And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy Father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind. For the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever.
Roy Belt 2006