Stories and Blogs of Interest

Here are some interesting things:

How to evangelize and “do good” at the same time. Scot McKnight has said it well again. Especially of concern to me is the question of how we do nice things hoping to get to witness. Should niceness be a means to an end? His answer is worth the read. @ Jesus Creed.

Against such things there is no law…? Feeding the homeless in Dallas is being watched because… who knows where this food comes from…. these homeless people might get foodborne illness. So don’t give them any food! @ USA Today

Luke

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2 Responses to Stories and Blogs of Interest

  1. Daniel Mitchell says:

    On the issue of doing good works as a response to our salvation, I know that obviously the first scripture that comes to mind is the NT teachings in the book of James. (Basically, that works are not a prerequisite for our salvation, but that the doing of works is a direct result of our relationship with God; and that not doing good works is a good indication that we are not in that familial relationship with the Father).

    However, it strikes me that we don’t have to wait until the teachings of the NT to see this very principle at work in Scripture. One of my favorite passages on the law, and on our relationship with righteousness (the doing of good works) is Psalm 119. Several years ago, I came across a verse* that says “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free”**. I was struck by the simplicity of this response. God chose to set our hearts free, so IN RESPONSE we run in the path of his commands. In response we choose to feed the hungry. In response we choose to care for the widowed and orphaned. In response we choose to defend the defenseless.

    THEN, because of our righteousness… “they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”***

    Our life of service is developed as a response to the freedom of our hearts, not from a desire to manipulate the masses. However, our life of service WILL directly affect the masses. They will see God through us, and will be given the opportunity to “glorify” Him.

    Anyway, enough thoughts for now, I have other things to attend to.
    In Him,
    Daniel M.

    * Psalm 119:32
    ** Admittedly, some versions say “for you have enlarged my heart”, but I’m pretty sure that the principle is the same. I don’t have the time right now for an S.E.C. check.
    *** Matt. 5:16

  2. saintluke says:

    Thanks Daniel.

    I like your 119 ref. I love Psalm 119 as a beautiful evidence that the Law is good.

    There, of course, is never a place where we obey our father, except out of response to the relationship we already have.

    So grace first, obedience (in logical order) next.

    The biggest deal about the Scot McKnight blog (on which I was commenting) was that he was encouraging Christians to avoid looking at helping people in order to make them into a salvation project. Something that is hard for many of us to see is this:

    (the arrows are “therefore”s)

    We love people God made -> we want them to know him -> we try to do good things to CONVINCE THEM to convert.

    BUT it should be like this:

    We love the people God made -> we do good things for them. (in the process we speak well of God and we pray that he will turn our efforts into saving faith for them)

    the difference is, sometimes, we ONLY do nice things when we want to save people. God wants us to honor his image in all men by loving all men all the time, and this works out to letting his creation know that God is a saving (fixing) God.

    Luke

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