Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”
God created us to do good things, not bad. It’s how the human machine was made to work. Good works are like the lubrication that makes us run well and feel good. When we don’t keep the crankcase full, we start to feel the gears of our being grind…and that feels lousy.
He knows we need that lubrication on a regular basis. He also knows that our lubrication of doing good works doubles as a message to others that He is around and working through His creation to talk to them.
Guilt is God’s internal warning system that we are operating His creation outside of its designed parameters. The good feelings that go along with knowing we did the Right Thing, the thing God wanted us to do, tells us that we’re operating His creation as intended.
When you’re properly maintained, getting your spiritual oil changed so to speak, you run better. You’re faster, you feel better, you better “mileage.” You can get that spiritual oil change wherever you can find someone to do a good work for.
You might have read my post from last December 28, Elaborate Plans –
I did a good deed for a guy who was in desperate straits. I was the one who felt blessed, because God used me to help someone. Let me expand that. God, The Creator and Supreme Ruler of THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE used me, a sinner, dressed in the rags of misdeeds, to make a change in another man’s life. I was the point man on a Special Ops mission from God!
Doesn’t that sound cool?!? Li’l ol’ me with God’s night vision goggles to see through Satan’s fog of lies and confusion on earth, some hollow point ammo to put a nasty exit wound in the Devil’s plan to put my man, Terence, down, shot straight from the rifled barrel of a Cross-made 9mm Sabbath night special. No silencer needed, ‘cause we WANT the ol’ boy to hear that round heading downrange to his nasty self just before he goes down…
Sorry. Go a little carried away there. It happens. But you see what I mean? I spend my money and most of my day helping Terence along, and looked how juiced I get about it! Like I said; running a surplus.
From my college teaching days, my greatest success was a thirty-something young lady, cute blond, and just a bit retiring. She did a good job in my class and earned an “A.” She asked me if I was just humoring her with good grades. Well, no. I don’t really give out the grades; I just translate your work into a letter grade. You gave it to yourself.
So after the term is over, I’m sitting in my office, and she walks in. With brown hair. She thanked me, because in GRADE SCHOOL a teacher told her she was stupid, and that wounded her terribly. Since then she had accepted that, eventually dying her hair blond and adopting the persona of “Dumb Blond.” That was her self-image. It wasn’t fun, but it was safe. No expectations and flying under the radar.
Then she took my class, got validated, and suddenly realized it was all a lie. A BIG, DAMMNED LIE!!! She dyed her hair back to her natural color and started becoming the person God always intended her to be. Do you see this? That happened decades ago, and it still puts gas in my tank! Running a surplus!
Now I’m a sort of pen pal with another blogger, BeautyBeyondBones (see Beauty and the (ED) Beast – ). Maybe that’s more like blog pals, but anyway… She’s been blogging for a while and is really good. Almost 9000 followers think so. I’m not too bad myself…less than 100 think so (and I’m working on that, by the way). She thanks me for my feedback, and very much appreciates my support. Once again, we’re both running a surplus.
This isn’t is Joel Osteen’s false gospel of prosperity. This is not some automatic formula. This is not about some cosmic ATM where you enter your good deed with your hand out. We’re talking about genuinely trying to help others with no thought of self. Focus on others and their needs with sincere concern, and you will find yourself running a surplus. Emotionally, career-wise,… whatever way God sees you need blessing for being part of His Plan.
Am I rich? For America, no. I’ve faced financial ruin, and I’m now doing OK. Am I in my dream job? No. But I am in a good job with likely the best boss I’ve ever had. In tough business conditions, I’ve survived 2 rounds of layoffs in 2015. And why is that? Because Boss looks out for me. Why? Because I’m a team playing; I help the rest of the team with their problems. I help other people without selfish motives, and God gives me the blessings that He knows are right and good for me. Richly!
Do you have needs, wants, satisfaction? Well, forget about it. Look to help other with theirs. Spend yourself on those folks, because Jesus spent Himself on you…and me. And, just as Jesus was elevated and got more than He gave, you too will run a surplus!