- Redeem the time!
- Walk in love!
- Love your wife!
- Submit to your husband!
- Be strong in the Lord!
- Put on the whole armor of God!
- Set your affection on things above!
- Let the peace of God rule in your hearts!
- Continue in prayer!
- Let your speech be always with grace!
- Do all things without murmurings and disputings!
- Press toward the mark!
- Be imitators of God!
- Abstain from fornication!
- Study to show yourself approved unto God!
- Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace!
- Preach the Word!
- Reprove, rebuke, exhort!
- Be alert and self-controlled!
- Encourage one another and build each other up!
- Be followers together of me!
- Rejoice evermore!
- Pray without ceasing!
- Abstain from all appearance of evil!
- Warn them that are unruly!
- Comfort the faint-hearted!
- Support the weak!
- Be patient toward all men!
- In everything give thanks!
- Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Obviously the Apostle Paul was a man of action! He used more present and future tense verbs in the active voice than any other writer in the New Testament. Look at these active verbs from the list above:
Redeem! Walk! Love! Submit! Be! Put! Set! Let rule! Continue! Do! Press! Abstain! Study! Follow! Preach! Reprove! Rebuke! Exhort! Encourage! Build! Rejoice! Pray! Warn! Comfort! Support! Give! Grow!
The message of Paul’s letters is clear: there is a big job to be done, so let’s do it!
Christians should be busy people. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) Good works are why we’re here. It’s what God wants us to do with our time, talents, gifts, and personal resources. Imagine what would be accomplished if every Christian worked hard to serve God and others!
Let’s be more specific. Imagine what would be accomplished if every Christian worked hard to serve God and the Gospel of God’s Grace. The possibilities are wonderful! More people saved; more churches established; more souls encouraged; more homes united; more lives changed; more problems solved; more questions answered. Most importantly, Christ would be glorified!
Many believers want to serve God, but years of failure, hard knocks, and poor direction have just about wiped them out. Pastors spend a lot of their time helping Christians fallen by the wayside. That’s part of a shepherd’s ministry, but there’s so much more to do. Plus, it would be great if most of the “wayside” Christians were strong and vital and involved in meeting the needs of others. Paul writes that pastor-teachers are given to the churches:
“…for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” Eph. 4:12-13
There’s that word again. Works! God wants His people prepared for work. That’s a major reason why God created us.
I believe much of the sadness and impotency of Christianity comes from lack of involvement in “works of service.” The Bible appeals to church leaders to prepare or “equip” the people for fulfilling service. Notice the benefits:
“… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Eph. 4:14-16
Listen to what the Apostle Paul is telling us. We want our families and churches built up. We want unity. We want Christians to know more. We want Christians to become mature. We want Christians to reach the full measure of perfection found in Christ. Paul tells us how to do it! Church leaders are to prepare, equip, and train Christians for their works of service. Sounds simple. So, why don’t we do it?
You say, “I want to work. I want to serve God. I want to do great things for God. But where do I start?”
“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15 (KJV)
Find out what God wants you to do, then do it! Too many of us are trying to make things happen before we even know what’s going on. Much of the “work” of Christians today isn’t what God has for us to do. We’re barking up the wrong trees. Time spent in careful study is time saved from the failure of spinning our wheels and knocking our heads against the wall.
Talk to others about God’s Love and Grace. Look around you. Count the number of people you know who are unsaved. Each of us must knows at least five unsaved people. Some are in our own family. Others are neighbors, friends and fellow workers. Imagine the impact of every Christian in the world explaining the Grace of God to at least five people this month!
Walk in love toward fellow believers. Care for them. Pray for them. Support them. Encourage them. What a ministry awaits every believer who shows God’s love to a brother or sister! Each of us knows at least five Christians. Imagine the impact of every Christian in the world reaching out to care for at least five fellow-believers this year!
Good works are as close as a visit, the telephone, a letter, an email, a smile, a Bible study, or a prayer. Get involved. Use your talents and gifts wherever you live; whatever you do. Pray for Christian leaders. Jump into the middle of the battle and wage holy war side by side with other believers. Paul often describes Christians as “fellow workers” and “workers together.” We need God and we need each other.
I left the best for last! Get to know God better. Love Him. Praise Him. Serve Him. Obey Him. Enjoy Him. He saved us to have fellowship with Him. Make Him your number one priority.
Let’s go over our “Believer’s Action List” once more:
- Study God’s word correctly (rightly divide).
- Talk to others about God’s Love and Grace.
- Walk in love toward fellow believers.
- Help others grow.
- Get to know God better.
Remember Paul’s own example. He was a man of action! Let’s be people of action!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”