Word of the Month

Let us do good works!

January 2011

The year 2011 lies ahead of us. Let us have confidence in God throughout this New Year and continue to strive to be worthy for the return of His Son.

I would like to issue a special motto for the New Year: “Let us do good works!” In this context I am reminded of something Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (cf. Galatians 6: 10). The good works that we do are an indicator of the quality of our faith and love. As Paul advises, let us do good to all our brothers and sisters in faith – and indeed to all people. Let us show kindness and generosity to everyone. Our conduct within the congregation is a touchstone that demonstrates the degree to which we are filled by the love of the Lord.

I know that a lot of good is done out of love in the congregations. Much of it is unseen. Nevertheless, I felt it would be a good thing to encourage us all never to grow slack in being there for one another and helping one another. May this thought also go with us through the year ahead! Let us do good works! Here too the Lord Jesus serves as our example. Jesus’ entire life was defined by His devotion to mankind. We can even say that He lived only for others! I am going to highlight just a few events from the Lord’s life that can serve as an example to us in this.

Take the wedding in Cana, for instance. It was there that Jesus performed His first miracle in order to reveal His glory. This good deed was performed in the context of a rather trivial situation that was not really all that spectacular: the wine had simply run out at the wedding. This may well have troubled the mood at the feast, but it was certainly no earth-shattering misfortune. Even though the problem was fairly minor the Lord took care of it (cf. John 2: 1-10).

From this we learn that we should not think any good deed too insignificant.

On many occasions when people came to Him for help, Holy Scripture relates that the Lord was “moved with compassion”. He allowed Himself to be moved by the plight of others. Let us likewise remain sensitive to the needs of others. Let us not allow the hustle and bustle of our time to make us numb to the needs and troubles of others.

When Jesus learned that Lazarus was sick He could not bring Himself to stay where He was any longer. The Lord made His way to Bethany even though this was quite dangerous for Him as the people of the area had recently tried to stone Him. But this did not deter Him (cf. John 11: 11-44).

It is not always easy to do good. Often it means doing without, and can even be associated with difficulties. But let us not allow ourselves to be deterred from doing good works, despite the problems we might face.

Let me to point out another very important thing: Paul introduced his appeal to do good works with the note: “… as we have the opportunity …” There is usually always only a limited window of opportunity for doing good works. If we do not take action at the right time we might miss the chance. There is a danger that our good intentions may never materialise and merely remain intentions.

There are many such windows of opportunity in many areas of our daily lives. I often find myself travelling by airplane in order to serve the children of God in the various countries. At times the pilot makes an announcement that he has been assigned a certain time slot for take off.

If he misses the opportunity, he has to wait and request new authorisation for take-off.

Let us recognise that there is only a small window of opportunity for us to put our good intentions into practice. Let us therefore utilise the time.

Allow me to emphasise once again:

  • Let us not think any good deed too insignificant.
  • Let us allow ourselves to be moved by the plight of others.
  • Let us make sure that the difficulties we face do not prevent us from doing good works.

I wish all of you, dear brothers and sisters, a blessed new year. Let us continually set new benchmarks and always do good works. Then, as we read in Holy Scripture, we will also be able to reap in due season.

With heartfelt greetings I remain

Yours truly,

Wilhelm Leber