who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:14
Believers should be zealous for good works
Not to be saved, but because we are saved. Good works don’t save us, but salvation produces good works.
I’m a naturally lazy person. As a kid I put the “S” in slothfulness. When I was 12, my dad put a tetherball pole in the back yard for us kids. He had dug the hole and was pouring the cement and asked me to hold the pole for a few minutes. You’d have thought he’d asked me to bear the world on my shoulders. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a wave of energy-sapping tiredness. I stood there sighing and slumping, like I’d been doing hard labor for 16 hours in the desert heat. Here was my dad – dripping with sweat from digging and mixing cement – and I couldn’t even hold a pole for three minutes. I wasn’t that far from being a zombie.
When Jesus saved me, he began to change me, as he tends to do. One reason he died was to create a people zealous for good works. And that’s what he began to do in me.
We should be zealous for good works first of all, because Jesus died for us. He did that for me. I want to do all I can for him.
We should also be zealous for good works because life is short. None of us knows how much time we have left to serve God. In the twinkling of an eye we’ll be in heaven.
There are hundreds of good works to do each day – most of them mundane and seemingly insignificant. A quick phone call or an encouraging email to a friend. Giving somebody five dollars for a meal or a ride to church. Making your wife a cup of coffee. Whether it’s setting up chairs, talking to a child before the Sunday meeting, or helping someone carry groceries to their car, be zealous for any small good thing God gives you to do.
Just get in there and start serving. Faithful in little faithful in much. If you’re faithful in small ways God will give you bigger ways to serve. Remember, Jesus rewards giving someone a drink of water.
Don’t worry about whether you’re gifted or not. Some only want to serve where they are gifted. Serve wherever and whenever you can.
Serve God with gladness. Sing while you do the dishes. Be the most cheerful barista in the church coffee bar. Whistle while you clean that bathroom.
Be zealous for good works even if nobody sees you. The Lord sees and will reward you.
Obviously, we don’t have this kind of zeal in ourselves. So we should ask Jesus for it. Ask him to make you a joyful servant like himself. He loves to answer this prayer. It’s a prayer according to his will and he promises to answer any prayers according to his will.