“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Peter made the first statement to a group that Cornelius assembled. Jesus made the second.

Were we in a situation for you to ask me questions, many would be answered with an “I do not know.” The longer I live, the more impressed I am with the enormity of evil, the enormity of caring people, the enormity of need, and the enormity of our mission.

Before you say, “You are weird!” let me confess at times I even think of myself as weird. Because I know specific individual Christians in struggling nations, I am troubled by a question. It is not, “Why do they have it so rough?” It is, “Why do I have it so good?” Some of them look at me as being powerful. I look at myself as powerless. Then I realize, “It is all a matter of perspective combined with need.”

It often troubles me to learn of others’ expectations and focus. Why? Because I remember when I had similar expectations and focus.

Perhaps I can focus you on this dilemma by challenging your perspective. Did Jesus raise every dead Israelite? Heal every sick person? Feed every hungry Israelite? Did every blind person he passed see? Did every lame person he saw walk? Did he come for a bigger purpose than raising the dead to die again, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, or curing the blind and lame? What about those who were NOT helped?

Can you personally teach every person who needs to be taught? Give guidance to every person who needs insight? Have the answer for every spiritual dilemma? Respond usefully to every situation? Solve complications created by poor choices? No!

Is everything just a matter of perspective? Or logic? Or “correct” responses? Or “sound” answers? If the destination is A, is it just a matter of plotting the human steps necessary to reach A?

If it is all up to us, why do we keep making messes? If it is not all up to us, how do we determine God’s role? Where is the balance between our efforts and God’s efforts?

You cannot do it all! You can let God work! How? By making sure you do what Jesus did—go about doing good. Let God use your good for His purposes!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 15 March 2007

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