At any moment, throughout the earth, we may see Kingdom Disciples doing good works:
- Abdul shares the Gospel with his Muslim neighbor. He helped answer many questions about Isa al Masih.
- Stephen gives the chief an audio version of the New Testament in the tribal language. Being unable to read, the chief’s eyes light up as he listens.
- Though young believers themselves, Mohan and Bina are hosting a new fellowship in their home. Their extended family and some friends will soon arrive.
- In the heart of a slum, Jangbin and Seunsoo begin a new day at their preschool. A Buddhist mother, (aware the school is led by followers of Jesus) turns to say, “Thank you for loving and teaching my little ones while I go to work.”
- Luis guides his small boat along the banks of the Amazon River. Twice a month he cares for the sick and also teaches simple nutrition and hygiene, assisted by a local village health-worker he trains.
- Anil is showing Goutam how to get a micro-loan. Goutam plans to start a shoe repair business for he and his son.
These are all good works. Paul urges us to “…live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work…” (Colossians 1:10) What fruit do we hope will come as a result of every good work?
Jesus says, “Let your light shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Jesus’ words lead me to think the fruit of good works ideally looks like this:
- God gets people’s attention
- God gets glorified
- God becomes better known
- People grow closer to Him
- Non-believers grow closer to becoming disciples
- Believers grow in becoming more mature, fruitful disciples
This is the fruit I love to see resulting from my good works—People grow closer to Jesus and become His obedient disciples.
George Patterson, my church planting mentor, taught me that Jesus’ command to go “make disciples” includes:
- Evangelism (calling people to repent and believe the Gospel)
- Teaching new believers to obey all Jesus commanded
- Training and multiplying leaders to who do the same
As Kingdom Disciples, we make Kingdom Disciples. Through both word and deed, we plant Kingdom Seeds.
Paul explains the process in I Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” Through our good works, God gets people’s attention. God then responds to people. Those with open hearts, respond back to Him…and grow. “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God Who gives growth.” We glorify our Father who is in heaven, as we do our work and God does His.
In our good works we plant Kingdom Seeds. We plant with the hope they’ll bear fruit. Not all seeds spring to life–Jesus explains this in Matthew 13:1-9. Yet we plant with this clear picture of the fruit in our hearts and minds: non-believers growing closer to becoming disciples; those who are ripe, repenting, believing and receiving Jesus; believers growing in becoming more mature and fruitful disciples…who bear fruit in every good work—30, 60, 100 fold!
Kingdom prayer: Lord we pray for ourselves as Paul prayed for the Colossians. “We ask that You fill us with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that we may live lives worthy of You and please You in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in our knowledge of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”