What constitutes a good work in the eyes of God? I believe the 18th-Century English pastor Abraham Booth put it best:

work for god picTo constitute a work that is truly good, it must be done from a RIGHT PRINCIPLE (the love of God), performed by a RIGHT RULE (God’s revealed will in sacred Scripture), for a RIGHT END (God’s glory).”

I don’t think those words can be improved on, do you? To be sure, even our “good works” are like filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6), because we stain even the best actions with mixed motives and less than perfect performance. Yet Booth clearly explained the foundation upon which a good work must be built: for the love of God, by the Word of God, to the glory of God.

So . . . how are you doing in this area? What has been your motivation for living a life that is pleasing to God? Hope of reward for doing good? Fear of consequences if you don’t succeed? The apostle Paul makes it clear there is a better way, a far better way.

“Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Notice the ultimate why behind all the what that we do: that why is the love of Christ. We are not motivated by a fear of consequences, nor are we inspired by a hope of reward. The love of Christ is the ultimate motivation to live the life God has both called and equipped us to live.

The best way to keep the love of Christ before us is to keep the cross before us. While we were still sinners, Jesus demonstrated His love for us on that cross by dying in our place. Jesus made it clear that there is no greater love we can demonstrate for someone than to lay down our lives for that person (John 15:13). And that is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us on the hill Golgotha.

Beloved, keeping this truth in view will keep your works good in the eyes of God, because they will be done from a right principle, performed by a right rule, for a right end. And that is what makes a work good!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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