When Peter explained the gospel for the first time to a group of non-Jewish people, he summarized Jesus’ ministry with these words found in Acts 10:36-38, “As for the word of that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), . . . . how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Italicized added)
All that Jesus did was summarized in good news and good deeds. How did Jesus do good deeds? One way was through a ministry of mercy. Mercy is God’s attitude and action toward people in distress. The only qualification required for God’s mercy is not someone’s worthiness, but their distress.
One of the best pictures of mercy is in the deeds of the Good Samaritan. After others had passed by the beaten-up man who had been left in the ditch to die, the Samaritan saw him, went to him, bandaged his wounds, put him on his donkey, took him to the inn and paid the innkeeper for all expenses. At the end of that parable Jesus said the lawyer, “You go and do likewise.” – not “You go and think likewise’. The operative word is “do”. The best way to tell if we are becoming like Jesus is when we serve and love as Jesus did.
Doing good deeds is a wonderful expression of what it means to be Jesus like to our world. That is the reason we have set aside Saturday morning, August 8, from 9 AM to noon to serve our community.
On that morning we will be volunteering at two of our neighborhood schools -- Hale Elementary and Field Community School (as well as here at First Free). Schools are the heartbeat of our community. And we have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate these important places and the people who occupy them by cleaning the grounds, weeding, pruning and doing some general landscaping.
Our good deeds can help create goodwill and goodwill is a wonderful platform for starting good conversations about the good news. When we serve in our neighborhoods, we not only share the transforming power of the good news, but we also become more like Jesus.
Come and join me as we serve our community in the name of Jesus.