Ephesians 4:12 – To prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (NIV)
I'm always amazed at the amount of good that church people do in the world. Congregations are full of individuals who like to give of themselves to causes and charities over and above what they commit to their own church. For example, I've seen a group of senior citizens contribute monthly to the needs of a young boy in the Philippines, who has grown up well educated because of their support. I've known a group of college students who gave up their breaks to clean up hurricane-ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast, and who also have worked with poor school children in Guatemala.
I've watched a busy young mother set up a weekly support group for other mothers on Monday mornings, giving them and their children a good start to another week of pressure. I've seen a young family with a deaf child start a monthly group for other families with deaf children, in order to help them find the right resources, peer support, and a place to express their feelings.
I've also watched a retired scientist give up his Tuesdays and Thursdays to work on Habitat For Humanity building projects. And I've encountered a 90-year-old man who constantly visits people in hospital and nursing homes, bringing to the patients and residents good cheer, friendship, and faith to help them get better.
These are just a few of the good things that church people are doing to help others. With each act of kindness, friendship, and love, the sharing of faith and the building up of Christ's church continues. These are good people, working for God's kingdom and serving Him in ways that positively impact those around them.
That's what Paul was expressing to the Christians at Ephesus. That's also what Christ did for us when He descended into this world. Now that He has ascended into heaven, it's our turn to do His work, in His ways. For in so doing, we not only make the world a better place, we also build up Christ's Church.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, every day, You grant us opportunities to do good, to help others, and to give support to those in need. Help us to fulfill those precious moments, so that we may make a positive difference in the world and be agents of Your compassion, hope, and love. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.