Righteousness and Good Works

dandelionLast week I talked about being content. But I can’t stop there. I tend to err on the side of being too content.

I’m meant to be serving God with joy, but that has softened into happiness. Which melted down into contentment – not with myself, but with my place in life. I’m often satisfied with living a socially acceptable life and letting God’s grace fill in the gaps. I’m not zealous for the Lord! I’m just satisfied with where my life is going, and that is not the same thing at all. There must be love for God’s Word, fear of His holiness, and zeal for walking in the Spirit.

Matthew 6:5 says:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
For they shall be filled.

And the Westminster Confession tells us that good works are the fruits and evidences of a true and living faith.

Good works must come from a heart that is humble and right with God. A good work can only be what is commanded in the revealed will of God. And it must be done for the kingdom and glory of God, with the intention of loving God and my neighbour.

Good works come from the Holy Spirit’s influence, but we mustn’t always wait for His special leading. Instead, we must be diligent in stirring up the grace of God in us.

“Why should we do good works if we have been saved? What purpose can there be in struggling against the flesh when salvation is sure?” you might ask. Well, I know how hard and even hopeless striving for godliness can seem in this broken world. But here are the reasons given by the Heidelberg Catechism  – and, sister, these are biblical reasons!

86 Q. : Since we have been delivered by grace alone through Christ, why must we yet do good works?

A. : Because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit to be his image, so that with our whole life we may show ourselves thankful to God for his benefits, and he may be praised by us.
Further, that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and that by our godly walk of life we may win our neighbours for Christ.

The Westminster Confession Chapter 16 says that by doing good works, we show thankfulness, strengthen our assurance of salvation, edify our fellow believers, adorn the profession of the gospel, deprive our opponents of arguments against it, and glorify God. Great!

NB I am not talking about salvation by works, but life after salvation by grace.

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What do You do With Your Thoughts?

It happens all the time. In church. When you’re trying to have a conversation with God. You were really exploring some deep topics, and learning about God. And then They walked in. Distracted you. Led you astray. Totally entrapped you. It’s called “The Scourge of the Unhelpful Thoughts.”  Whether those thoughts were about your blog, your work, your studies, or your weekly meal plan, they shouldn’t be there. So you need to get rid of them. Fast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But how can that be accomplished? Exactly what do we need to do? Often, I find myself just ignoring them, and quickly getting back to what I was supposed to be thinking about. The problem is, they come back. Fast. So you re-focus, and get going again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.grass.thoughts.2

I think that the way we deal with unwanted thoughts can’t just be fast. It has to be deep. Instead of pushing my Unhelpful Thoughts away, instead of packing them up, instead of filing them away, I send them away.

I think of my thoughts as a little airport, complete with airplanes, baggage trolleys, and hangars. All my thoughts are there, being moved around, and used as necessary. Here is the important point which I would like you to consider.

Every thought which lands can either be sent straight away, or it can be utilized.

Our heads are full of thoughts we’ve thought over the years. And not all of them are useful. So next time you remember something, or a new thought comes flying down,  take a moment to deal with it. Reflect on its usefulness in serving God. Then, send it away or keep it.

This way, your thoughts can be pure and honouring to God as you serve Him.

Interesting Page About Me, My Blog, and Our History :)

page colllageI’m getting tired of not posting. I have 20 drafts, but none are finished. Today, I published this page and thought you would be interested. This page is a collection of several things I’ve been wanting to put on my blog. They didn’t fit on any other page, and none deserved a page of their own. Have a read! :

So, I’m assuming that you are either a regular reader who is visiting this page for the first time, or else a new reader exploring… I’m Rhoda, and I wrote some about me here. But if you want to find out who I am, you’ll need to read through my posts, and pick the pieces of the puzzle 🙂 .

You should note that I live in New Zealand. This is why your comments show as (for example) ’12:30am’, and if I comment on your blog,….

To continue reading, click here 🙂

If you would like to know any more, or have any questions, please contact me, or leave a comment. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Perfection?

PerfectionI’ve been trying to keep my blog perfect. All my posts are grammatically correct. All the pictures are just so.

But
I’ve decided

that since I’m not perfect – my blog shouldn’t be either. Don’t worry, I’m not planning to ruin it. But even the title of this post is enough to mar the beauty.

On Saturday, Serving with Joy was six months old. So I’ve decided to list, in this very imperfect post, the most read six posts.

  1. Obedience is Only Instant
  2. Being a Jewel for God, by Aviel
  3. This World is Not Our Home
  4. Treasure God’s Name, Part One But not Part Two 😦
  5. Dear Subscribers, Not sure why that was so popular!
  6. Pictures of Home

And here is some news. Last week, BWBears nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

But
I’ve decided

not to accept it. Because I’m not sure about this whole blogging awards thing. It seems more like a chain letter than an award. And I couldn’t find 15 blogs to nominate. I don’t follow very many, but I’ll list them here anyway (everyone likes a bit of publicity 🙂 )

Tani Newton at Normal Education. Okay, this is my mum’s blog. But I still recommend it. Her most popular post is “Why I don’t want to talk about home schooling any more” 🙂

Candace C. at Virtuous Maidens. I’ve loved Candace’s blog since I first found it. So peaceful and welcoming. Her posts have a wide variety, from friendship and aprons to her poetry, and  occasional Hymns in Our Hearts post. Candace inspires us to “delve into the days of the past.”

Mrs Tehila Gonen at Women Abiding. “Encouraging Women to Abide in God and His Word”

Julia at Library Lover My colleague’s “Thoughts about libraries, books and everything in between 🙂 ” (at least, some of them!)

Bonnie Smithies at Bonnie’s Blessings This is Bonnie’s personal blog.

Olivia Howard at Fresh Modesty “Practical Wardrobe Encouragement.” I came across  Olivia’s blog quite recently, and I’ve been loving it! She really encourages girls to be “Cute, but covered. Stylish, but sensible! Contemporary, but classic! Feminine, but fresh!”

Sayna S. at Shining Arrows My dear friend Sayna’s magazine’s blog. She’s just decided to take a break from blogging about her personal life, and take time to refocus. But her Bloopers posts are ridiculously funny…

Esther Rose at Joyful Maiden Another friend of Sayna. Esther also blogs at Jewels of Jesus.

Hanah Lou at Dance to Life is enjoying everyday life – and everything it throws at her.

Cayla and Ashley, two sweet girls who are singers, and – well, look at their blog, ’cause I couldn’t tell you!

Told you there weren’t many. If I left you out, please leave a comment.

A bit more news: we went to Christchurch for Queen’s Birthday weekend. I went to a Missions Conference, and Mum went to this conference.

Well, that’s the end of my imperfect post. What did you think? Should I go back to the old ways? Or is a mix of both your preference?

In Christ,
Rhoda