Monday, August 22, 2011

No Good Deed

No Good Deed Goes . . .

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

You know how the devil completes that line. He and those deceived by him consis-tently repeat, “No good deed goes unpunished.” And sometimes it seems like the devil is right.

  • A godly wife does all she can to live the truth of 1 Peter 3:1-6, but her husband doesn’t respond with love. He intensifies his cruelty and rebellion to God.
  • Godly parents do all they can to live the truth of Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4, but their children neither appreciate nor internalize godly training.
  • Godly elders attempt to live up to the truth of Hebrews 13:17, but some brethren see them as meddlesome and overbearing.
  • Godly Christians do their best to apply Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1-2, but they are accused of being self-righteous and judgmental.
  • Faithful Christians take to heart the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, but they are accused of trying to force their religion on others.

Sadly, all this happens. Even stouter examples could be added. And Satan gloats when he persuades some that righteousness costs far more than it pays.

Happily, Scripture countermands each of the devil’s lies. It’s just not true that “no good deed goes unpunished.” Rather, in this sin-damaged world, it’s more accurate to say that “few good deeds go unchallenged.” Satan opposes good, especially good that’s done in the name of Christ. Why? Because the devil knows the power of good deeds! Because the devil knows that good deeds honor God, help people, and mold Christian character.

What the devil opposes, God commends. In God’s divine grace and mercy, for the faithful we can say, “No good deed goes unnoticed,” “No good deed goes unappreciated,” and “No good deed goes unrewarded.” We have God’s word on these truths.

Remember Matthew 25:31-46? Those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, took in the stranger, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited the prisoner heard these words from the King: “Assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (25:40). Remember Titus 3:8, “…Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” Remember Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister.”

We have God’s word on it. Love the Lord and no good deed goes unrewarded!

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