|1 Corinthians 13:3 |
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and do not have love, it profits me nothing.1
1 though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and do not have love, it profits me nothing. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision benefits anything except faith, which is energized and demonstrated by works [thus operating] through love. Gal 5:6.
Does this mean that anything you do until you hear God order you to do something is wasted, counts for nothing? Almost! This was John the Baptist's simple message of beginning repentance:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct. Matt 3:2
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life.
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain. Luke 3:10-14
A Warning from the word of the Lord within! "You must distribute liberally." To advance spiritually, you must open up your heart to those without food and clothing — the necessities of life.
This does not mean you give to those who choose to do no work and beg instead. Let those who will (choose to) not work, not eat. 2 The 3:10
Your first works of love for God are to wait on Him and obey His commands that you hear Him speak to you; these first works are works of repentance: repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance. Acts 26:20.
After you are purified and under complete control of God's direction and prompting, you are guided to works of faith energized by love; works which show the love of God to man and which bring glory to Jesus and the Father. God's grace and salvation are provided to create a people dedicated to good works:
That you might walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing in all things, being fruitful in every good work. Col 1:10
Again Paul said, "The purpose of grace.. to purify a peculiar people zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14
Paul states God's purpose in salvation: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Eph 2:10
Now the God of peace... Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ. Heb 13:20-21
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Mat 5:16.