Walk Worthy by Bearing Fruit in Good Works

IMGP7151As Trailmen, our motto is to “walk worthy.” That is to say we’ll consider our conduct – how we live our lives, how we behave, how we respond to disappointments and frustrations.  Of course, walking worthy can mean a lot more.

In the Bible, Colossians 1:10 connects the idea of walking worthy with “bearing fruit in every good work.” What does that mean to us?

Bearing fruit means being productive, accomplishing a result, delivering on our promises, fulfilling our commitments.  You bear fruit for your parents and teachers when you complete your homework correctly and on time.  Or when you complete your chores around the house without having to be asked twice. Or when you share the gospel message with a friend who would benefit from hearing about your faith and why it is an important part of your life.

Rockwell boy helps girlThe definition of “every good work” may be a bit broader.  Clearly we know we ought to obey our parents, and obey God’s commands; however, there is a difference between merely obeying someone in authority over you and doing good works for other people.   More simply, I’d ask you, does taking the trash out without being asked multiple times become the limit of doing good works, or is there something more to this idea?

In the Bible, James 2:14-26 has a lot to say about good deeds.  Listen to this modern interpretation (NLT) of some of the verses:

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”

Let’s look at one more scripture reference: Philippians 2:3-4

IMGP6865“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Based on these verses (or alternates listed below) what do you think is our calling as Trailmen who walk worthy by bearing fruit in every good work? How can we bear fruit in every good work as Trailmen?

  • Would we wait to be asked to help someone, or would we seek out that opportunity to help someone?
  • Do we sit back passively and wait for orders and directions when we can see plainly what needs to be done? (Opportunity for discussion about maintaining order during a troop meeting – waiting for instructions is sometimes necessary, but if we recognize an emergency like a fire getting out of a fire pit on a camping trip we’d act immediately for safety reasons)
  • Do we seek out an opportunity to do something special for other people each day?

Can you name some examples of good deeds you, family members or other Trailmen have done recently?

What are some of the advantages we receive from helping other people who are in need of assistance? (try to inspire discussion – here are some potential responses from Trailmen):

  • (we might get a “thank you” but that’s not why we decided to help)
  • (we practice the art of commitment – we engage instead of avoid)
  • (we are practicing a kind of leadership called servant leadership – putting the needs of others ahead of our own needs and learning that compassion often takes sacrifice of our free time, our own convenience and our own resources)
  • (we learn that serving others is the opposite of being selfish)
  • (we learn to be assertive instead of passive – passive means sitting back and waiting for someone else to help or get involved – what if “EVERYONE” was passive all the time? No one would step up to help others or to help us when we needed help)

Summary – Walking worthy covers a lot of specific things.  We ought to obey our parents and leaders for our safety on trips, we ought to obey God’s directives and commands because He loves us and knows what’s best for us.  Even doing all that, we could become lazy — doing only enough to get by in our lives, but instead we ought to seek out ways to help other people.  It’s a way to show them that we care about them and we do it to teach ourselves to become men of action — willing to stand up and do what needs doing instead of waiting for someone else to come along and do it for us.

Walk Worthy and Do A Good Turn Daily, Trailmen. Helping other people at all times helps us learn to commit and avoid selfishness or passivity.

Additional verses on doing a good deed daily, or helping other people:

  • Hebrews 13:16 ESV – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
  • Romans 2:6-8 ESV – He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
  • Colossians 3:23-24 ESV – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
  • James 4:17 ESV – So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
  • Proverbs 3:27-28 ESV – Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
  • Hebrews 10:24 ESV – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
  • Titus 2:14 ESV – Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV – As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

Spring Summer 2013 051

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