Exercise your do-gooder by Vicki Gabler

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Exercise your Do-Gooder by Vicki Gabler

Vicki gave a remarkable Bible study, with lots of Scriptures that connect with what she was sharing. Hope you enjoy the depth of the study. One thing that blessed me was the brainstorming about other Bible people who displayed doing good. I always love to see how a person approaches their studies. It teaches me new ways to dig deeper into the Bible.

She began with a story of a way God spoke to her when she was in a time of distress. God will speak to us through our circumstances.

In August 2001, Vicki’s husband died. One day she went out into her backyard and saw a moving band of white in her backyard. She went to see what this was and discovered that it was 1000’s of ants carrying eggs. She remembered a Bible verse that said, go to the ant. While examining the ants carefully her attention was caught by one ant carrying two eggs, and the load was so heavy for the ant that she kept dropping the eggs and stumbling. God told Vicki that ant represented her and the burden that she was carrying with the death of her husband. That got her attention so she kept her eye on the ant with the two eggs.

She noticed the other ants seemed oblivious to this ant’s distress. God told Vicki those were the people who passed her on the street unaware of her struggles. And also other people who were aware of Vicki’s loss of her husband, but they did nothing to help her. For quite some time no friends, family, neighbors, or even her pastor reached out to help her.

A few months later a few stepped up to help her. God put some people into her life but they were not local, they were long distance encouragers. At one point she prayed and a church lady came up to her and told Vicki that she had been praying for her for quite some time. Vicki told her, “I wish you had told me that sooner.” And Vicki then encouraged us to let people know when we pray for them because sometimes knowing that can be a comfort.

Vicki kept watching the ants, and she noticed one ant walked past the struggling ant with two eggs, this ant stopped, reversed direction and went up to the ant. The ant patted the distressed ant on the back, both ants stood up on hind legs and waved their antennae and seemed to have a conversation. The ant then left after the “conversation” and the struggling ant still tried to carry the two eggs, but she seemed strengthened by the encounter. This ant represents those who encourage you in life. They help somewhat.

The ant continued on, struggling and dropping the eggs. Finally another ant came and tried to take the eggs, and the little struggling ant got very upset. The helper ant calmed down the struggling ant, and they stood on hind legs and seemed to have a conversation with the ant. Vicki said it seemed to be saying, “I can help you, please let me help.” The helper ant took the two eggs and continued to walk with them. The little ant followed the helper, but she was tired and struggling. Finally she climbed up on a blade of grass and stood up and stretched to see the ant with the two eggs. She couldn’t completely let go of her burden. She watched the eggs until they disappeared into the mass of white, and them turned, probably to go back to the colony.

The Lord said that the helper ant represented Me (God). God told Vicki He was going to carry her burden away, for He is the burden bearer.

When the Lord wants to minister to you, he will go to great lengths to put you in the right spot, sometimes a place you do not ordinarily go, just so he can minister to you. Vicki usually did not spend so much time in her back yard, but God gave her that living parable to make His point to her.

We then looked at Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Vicki asked us who is ALL? All is everybody, not just family, but also strangers and the man in the street with the filthy, long, matted hair. When the Bible says ALL, it means ALL.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

This also includes people who dislike you.

Luke 6:27-28 (Jesus speaking) “But I say to you who hear. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

Jesus commands us to DO GOOD. Do good to everyone.

Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will prepay,” says the Lord. Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Again, this says ALL MEN.

Proverbs 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink: For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

God rewards us when we do good, even for our enemy. It is difficult love our enemies, and sometimes even to our friends and spouses. How is it possible to do what seems so impossible? We have the help of the Holy Spirit and God.

Colossians 3:12-15 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Vicki said the proper attire for being good to each other is to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering. We are the elect of God, holy and beloved. We want to dress ourselves in tender mercies, bearing with one another.

Matthew 7:12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Luke 6:31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

Believe it or not, the Golden Rule really IS in the Bible. And it also instructs us to do good.

Vicki had us brainstorm ways to do good to others.

Some ideas were if you are going shopping ask your neighbor if they need something, babysit for a single mom with small children, pray for a person. be a listener (2 ears, 1 mouth), withholding a punishment, set an example of being nice.

Someone shared how on the job there was a supervisor who treated them like an enemy. They prayed for the person and treated them with respect, and over time the situation eased.

We need to love our enemies with wisdom and courage, to do God’s will, and pray for them until they have a heart change. God empowers us to do what He tells us to do. When God’s wrath comes against someone who has been causing you trouble, don’t gloat.

One of the best ways to do good for a person is to pray for them, and let them know that you are praying for them. It is very comforting to know that someone is praying for you, and often people pray, but don’t share the fact that they are praying for the person.

The second part of Galatians 6:10 tells us to do good especially to those of the household of faith. We, who are saved, are royal householders.

Hebrews 6:10 is similar to Galatians 6:10. 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.

Romans 12:10-11 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.

When we are kind we are serving the Lord. It does not matter the denomination of the one you are being kind to. We are all one body IN CHRIST.

Philippians 2:1-5 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

The Mind of Christ is to do good to others. If God puts on your heart to do something for another person, even if it feels strange, do it.

1 Peter 1:22-25 Since you have purified our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

We purify our soul by obeying the truth, loving FERVENTLY, with a pure heart, wanting to do good, trying to find creative ways to do good, no matter how crazy the ways seem to our rational mind.

In the Bible are many people who are encouragers: Barnabas, Paul, David & Jonathan, Naomi, Jethro, Jesus, Deborah, Elizabeth, Abigail, Nehemiah and Boaz, Mary & Martha, the Centurion, Joseph, Mary are a few of the names thrown out.

2 Chronicles 28:9-15 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out before the army that came to Samaria, and said to them: “Look, because the LORD God of your fathers was angry with Judah, He has delivered them into your hand; but you have killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. And now you propose to force the children of Judah and Jerusalem to be your male and female slaves; but are you not also guilty before the LORD your God? Now hear me, therefore, and return the captives, whom you have taken captive from your brethren, for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.” Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war, and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives here, for we already have offended the LORD. You intend to add to our sins and to our guilt; for our guilt is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.” So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the leaders and all the assembly. Then the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them and gave them sandals, gave them food and drink, and anointed them; and they let all the feeble ones ride on donkeys. So they brought them to their brethren at Jerhico, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.

They clothed the captives and gave them shoes, and took care of the feeble ones.

Why must we do good? God is good and we are His children, and we are rewarded for doing good.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the LORD against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.'”

God blesses you and all your works. We can know that we are God’s when we share His love with other men. Put your words into action.

As Vicki says, “EXERCISE YOUR DO-GOODER.”

Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

It pleases God when we do good. If God is well pleased, that blesses us.

Philippians 4:18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

When we do good, it is an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

When we do good, not only does it please God and we get blessed, but it also is a way to resist the devil. For if we are seeking to do good, there is no place for him to come in. We also do good because God commands it.

Someone pointed out that it also helps us physically, for tests have shown that when you do good things for others, your blood pressure reduces. It also helps with depression, for it gets you out of you, and reaching out to others.

Vicki also pointed out that sometimes, when we do good to another, it may be that we are the ONLY PERSON who has ever done good for that person, and that can profoundly affect a person’s life. It also makes us like Jesus who went around doing good.

Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

If you do good, God is with you.

We closed the Bible study praying for various prayer concerns, and someone remarked, “Any excuse to pray is a good excuse.” We not only love Bible studies, but also prayer.

I sometimes wish you could come and visit our Bible studies, we enjoy them so much that it is sad when we have to stop. While I faithfully report my notes, what isn’t always conveyed is the excitement and joy with which we look at scriptures. I laugh because often when someone directs us to read verse 18, they start looking and end up back at verse 3 and read to verse 24. Visiting pastors often comment at how hungry we are for the Word of God. It is true, it is so wonderful to spend the time in Bible study.

Could you imagine a Bible study that went on 24/7? When one person stopped, another stepped forward. I could live there – bring a cot, a blanket and my Bible. Could anything be so wonderful?

Have a blessed day!

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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