The Scriptorium

True Words, Good Works

Jesus showed us what it means to be His witnesses. Matthew 4.23

Matthew 4: First Steps (5)

Pray Psalm 24.3, 4.
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who may stand in His holy place
?He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.

Sing Psalm 24.3 4.
(Foundation: How Firm a Foundation)
Oh, who may ascend to the Lord’s holy place?
And who may appear to His glorious face?
All they who are clean in their hearts and their hands
and true in their souls with the Savior shall stand.

Read Matthew 4.1-23; meditate on verse 23.

Prepare.
1. What activities characterized Jesus’ ministry?

2. Where was He doing His work?

Meditate.
It is significant that, in Acts 1.8, Jesus promised His disciples – and us through them – that the coming of the Holy Spirit would empower them to be His witnesses – not just do witnessing.

Jesus provides the template in what it means to be a witness to the living God and His Kingdom. Being a witness for Jesus involves true words and good works; and this is true for individual believers and for their churches, which are the Body of Christ in their community.

Preaching and teaching are different but complementary activities. Preaching is proclamatory, while teaching is more explanatory. Jesus did each of these, and as His witnesses, we must learn to do them, too.

Jesus’ Personal Mission Field at this time was Galilee. Each of us has a Personal Mission Field as well; we need to make sure we have identified and are working it daily.

Jesus went to where the people were – in synagogues, mainly. But He also welcomed the people to come to Him with all their various sicknesses and diseases. He healed them all. He did good to people, because bringing the goodness of God into the land of the living is what the Good News of the Kingdom is all about.

In general, we should lead the way, in our Personal Mission Field, by doing good to people. Not everyone who needs a touch of God’s goodness will be sick or diseased. They may be lacking a material need, or a helping hand, a thoughtful gesture – assistance of some kind. Like Jesus, we bear witness to the Kingdom when we bring it near to such people by our good works. Then, by sharing the true words of God’s love for them in Jesus Christ, we round out our witness with proclamations, explanations, answers to questions, and ongoing conversations.

Paul commanded us to imitate him as he imitated Jesus (1 Cor. 11.1). We do well to consider the extent to which we – who are appointed as Jesus’ witnesses in the world – are actually imitating Him in our daily lives.

Reflect.
1. Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video (click here), then download the worksheet and get started being a more consistent witness for Jesus.

2. How would you explain the Good News of God’s Kingdom to an unsaved friend?

3. How can you help your church be more consistent in doing good works and speaking true words in your community?

By the word of divine power he cured the weaknesses of the body, but by the medicine of heavenly teaching he healed the wounds of the soul. Chromatius (fl. ca. 400), Tractate on Matthew 16.4

Help me, Lord, to be a faithful witness today as I…

Pray Psalm 24.1, 2, 5-10.
All that you are and have belongs to the Lord, and you are His as well. Open wide the gates of your soul and ask God to use you with true words and good works today.

Sing Psalm 24.1, 2, 5-10.
Psalm 24.1, 2, 5-10 (Foundation: How Firm a Foundation)
The earth is the Lord’s, as is all it contains;
the world and its peoples He daily sustains.
He founded it fast on the seas long ago,
and bid gentle rivers throughout it to flow.

A blessing all they from the Lord shall receive
who seek Him and on His salvation believe.
For these are His people, the children of grace,
who earnestly, eagerly seek for His face.

O lift up your heads, all you gates of the soul,
for the Savior would enter and render you whole!
The Lord strong and mighty in battle draws nigh;
He rules in His glory above us on high.

O Who is this King, Who approaches our gate?
His might is before us, His glory is great!
This King is the Lord of all glory above,
Who comes to indwell us in mercy and love!

T. M. Moore

Worship the Lord!
Looking for a way to worship at home? Or in your small group? Download and share our free Worship Guides by clicking here.

Not quite sure about how to share the Good News of the Kingdom? Our booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom, can help you work your Personal Mission Field by walking you through the Good News and helping you put it in your own words. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore