Devotions from James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community

This book has to do with learning how to love our neighbor as our self.  Any of us can do a wonderful act of service but if we do not do it in a spirit of love, it is of no value.  When we do sacrificial acts for others, it can gain attention but we must beware that it can lead to vainglory and not bring glory to our Heavenly Father. The purpose of doing kind things is not to be seen by others for, ”The heart of the matter is the heart.”   As it says in Galatians 5:6, “The only thing that counts is faith working through love.”  Living faith is trust and confidence in God expressed in acts of love in our relationship with others.  If we just focus on social justice we can become self-righteous and insensitive. We need personal faith as well. It is not that we just do a good deed here or there but our lives should be good deeds, that flow from Christlike character.  Let us live in continuous contact with the kingdom of God.  We love, serve, forgive and care for others because God first loved, served, forgave and cared for us. So the life we are now living with God just spills over onto everyone we meet. Let us remember that daily encounters with others are the arenas in which our relationship with God becomes incarnate!