A gracEmail reader writes, “I see so many problems in the world and I am overwhelmed. I have turned my life around since I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I am showing more love for myself and others. Can I assume I am doing what God expects of me so long as it feels right in my heart of hearts?”
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Good works are very important responses to God’s goodness to us, even though they are not the basis of his kind favor (Titus 2:14). Our works show our repentance (Acts 26:20), evidence our faith (1 Thes. 1:3; James 2), and demonstrate our love (Heb. 6:10). God has made us part of his new creation so we might do the good works he has ordained for each of us (Eph. 2:10).
You are certainly correct that the world’s needs can completely overwhelm any sensitive soul. Happily, God does not expect one person to do everything. At the same time, he uses our small efforts and accomplishments in the process of carrying out his universal plan. How do we know our part in this process? Remember that God holds us accountable only for what he entrusts to us, whether we think of our gifts or the opportunities to use them (2 Cor. 8:12; 1 Pet. 4:11-12). The Bible tells us many good works which we might have occasion to perform. If we seek God’s will and give ourselves to him day by day, he will nudge us by his Spirit to recognize which works he has planned for us.
Christianity involves an interpersonal relationship with the heavenly Father. If you keep that relationship honest and open, continually surrendering your will to Christ, feeding on the Word, obeying God faithfully as you understand him, seeking always to maintain a good conscience, you may have confidence at any moment that you are doing the right thing (Col. 1:9-12).