Leonid Padun: "Created for the good deeds"
26 February 2012
“Stand on the crossroads …”
Sometimes our life is like heavy traffic on a highway. Every day we are in a hurry, and sometimes “life speed” is growing so fast that we do not even have time to make out what’s happening around us! There is a blinking of warning signs and the red light indicator signals that the fuel is running out, but we see nothing and continue to rush ahead with the hope of a long and happy journey.
Where do stresses, nervous breakdowns and numerous diseases come from? We often justify these things by hard and troubled life around though maybe we are just not on the right road? Maybe we should pay attention to the “speedometer” and reduce the speed, stop and try to understand where we all are and what are we so busy with?
“This is what the Lord says: stand on the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).
It turns out that there is a road without anxieties and worries, stresses and depressions, and this road leads to peace, rest and joy. The path, described in the Bible, was not created yesterday or a hundred years ago. God created it in the beginning. That’s why Jesus Christ, while teaching God’s commandments, would often say “… and in the beginning it was not so…” He tried to bring people back to this ancient, good way of life.
“What is good and what is bad?”
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’, for the pagans run after all these things…”(Matthew 6:31-32).
So many people are still amazed at these words of Jesus: if we do not run after all these things then how can we live? These are basic human needs, and nothing falls on us just from the sky. We earn money, go shopping, buy food, cook and provide for our family. And everything is alright with that. The Bible tells us to take care of our relatives and do it earnestly. Now then, where is the contradiction and what does Jesus really mean?
The point is that people in the world are striving only for these things. All their activities and thoughts are focused only on meeting of their needs, although the life is given to a man not only for him to eat and drink.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away…”(Matthew 24:37-39).
In other words, in the days of Noah people had only one desire: to fill the stomach, to get all the material values and entertainment and to have sex. They simply weren’t interested in anything else! It is written that they “knew nothing “, refused to think about the good way and therefore perished.
Whither the people of the XXI century are different from those living in the days before the Flood? Analyzing a lot of things happening in this world, it’s safe to say that most people on earth live today the same way. They are running round like a squirrel in a cage, being engaged in some activity, but all efforts are reduced to satisfaction of their own needs.
Someone will say: “Well, I’m not such a person, I’m doing good deeds, and sometimes I give alms to the poor”. But what do we understand by good?
Many people remember the lines from the school curriculum: “What is good and what is bad.” From childhood we were taught certain principles of virtue and put on the right road leading to the “bright future”. But over the years, I realized one thing: the good without God is an illusion. Covering up with the high ideas and high-sounding slogans, people try to look piously, but it all comes down to primitive selfishness.
God says to people what does the good mean: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
To love mercy is not just to give the beggar some coins for conscience sake, and charity is not handing out of free tickets in the gambling casino for students (that is an example from the particular case). Without the Bible people have perverted ideas of good and mercy! That’s why it’s important to stand on the crossroads and return to God’s ways!
One day God will gather all people to the audience and ask what people were doing in their lives and which way they were going. What could be sadder than an answer: “I was eating, drinking and having fun”! It may seem offensive to someone, but the Bible compares these people with useless “goats” (Matthew 25:32).
But there will be those whom Jesus compares with the “sheep” – good and useful animals. It will be said to them: you’ve fed the hungry, gave the thirsty to drink, clothed the naked, and visited the sick and prisoners. The direct entrance into the kingdom of God will be opened for such people!
We have one life on the earth and it passes quickly. Where we put it? Do we think about the ancient paths and the path paved by God, where He is waiting for us?
Despite all efforts, a man himself is simply incapable of doing good, because evil human nature inevitably leads to selfishness and greed. Blackthorn cannot bear good fruits. Acacia cannot bear apples or peaches, except by a miracle.
And thank God that He is able to create such a miracle – to change the depraved human nature and make us good! While accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we get a new birth and new nature of God’s children, who are able to do good deeds!
“To love mercy” is when you have no idea how to live without helping others. A Christian without good deeds is like a bird without wings, “for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Good works is our way of life!
Let’s put aside all the excuses and get back on the ancient path, on the good way. It’s so important for us to be good Christians. We feel us bad without mercy deeds. That is why sometimes believers are despondent and depressed. Go to the poor and all the stresses will be gone! Serve those in need and you’ll forget about your depression!
Good deeds will make us happy and God’s peace will fill our hearts and testify that we are on the right and good God’s way!