“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 5:16 ESV
I had promised my wife that I would bring her a cup of coffee after my morning run. So, at 6:03 a.m., breathing hard and sweaty, I walked into Starbucks to order two cups of coffee to take home.
As I waited in line, the guy in front of me was clutching a copy of the New York Times and waving a $50 bill in the face of the clerk. Obviously ticked at the clerk, he was ranting, “What do you mean you don’t have change? What kind of a place are you operating here? I’ve got the money. I want my New York Times!”
The clerk, clearly shaken by the man’s anger, apologized, “I’m sorry, sir. We just opened, and I don’t have that much cash on hand yet. I don’t have change for a $50 bill.”
I had just been reading Jesus’ call for us to light up our world with good works so, knowing that this was an opportunity to put Jesus’ plan into gear, I stepped forward and said, “Hey, I’ll pay for your paper” and told the clerk to put it on my bill.
“Are you sure?”
“Yep,” I replied. “Put it on my bill.”
As the guy walked out he thanked me profusely and said, “All that I have is yours!” Which obviously didn’t include the $50 bill in his hand!
When the clerk handed me my two cups of coffee, he surprised me by saying, “Sir, that was a really nice thing you did. This world would be a lot better place if there were more people like you.”
Have you ever had one of those moments where you know that you should testify but the words just aren’t there? Well, I was caught so off-guard that I just muttered some self-deprecating remark and started toward home. I was tormented, wondering what I should have said! About half a block down the street, it occurred to me that I could have said, “Thanks. Actually, the world would not be a better place if more people were like me, but the world would be a better place if more people were like Jesus, because He taught me how to do that.”
I thought about going back to say that to the clerk. But then it crossed my mind that cutting in front of a long line of people to make a religious speech might not be a real good idea. Just then it struck me . . . I was wearing my Moody Bible Institute cap! I began praying that he had seen the cap. Praying that he had discovered that my buying a newspaper for a steamed customer and rescuing him is what “Bible-people” do!
I find myself praying for that server in Starbucks, praying that he will get around a lot of us Bible-people and notice that there is something consistent and compellingly different about us. That someday it will whet his appetite for the Jesus that has made us to be people of “good works.”
When we understand the power of good works our theme song will be: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine . . . Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m going to let it shine!
- Make a commitment today to find an opportunity to do at least one “good work.” Be ready to let people know the reason why you do good works!
- A lot of us “Bible-people” spend far more time trying to be good than we do looking for opportunities to do good. Could you decide today to intentionally commit at least one “good work” every day, just to stay in shape?
- Take a few minutes today to pray that God will give you clear opportunities, and the wisdom to make the most of them!