It was on a snowy evening in January when the doctor received an urgent call summoning him to perform an emergency brain surgery at Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. But he was only able to drive a few blocks before his car stalled in a heavy snowstorm. He made the decision to walk the rest of his journey in the biting cold. Finally, he arrived at the hospital, dried himself off and got to work.
We do not know for certain whether this doctor was a Christian, but we can instantly recognize a powerful theme of love and self-sacrifice in the way he responded to this crisis. Notice how nothing could stop him—neither the time of night or the inhospitable weather—once he made up his mind. Never thinking of his own well being, he put himself at the disposal of goodness.
As Christians, we need to ask ourselves: “What motivates us to do good for our neighbor?” One answer is obedience to the command of Christ when he said, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Christian living means serving others, but that doesn’t mean that our salvation is dependent on external goals. As the Lord makes clear through Paul, we are not justified by works, but by the mercy of God through faith in Christ. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
As Christians, any good work we do is evidence of our deep and true relationship with God. The kind of faith that leads to godly works goes beyond merely acknowledging Christ with our minds, it means putting complete trust in who God is, and letting that trust move us to feely and joyfully join him in what he is doing in the world.
The doctor performed a successful surgery and the patient was restored to full health. And just like this surgeon, Christ, the greatest servant of all, has begun a good work in us that he is faithful to complete. As those united to Christ, let’s continue to look for opportunities to live out wholehearted Christian service.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.