“Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

“they will see your good works…” People aren’t impressed by our knowledge or what we say, people are drawn to God by our good works.”

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I have a second home that I use for a ‘summer retreat house’ for those that want to come and spend time with God in prayer, study and meditation. It sits in the middle of a field with a few other homes around. It is not ostentatious, big and showy, or large and elegant. It really is not the kind of home that I ever dreamed of or even wanted. By some standards and even my own it would not even be considered a home. But, it is! It is a house to meet with God. Therefore, I feel a very strong responsibility to keep it as clean inside and out as I possibly can with the help or I should say the “good works” of others. Our good works will bring honor and glory to God; and when we honor Him, He always honors us. He will continue to pour out His abundant blessings in every area of our lives and those we serve and love.

In the past ten years I have had the awesome responsibility to take a group to this “retreat house” to work in preparation for retreats that truly without any doubt lets their light shine before others that they do see their good works and? Well, here is my dilemma. I think all people should love beauty and exactness. I think all should love God’s earth and the fulness thereof. He created the heavens and the earth for His pleasures and our pleasures. But, when I arrive at this location I realize all people do not love what I love! We go to work cleaning, cutting grass, trimming trees, planting more trees, flowers and doing yard work to make a man’s face shine like a fine cut beveled edged mirror.
WHOA! I am waiting for what I think should happen. “How lovely! Thank you for bringing beauty to our community, my life and the life of my family.” Or, a pleasant nod of the head would work when we drive and walk by. But, it is the very opposite. Language pursues that I don’t think is appropriate for the ears of any that have been created by God and we all have. Music of content and loudness is out of order for any community ordinances, or so I think. And ‘junk yard sights’ are his idea of beauty I assume from his good works that glorify his father. Now, I don’t recall ever having any conversation with this man because he makes sure of that, he runs when he sees me coming.
But, in the past he has called my brother, his neighbor, to complain about my leaving the tree branches on the side of the road to be picked-up as I have been instructed to do by the laws of the land. They picked them up very timely. The community and the workers that one calls for the pick-up and I pay my taxes and utilities to could not be more beautiful people to do business with anywhere in the world. But, this one man makes life miserable even when I go praying, “Heavenly Father, thank You for trusting us with this responsibility and to represent you in the earth in this area. Show us how to reflect Your goodness to this neighbor and community. Use us for Your glory.”

Just recently our team of workers had worked and made things look nicer than I had seen for years around that area. We had also purchased yard equipment, other items for inside and out from the merchants in the area. I wanted to spend our money in this community to help the economy, even, if our money is small by some standards we hope and pray that God will increase it in the community. We had finished a long day’s work. Some had returned to their hotel in a near-by community and it was time for my little household to take their rest when ‘bang bang bang’ goes someone at the door in the pitch dark of the night. My friend and co-worker as well as myself lost all our faith and trust in God and stood in horror. Finally, after what seemed like hours we, she or me, who knows responded, “Yes, and we heard a voice say, “Sheriff’s office!” And, I said, thought, dreamed, who knows what, sheriff!” My friend, thought, that our other coworkers had been in a terrible accident while driving back to the hotel. Then we heard “your neighbor called to complain that you put tree clippings in front of his property.” We had put a very neat stockpile of tree clippings in front of our house on the state/county side of the ditch in the exact perfect place that we had been instructed by the state to do. We make a call and they come within days to pick up. Now the first thing that came to my mind was not good but truth about him and his yard and his way of living. But, I held my tongue and explained our desire to beautify our surroundings for the beauty of the community. Then we knew that they knew and we all knew that weeds do grow in gardens and what does one do?
Trying to find rest with the Lord in the night I quoted my famous saying, “feelings are not the same as facts.”
What were my feelings, go and junk my yard and driveway with so much trash and junk that it just might please them……!!!!! What were and are and will always be the facts? “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Did you notice God did not place a
watch or stopwatch in this command to me. No, God gave me a command with a may in it for others but I know the fruit of this command is a rich reward for me and my family, and the family of God.
Always remember “feelings are not facts.” Facts are the Word of God and His Word in situations like this are “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

PS When I arrived back home we saw a colorful festive box at my front door and I heard from our car, “look someone has left you a beautiful bag at your door.” Well, someone had, the mail carrier. I had received beautiful gifts from two of the most beautiful women and mothers in the whole world and they are right from the area we had just left. I found stunning lovely perfect hats just for me with cards from their sons and my buddies. I heard Our Father say “hats off to you, My Beloved Children.”

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