You cannot earn your salvation by doing good, but our actions are the evidence of a life of faith and the piece of our faith we can show to others, inspiring them to seek Jesus.
Jesus himself, we are told, "went around doing good" (Acts 10:38). He says, "For a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." (John 5:28-29).
But seeking to please God is one of the hardest things to even begin to put into practice. It seems so natural to please ourselves. But Jesus says, "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me" (John 5:30).
To live a life seeking to please God involves a complete U-turn, away from the self and toward the Father. But not just a single, one-time U-turn, it is an act you must do over and over, day in and day out. It takes practice and discipline. It is not easy, but it will be worth it to hear God say on the last day, "Well done, good and worthy servant" (Matthew 25:23).
Lord, help me to do all the good I can, by all the means I can, in all the ways I can, in all the places I can, to all the people I can, as long as ever I can [words adapted from John Wesley]. Help me, like Jesus, to live a life not seeking to please myself but rather seeking to please you. Not to earn your love, but to show your goodness and grace to all people. In Jesus' name, Amen.
(This series is based on a daily devotion from Vicar Nicky Gumbel's "Bible in One Year" Reading Plan. Need to start at the beginning? Read the Introduction here.)