Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Some people believe Christianity is self-service only, but the truth is, we can’t just take in the gospel for ourselves and not share it with others. God wants to empty us of ourselves so He can fill us with something new. Then we can give to others out of that which He has given to us.

This is accomplished through ministry, or as the Bible also calls it, good works. A good work is always done to benefit someone else in order that God publicly gets the glory, as today’s verse demonstrates. Our good works give the world a glimpse of God. Hebrews 10:24 encourages us to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”

What constitutes a good deed? Jesus said that anyone who gives a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple will not lose his reward (Matthew 10:42). We do good works to give Jesus the credit and the glory.

Ministry is for the benefit of several groups of people. We are to minister to those who minister to us, our preachers and congregational leaders (Galatians 6:6). We are to minister to the poor. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “Freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.” And we are to minister to the unsaved by sharing the gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission. We are all called to give to others out of the abundance we have received.