It's popular today to see admonitions for us to do "random acts of kindness." And in a world that is often unkind, that's certainly a step in the right direction. We know that kindness has a way of rippling out into the world, touching many people in a chain of goodness. And that, of course, should be applauded.
But as followers of Jesus, we have a higher calling than that. Not only should these acts be random, they should be INTENTIONALLY done, meaning, On Purpose, and all the time.
Jesus didn't say we ought to do good occasionally, or when we felt like it, but that we should do good as a way of spreading the Kingdom of God here on earth.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "When you do Good Works..." He did not say "if you choose to do Good Works," or "If God decides to give you the ability to do a Good Work," or any other variant. He, as our Master ("lord") simply commands us to follow his teachings, as if he ACTUALLY expects us to follow his lead! (Imagine that!)
In short, if we have made him our Master, we are called to a life of joyful obedience to him.
Jesus' parables are filled with urgings and promptings to do Good.
The Good Samaritan comes to mind immediately. Of all who walked by the man who had been beaten and left for dead along a road - including "religious" people of Jesus' day who assured themselves of their Elect Status with God - only one acted in a merciful way that pleased God and helped the man in distress. "Go and do likewise" says Jesus.
In the Parable of The Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) Jesus illustrates that we are to put our talents to good use here in the world, and not wait for some distant future where all things will be made right.
Jesus tells a parable of a Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21) illustrating that "life does not consist in an abundance of possessions," and warns against those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God, and others. Elsewhere (Matt. 12:35) Jesus says we ought to lay up goodness in our hearts, from where goodness can flow out into the world.
In his teachings, Jesus said we should "do Good" even to our enemies. (Luke 6:35) And Jesus told the Religious Elites of the day that, contrary to their practice, even on the Sabbath Day, it was appropriate to "do Good" (Matt. 12:12.) Of Jesus, it was said that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, "and "he went around doing Good ... because God was with him" (Acts 10:38)
Finally, Jesus in a parable of sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46) spells out specific ways in which we ought to be acting, and warns that God will judge us not according to our intentions (or our creeds, or our endless songs of praise or prayers) but by our acts.
"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
As Micah the Prophet said, "He has shown you, O man, what is Good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Doing Good is not an option. Jesus, our Master, commands it. If we say we love him, we'll obey his teachings, and do Good, continually. (John 14-15)
"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you," says Jesus (John 1315.) Let's go out into the world and do Good!