"God likes it when we do what's right because that is another reason to go to heaven," says Colton, 6.
Good works are never a reason anyone goes to heaven. Rather, they should be a result of trusting Jesus' work on the cross to pay for one's way to heaven. When you're the beneficiary of God's grace, you're positioned to bless others. Gratitude, not the guilt of trying to earn salvation, should motivate Christians to do good works.
Jesus offended people when he said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent" (John 6:29). We so much want to contribute to our salvation. It takes humility to admit that our goodness falls far short of God's righteousness.
Why should Christians do right if they are assured of heaven by faith alone in Christ alone?
"God rejoices when we do right," says Jennifer, 11. "He blesses us, praises us, rewards us and cherishes us. When we do right, we show that we appreciate him and love him with all our heart, soul, mind, spirit and body. God loves us, and he knows we understand that when we do what is right."
Thank you, Jennifer, for expressing the joy of fellowship in a love relationship. Is it really a burden to do things for someone we love?
Immediately after the Apostle Paul wrote that going to heaven is "not of works, least anyone should boast," he wrote that Christians are "created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Although doing right won't get us into heaven, God will bless our socks off for doing it.
"If you choose to do wrong, it is not pleasing to God. He will not be happy, and you will feel bad inside," says Abby, 10.
Have you ever hurt someone you loved? The pain of hurting a loved one is excruciating. A Bible scholar once said, "The greatest motivation for holy living is unconditional love."
The unconditional love of being a child of God is both constraining and liberating. It's constraining because we know our actions can cause great grief to God. "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God," the Apostle Paul wrote (Ephesians 4:30).
Being God's child is liberating because our security as Christians is in who God made us, not in what we do. If we forget who we are, God has a way of getting our attention. He promises discipline for all his children. It's the discipline of a loving father who wants the best for his children (Hebrews 12:6).
Not only is God grieved when his children sin, but often others are hurt, says Rebecca, 7: "We should always say 'sorry' if we hurt someone's feelings or heart. We not only hurt that person's heart, we're hurting God's heart."
When Christians sin, it's a family matter. Salvation from sin's penalty occurs when anyone believes in Jesus as their savior. Salvation from sin's power occurs when Christians confess their sins to God and experience restored fellowship. Acknowledging our wrongs to people hurt by our sins can restore a relationship.
Think about this: Do right for the right reasons. Enjoy God and look for ways to express your love for him.
Memorize this truth: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
Ask this question: Do you do right because God has made you righteous, or are you trying to become righteous by doing good deeds?
Listen to a talking book, download the "Kids Color Me Bible" for free, watch Kid TV Interviews and travel around the world by viewing the "Mission Explorers Streaming Video" at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted. To find out more about Carey Kinsolving and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.