Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Should Be Committed - And Maybe You Should Be Too!

Does the church make you nuts?!? I was musing over some of the comments and emails I received from my most recent posts. I have discovered that there are a lot of angry and disillusioned Christians out there. It makes me sad to think that the church, the place with the "standard" by which all men will be judged is taught, disregard even the simplest of commands and live selfishly. Here are some Biblical situations, what would you do? (WHAT WOULD I DO? WW I D)

Luke 19:29b He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, "Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 31 "If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it."

Let me paraphrase: Go into [your city] and find a brand new Mercedes E500 with the keys in it. Take that, and if the dealer asks you why, say that you need it for Jesus. If you are the dealer/owner, can you hand over the keys?

Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) 2 others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. 2 He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. 3 Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. 4 Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. 5 Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household'."

Let me paraphrase again: Get a buddy and plan a mission to serve someone else besides you and your family (if you have one). Ask, get a vision, and do it. Soup kitchens, VBS, overseas missions, feeding the poor and homeless in your home; there are lots of ways to do it Don't worry about danger there will always be some, don't worry about money, it's all His anyway (spend what you were saving for the big screen TV, your team isn't going to be in the Super Bowl anyway!), and be peaceful and loving to all you meet-- but look for the ones that are ripe.

Luke 10:38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

Ummm... open you home. Sure this was easy for Martha, it was Jesus. He wasn't going to steal anything or stink up the new couch. Didn't He say, "Whatever you do unto the least of these, you have done unto Me"?

John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

Let me paraphrase: If it's not God, don't bother. If it is God, you better be listening.

Following Jesus is a tall order. It is hard to make a commitment to serve Him in the ways described in the passages above when we are immature, and in many more cases, too comfortable with pursuing our lifestyle; whatever that is. It could be 2 cars, 2.5 kids and home of our own. It could be something devious, addictive or destructive. If we are living a life that is not prescribed by Him, we will never be fulfilled spiritually.

For those of us that have had years of Christian teaching and can't get there, we can't blame it on God. We can't just go to church and Bible study once a week, be nice to others, and think that is what we are called to do. That sounds more like Wal*Mart, don't you think? How is it that we love our neighbor as our self anyway? The simple answer is we treat them like we treat ourselves. We eat steak, they eat steak. We give them the same quality we give to the great "I." We start to serve them in times of need knowing that our needs will be taken care of, while we get involved with others. I mean, if we are in God's will, then our life is none of our business, now is it?

As we reach out, we need to be sincere, letting our "yes," be yes (a commitment) fulfilling that which we have already said we would do. How about we start with that, and then, at some point, there may be a knock at the door asking to use our car, take in a homeless person, make a meal, or give some cash. Hopefully we'll hand over the keys or open the door, while we praise God that He has chosen us.

Are you committed?

3 comments:

Tony C said...

The Vikings aren't winning the Super Bowl?!?!?

Then why have I been praying so hard?

Hang in there David...don't let church people interfere with your relationship with God.

photogr said...

David:

Only if I can discern it is a legitimate cause.

Different times. Different eras.

Back then It was a smaller population. Today it contains hundreds of millions in the population. Not many in the new population can be considered to be honorable when they say it is for the Lord. You might most likely just be left with out your Mercedes for good.

If you look back in the bibical ages, Jesus and his disciples were already known to many through out the land. Today so many criminals are using like tatics to fleece unsuspecting people of good will.

There is a lot of difference between now and then. Today one must have the gift or possess the ability to discerne a good person from an evil doer. Unfortunately I do have that ability some of the time and other times??

As far as the church. Many are good and are active in following God'd directives. Others are merely social click groups gathering to serve each other.

There is always a bad apple or two in a bushel. Never fails.

~ Jan ~ said...

Really impressed with the comparison of donkey/Mercedes. I question if I would have the nerve to ask for the keys, fearing cops would be called and I'd be committed to the "Happy House" with the rest of the patients shown on Tony C's blog.

All joking aside, I would say that I am committed to Jesus. Just an example... In January of 2007, the news reported my cousin had been in a terrible car accident. Jackie was 18 years older than me and we had little contact with each other yet, immediately I went into prayer mode. In prayer I heard that I should go to the hospital Monday to pray with her and if necessary, lead her to Jesus.

"Right!", I thought. We hardly know each other and her family is clueless as to who I am." I was afraid but my fear melted with the perfect excuse. I don't drive expressways or any place unfamiliar to me. I told the Lord if He wanted me to see Jackie, He'd have to work out the traveling details.

Monday morning, my brother, Jim, called. He wanted me to go with him to visit Jackie. I called the hospital, found out she was in intensive care and only immediate family could visit. I relayed the info to Jim. He protested that we were family and we were headed to the hospital.

How was I to approach Jackie's spiritual destiny with her family around. Thoughts of them indignantly telling me she was a good person, with no need of prayer and chasing me out of the room, made me want to throw up.

From the parking lot to the corridor that led to the intensive care unit, I was numb with fear. When I opened the door to the unit, the receptionist wanted to know who we were there to see. "Are you family?", she asked, when I gave my cousin's name. Jim said, "yes." and we were told to take a seat.

Upon entering her room, I expected to see family by Jackie's bedside but there she lay, all by herself. Jackie was in a coma, hardly recognizable and hooked up to machines I've never seen before.

I held her warm hand and began to stroke it as I prayed. I softly called her name and reminded her of who I was. From then on the words flowed.

"Jackie, I know you were raised Catholic, I was, too. I know you were taught that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Even though you can't respond, I know you can hear me and I would like to pray for you and ask you pray along."

Shortly after the prayer of salvation, a nurse came in and said that we could spend as much time with her as we liked. I thought it odd being ICU visits are limited. I asked why - didn't like the answer.

Jackie died 12 hours earlier. She was being kept alive as a donor until her organs could be harvested. Her family had said their good-byes hours ago, that's why they weren't there.

I was devastated and angry at God. "Why would you send me to pray for her knowing she wasn't alive", I screamed inwardly at Him.

I had to admit that all the circumstances leading up to that point were orchestrated by God. From the transportation issue, the ability to visit in spite of the immediate family policy, my fear of conflict with her family, not knowing how to approach Jackie with prayer and what to pray. Every obstacle had been removed.
But there was no answering of my question.

I was shaken for some time there after and I'm still not quiet sure why God urged me on to see Jackie, but a thought came to mind that did bring peace to my soul and with God.

God knows my heart. If I didn't listen to Him, not being sure of Jackie's eternal state, He knew I would languish in guilt for not going to share the gospel of Jesus with her.

Since then, I have witnessed to 2 other family members as they lingered between here and eternity. I wish I could tell you that they all accepted the Lord but I'm not sure. Jackie was on life support, one was in coma and the other, too weak to respond. All I know is I am called to be fruitful. I hope they are a part of my vineyard.

Yep,I'm committed but I still don't think I could do the Mercedes thing. Sorry.

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