Monday, June 3, 2013

Is Your Arm Twisted or Raised?

There are some things we don't like doing. It is funny how that works. I don't like doing home improvements much, but my wife loves anything having to do with that. She would rather dust than vacuum, and I would rather vacuum than dust - so you can probably figure out who does what.

It is not wrong for us to have preferences. Our likes and dislikes are a large part of who we are. We have different personalities, and this brings a beautiful variety and flavor to the world. All three of our kids will want to do something different on their birthday - to go somewhere different. To eat somewhere different. To receive something that is different. We enjoy making each birthday memorable and special.

But there can be a point when we have to get over our dislikes and choose to do what is right. When it comes to the work of the church, is your arm twisted or raised? How hard does someone have to try in order to get you to do something that will serve God and bless others? We should not have to be made to feel guilty before we will put God first (if we serve out of guilt, is He really first?). Instead, we ought to be willing volunteers - happy and thankful to serve a God who willingly gave up His Son for each one of us.

The true church that belongs to Christ is filled with people who have chosen a life a service. We cannot be interested in presenting the church to the world as a group that is always here to fit the consumer's needs. Let the business world and the social clubs do that. We need to present the correct picture of the church that Jesus died to establish. The apostles did not sign up for an easy ride. They did not come into the church because of the programs that were available. Jesus told them they were all going to be persecuted and killed for the kingdom's sake. But the apostles were still motivated by the love of Christ to serve. Their hands were raised when Jesus asked, "Who will preach the gospel?"

Our world is becoming more self-centered and thus self-serving. We need to get back to being like Jesus. The world is passing away and the church of our Lord is its only hope. God needs you in His army. He is not going to draft you, but he is asking for your willing participation. He will not twist your arm. But He will accept your service if you volunteer.

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'" ~ Isaiah 6:8

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