Go Serve

Today, I was reminded of a friend throughout elementary through high school. He would talk big about going out for the football team and the baseball team, but every time the week of tryouts came, he would have something on his body wrapped with an ace bandage. He would use the excuse that he ‘pulled’ a muscle at home. So of course, he never tried out for any sports, but he would complain and explain how he would have done it if he played that position. What made me remember this friend was what I heard on a Christian radio station. A lady called in and talked with the host about random stuff. Towards the end of the conversation, she said with guilt, that she had not been going to church for a long time because she could not find one she liked. The radio host said that the largest denomination out there right now is ‘church looking’. They kinda laughed about it. That just amazed me, how Christians use that as an excuse to not get involved in service for God. They are no different than my friend in school who used a lame excuse to not be involved in school sports.

Okay, I know that I have ruffled some feathers out there. Yes, I know that going to church does not save you. Churches are full of people who think that showing up is what gets them into heaven. You are only saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8-9). Immediately, once you have asked Christ to be your savior, you are baptized into the body of Christ. You are now part of “The Church” (1 Cor 12:13). I am not going to say that you have to attend a local church to be right with God. Although, I know many many ‘Christians’ who do not attend a church, but honestly out of that group, none of them are a strong influence for the Kingdom of God. When many logs burn together, they burn brighter. Pull one of those logs out, it will slowly die out. That is what I have seen with them. They might have a mediocre relationship with Christ at first, but it does not grow and eventually it dies out. If they are married, their kids follow that same theme and usually want nothing to do with Christ. I have found that these two groups are the hardest to talk to. They have all the right answers, but there is no fruit in their life to prove that they know God.

Most people are looking for the perfect church. If any of us ever found one, we should not attend it, because we would mess it up. After I was saved, my family and I started looking for a church. We got involved in one church as occasionally we would look into others. The first Sunday that we attended the church we are at now, the pastor gave his notice which began a series of events that caused a huge split in the church. We did not pick sides, but we seen needs and started filling them (others did too). The first need that we filled was to start a children’s church. The church was totally messed up for many years, but faithful men and women got involved and started taking the church in a positive forward direction. It has taken a while, but now it has been eleven years and now the church is strong and growing. Is my church perfect or anywhere near what I would want in a church? Absolutely not! Not kidding, I have a list a mile long that I would love to change about it. Our church faithfully preaches the Word. We send out workers and missionaries. We have solid lyrics with our music (these three may not always be done how I like, but they are done and done faithfully).

All churches are not up to par because there are many needs in each church. There are many talented musicians, teachers, givers, administrators, … that are leaving holes in churches to be filled by others lesser talented people who are multitasking just to make it work. I remember recently in college, my original degree said that I had to take Music Ministry in the Church. I took it and I had to learn to conduct music and lead music for congregations. That is not my gift (and everyone who has heard me sing is saying ‘amen’). I made a joke that if I was called to a Church that is expecting me to preach and do the music: The church is dead. There would be no reason for me to go there. Sadly, there are many dead churches, because ‘Christians’ are not serving in the needed roles. Local churches are there to help equip the believer, and so we can encourage and pray for each other to be a bright light in this dark world.

Christians, quit warming the bench. It is time to get in the game and play. You have a God given talent that you can do better than anyone else out there. You need to find what that is and start serving in a local body. Get plugged in a church so it will be more equipped to reach your city for Christ.

Mark 10:43-45 “But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Change

The one word that has been repeated many times the last several months is “change”. Change can bring excitement and hope to some people; to others it brings uncertainty and fear. Whether for the good or the bad, as we go through life, things change (seasons, economic conditions, our weight, …). However, there is one thing that does not change, that is our God.
Malachi 3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change;..
James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Variation: (parallage) a change or variation in the nature or character of something – ‘change.’ (Louw-Nida)
Shifting: (trope) the process of turning, with the implication of variation and change – ‘turning, variation.’ (Louw-Nida)

Since God never changes, we know without a doubt that he will never ever ever leave us, abandon us, or become unfastened from us. (Heb 13:5)