Friday, November 9, 2012
I Am Lonely, Can We Walk Together?
As I have grown older, I have found benefit in understanding my own limitation but, it is also at times frustrating because I know there are often things that need to be done, can be done in a better way than I can do it but aren’t because I need people to walk with me. To see others suffer because of my ineffectiveness hurts.
In many church planning classes, seminary and or other ministry training programs, the research clearly shows, the way to grow a church is based on what people get out of it, not on what that body is doing based on Scriptural concepts. It is more about if I feel good than whether or not am I being challenged to do what God expects. The bottom line, and I challenge anyone to prove me and show me wrong, the body of Christ, the Church, is to be about doing ministry and sharing the Gospel, as a priority in that is ministry to and involving the poor, needy, orphan, widow and those who are hurting, for whatever reasons. Show me a church in the New Testament that did not take on and do this work seriously. The authors of scripture praise the work and all of scripture is breathed and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The question for all Christ Followers is this, are we willing to sacrificially, if need be, do the things God has commanded us to do? Is this a point of priority, love, compassion, and mercy to the poor and needy, orphan, widow and the hurting? We all need to seriously look at whether or not our relationship with Christ is real? We need to evaluate our actions. The Bible says we will know who real followers of Jesus are based on two things, 1) Who do we say He is regarding His life, death and resurrection, and 2) Do we do the things He has commanded us to do. A part of the answer, I believe, to number one is the realization that Jesus had a deep and passionate love for sinners, also, the poor, hurting, outcast and so forth. In regards to the answer to number two, some speculate that the Bible speaks of serving, loving, redeeming, providing for, helping the poor some 2,000 or more times. If the Bible talks about something once, I believe it makes it important, imagine if it talks about things some 2,000 times? If taking Jesus and our walk with Him seriously, shouldn’t we be about doing and supporting the serious work of Jesus? Is it easy? Heck no, if it was Jesus would have never told us to ‘take up our cross and follow him daily.” But you know what, that is exactly what he told us to do, knowing full well what the cross implied.
Unfortunately many of us want something out of Christianity and we just aren’t getting it, some have quit for this reason. Maybe we don’t get what we want; don’t experience the relationship with Jesus He wants for us, including having joy in difficult times, because we aren’t doing our part. While we are saved by faith alone, we can’t deny or walk away from the words of James, Jesus brother, when he said “faith without works is dead.” Neither can we rationally ignore or explain away the words of Jesus when he says “what we have done for the least of these we have done for me.” This is especially true when you see that those considered lambs, worthy to spend eternity in Heaven is based on what one is willing to do.
I realize I am so far from perfect it is ridiculous. I also realize there is a journey I am on, a journey called life. Through it, I want to become as much like Jesus as possible. Unfortunately, the closer I get to Jesus, the more I realize I am further away than I should to be. I need my brothers and sisters in my faith to walk along side me, help me, work together to accomplish more. I want this thing called The Family of God to really be a family. I can’t do it alone; if we are honest about it, we will realize, none of us can.
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