Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 29

Day 29 - Accepting Your Assignment

You often hear it said that we are to make a difference. To leave a footprint letting others know that we were here. To make our time here matter. God wants exactly this for you and for me. To be of service to Him while we are here. Not to just sit like a bump on a log basking in the wonderment of life. Eating, drinking, going to work, sleeping, getting your nails done ... there is more - much more.  God put you here to be of service - this is called your ministry. 

Many believe that only nuns and priests or ministers and monks are 'called' to serve. When we hear that so-and-so was called by God - we automatically think of someone joining a monastery.  This is not the case. All Christians are called - and each member of God's family is a minister. The work we do in service in God's name is called our ministry.  

God told Jeremiah: "Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work."  This was true for Jeremiah and it is true for you and me! 

This brings me to my favorite daily quote from Pastor Rick:  "You were not saved 'by service' you were saved 'for service'."  Jesus has said that He was here to serve, not to be served, and that goes the same for those who have been saved by God, those who are in His family, those who have committed their life to Christ, is to be of service to other members of God's family. To help those who are in need. Jesus was a teacher, a healer, a peace maker, and so must we be.  We were not saved to just sit around waiting to go to heaven.  If that were the case, we would not be here, we would skip this earthly step and go directly from being saved - to eternal life in the Kingdom. But that is not the case. The fact of the matter is that God has intended work for us to do. Even in the Kingdom we will have a purpose... our work will not be done - it will only begin and while we are here, we need to brush up on our service skills. Work on the love we have in Christ and therefore the love we must have for one another. For if we truly love one another than it is easy to understand that where there is a need - we must tend to that need - in the love and name of Jesus Christ.

This is one of the primary problems with those who seek a church to belong to. Doing it for all the wrong reasons. It is not about just getting into a fellowship to gain all of the benefits available. To be served. To receive blessings.  In fact, being a member of a church is work - not only are you there to give worship to the Lord, but also you are there to love and uphold the members of His family. To be of service. To be a blessing. To go out into the community and work with the youth, the children, in the food bank, spreading the Good News to those who do not know Christ. 

Not only is there an accountability to your fellowship - but as a Christian you also have an accountability to God. The Bible says: "Each of us will give a personal account to God."  What does this mean? Well, simply put, one day God will compare how much time you spent in your Christian life on yourself, with how much time was spent in service to others.  God will not be interested in how busy you were, or how you were going to do it 'later' ... how tired you were ... how late you had to work on the job ...

Jesus said: "If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for My sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live."  This point is so important that it is repeated five times in the Gospels.  

I do not typically do this, but given the context of the paragraph, and how it illustrates excuses being no excuse... I am going to transcribe the final paragraph in todays' chapter for your consideration. 

If you're not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using? Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health and Timothy was timid. That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in His service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)