Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wallowing in our Abundance

I wonder if we have lost our way as a Christian community over the years. Has not our focus shifted to such a degree that we do minor things as if they were larger things. Do we focus too much on the things that should come last, first?

My concern is over service. I wonder how many people could actually be considered as minsters of God. My concern is growing over the matter or proper service. Is what we do for God's sake actually pleasing to Him? My concern is not over salvation (though my concern here is great), but rather over the far more important issue of glorifying God in the correct manner.

"10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." 1 Corinthians 3:15

One has to wonder if the work one does actually glorifies God. Are the 'ministries' that we are involving ourselves in the most effective in proving our love for God, but also obeying the commands laid out for us by God?

I have grown weary lately of menial and nominal service. Things that occupy my time in the name of God but for which I see no purpose in the kingdom of God. I cannot see how some surfer playing the guitar for a crowd of misbehaving teenagers glorifies God by merely having lyrics which may or may not be directed towards the heavens.

Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the orphan, cry with the weary, visit the sick. These are things for which no skill is required, the most basic of things and in the kingdom of God the most important. But how many of us have grown comfortable arranging camps, singing in choirs or playing an instrument? What would Jesus say? Do you really think that Jesus was speaking into the air when He said that He had not come for the righteous, but for the unrighteous?

I was called a hypocrite the other day, and I started thinking that it was a righteous complaint. It's so easy to serve when it costs us nothing and perhaps even gains us a bit of glory. But it is astonishing to think how empty the real ministries are. Do we have gain in heaven? For choirs and bands? Or are we serving Him when we get down, so that people will look up and see Him?

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:(A) to visit(B) orphans and widows in their affliction, and(C) to keep oneself(D) unstained from the world." James 1:27

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