Christians cannot walk in idleness, we need to be constantly doing the work of the church. Whether thats going into the community and spreading His Word, calling those who need us, volunteering to help with the operations of the church, or even just making sure that there are visitor cards in all the pews. To put it bluntly, we can never do enough as a christian. Christ gave us all, and therefore, the least we can do is give all to Him.
We Are to Be a Living Sacrifice.
What is a living sacrifice?
Let's look at Paul's message in Romans 12:1-2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made to atone for the sin of Israelites. But these were just a foreshadowing of of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Because of His ultimate, once-for-all-time sacrifice on the cross, the Old Testament sacrifices became obsolete and are no longer of any effect (Hebrews 9:11-12). In light of the fact the only course for a christian is to offer ourselves completely to God in Christ. We are to be instruments for righteousness for Him (Romans 6:12-13; 8:11-13). In fact, let's read Romans 8:11-13:
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, nHe who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies 4through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Paul calls christians "debtors", that means we owe something to someone. Who do we owe? We owe all that we are, we was, and who will be to Jesus Christ. In view of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for us, this is only “reasonable.”
Lukewarmness Is Not Acceptable to Christ
It's a sad fact, but most churches in America are lukewarm. What is sadder is that many believe that they are "on fire" for the Lord, but are they truly "on fire"? What does the Lord think of this? Let's read Revelation 3:14-22:
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
God would much rather you to be actively working against Him, than to come into church sit in a pew and just take up space! There are no "benchwarmers" on God's team. You either in the game or your thrown out of it! That is a scary proposition and one that should make you question where you stand. It does for me everyday I get up out of bed. It's time to get in the game! Do all that you can do.
We Are to Use the Talents That We Are Given
Do you know that there is a work that every one of us is able to do, that it is our duty to use it, and there are severe consequences if we don't use them for God? Let's read Matthew 25:14-30:
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
The first two's investments were doubled and the master gave them rule over many things, but I want to focus on what happens on the one who hid his talent. In other words, did nothing with what was given to him.
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The "talents" in this parable may have been money, but this parable also applies to the "talents" that we are given. We all are given, in abundance, gifts from God, but what are we using them for? If we use our talents for anything but God's work first, our fate will be the same as the this servant! Let that sink in. We often forget that these were servants of their master, just as we are servants of God. God will do to christians what this master did to this servant if we don't use what he has given us for Him.
It Is Rewarding to Work for God
Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you." This is a often quoted verse, but what things is he referring to? If someone is seeking the kingdom of God he is working as hard as he can to find it, that's what seeking means. Let's look at Matthew 6:14-32 and see what it says:
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
God will forgive you of your sins, if you work to forgive others. That's a great award because if we are not forgiven, then we cannot enter the kingdom.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The things we do for God are to be done without seeking acknowledgement from men. If you do, then thats your reward. Do things for God only, and he will reward you.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Everything that we do on this earth for God will be rewarded by Him in heaven. I don't know about you, but I would much rather receive a reward in a place where there will be streets of gold, gates of precious jewels, and will last forever, than on this earth which will soon be gone!
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
If we do the work of God, then we do not have to worry about finding shelter, clothing, or food. He will provide those things. It may not be a mansion, or the finest food or clothing, but it will be enough for you to continue the work that you were called for. It's that simple. There is no need to worry about life when we are doing everything we can for the Lord. This doesn't mean sitting at home doing nothing and "waitin' for the blessin's", it means much more!
- If your young, be an example to those around you young or old, respect those who older than you and live your life according to Christ (1 Tim. 4:2, 1 Tim 5:1-2, Titus 2:6-8)
- When your working on the job, and you should work (2 Thess. 3:10), then work as if your working directly for God Himself (Col. 3:23, Eph. 6:7)
- If your an older woman, be diligent in training the women who are younger how to be a woman of God (Titus 2:3-5)
- If your a man, then we should strive to become the leaders that the church needs. we should all strive to be teachers, preachers, elders, deacons. All men should strive to have the attitude and life that reflects Christ.(Rom. 12:3-13)
- If your a christian, then you need to be working to spread the gospel far and wide, encouraging your brethren, be willing to do any task that is required (no matter how "lowly" it seems, remember Jesus washed the disciples feet, John 13:1-17 ) and strive to be as close to Christ that you can be. (Rom. 12)
In short you can never be not working for God, but not working for Satan. You are either for or against Him. If you don't want to work for Him (and subsequently the church), then you might as well become a atheist and work against Him, because you'll be better off in the end than just sitting in a pew and taking up room. Now is the time to decide, not tomorrow, because one day tomorrow will be to late. Make the right decision today!
To become a christian one must:
- Hear (Rom. 10:17)
- Believe (John 3:16)
- Repent (Acts 2:38)
- Confess (Rom 10:10)
- Be Baptized (1 Pet 3:21)
- Live Faithfully a.k.a. Do the Will of God (Rev. 2:10)
Do it today don't wait!