What a wonderful year to reflect upon as we gear up for 2015! Praise God for using His children to bring Him glory and precious souls into His kingdom!
We may not literally bow down and worship wooden objects that we’ve deified in our hearts and minds but modern idolatry is alive and destroying not just the world, but many who profess to be disciples of Christ.
July 26, 2010 by Mitch
Filed under Blog, Bulletin Articles, Articles on Christian Living, Articles on Church Growth, Articles on Evangelism, Articles on Faith, Articles on Real Christianity, Articles on Relationships, Study on Christian Living
What an amazing and wonderful picture the totality of the sacrificial offering was. Read more
Recently a local radio personality (a Christian and a friend) announced his decision to leave his position for one year to travel to China and teach English. In short, he indicated that the Lord had helped him through a difficult trial and he had promised the Lord he would do something special with his life – like this trip to China. He is sacrificing his time – a year of his life. He is sacrificing financially – leaving his business and the uncertainties of living in a foreign country at a time when Americans are not always welcomed with open arms.
You might look at a situation like this and say, I wish I could do something special for the Lord.
You can! In Romans 12:1 Paul tells us to present our bodies as a “living” sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.
Every day that you live your life for the Lord; every day you set a good example for your family, neighbors, co-workers or a stranger; every time you do good unto others; every time you share God’s word with some one else; every time you support and encourage your brethren, you are…
“…Going To China”.
“God does not require anything we don’t have; but, he requires everything we do have.”
When I was a much younger man, thinking of servants conjured up a picture of someone like a butler or a maid; someone who is in the employ of a rich family. As I grew older, I realized there is a broad range of people whose occupations could fall under the heading of servant. We talk about public servants such as elected officials, those who work in governments or law enforcement or fire fighters. Simply put, we think of people who serve other people.
When we look in the scriptures, we see many examples of servants. The greatest example of a servant is Jesus Himself. He states in Matthew 20:28 that he “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (NASB). He came to serve the will of His father and in the process served all mankind by humbling Himself and sacrificing His life to buy our freedom from sin.
If one thinks himself to be above the role of a servant, he has much to learn about what it means to be humble. In Matthew 20, the verses preceding Jesus’ declaration that He came to serve speak to what it takes to truly be a humble servant like Him. He states in verses 26-27, “…but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (NASB).
A true servant of God not only has to submit to God’s wishes, he must put the interests of others ahead of his own. This is a very difficult concept for man to grasp. I confess this is hard for me to put into practice. Sadly, we are ‘me first’ beings. In Philippians 2:2-11, it tells us to adopt the mind of Christ, the ultimate servant. God’s children will be united in Him if we are of the same mind, the same love, united in spirit and intent on one purpose. How? “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (NASB).
Through the years, I have been acquainted with a number of people I am confident tried to pattern their lives after Jesus and the words of Philippians 2. Some have been elders, deacons, preachers, class teachers and some have done none of these things in serving God and others. They have been servants nevertheless. They have been people who served God and silently served other Christians without being noticed and not wanting to be noticed. I have known women of various congregations who have done the work required of ‘widows indeed.’
I look around in the Franklin congregation and see many who are servants whether it is common knowledge or behind the scenes. They are people who are intent on serving God and their fellow saints.
I have observed examples of this attitude in a couple and their children who will be leaving this congregation shortly and moving. Mark and Kim Jones have faithfully served God and the saints at Franklin for a number of years. Mark has served as a deacon and Kim has worked diligently on the young people’s class curriculum in addition to many other works of service. They will be sorely missed. When servants like them have to leave a congregation, a big hole is left to fill. The Jones family is leaving us with an example of service like that mentioned of the children of Israel in Nehemiah 4:6 “…for the people had a mind to work” (NASB). Do we have a mind to work? Let’s all work the works God has given us to do.
I dreamed I was missing;
You were so scared.
But no one would listen,
‘Cause no on else cared.
After my dreaming,
I woke with this fear;
What am I leaving
When I’m done here?
So if you’re asking me I want you to know
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done,
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed.
Don’t resent me
When you’re feeling empty.
Keep me in your memory.
Leave out all the rest.
“Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed.” What a powerful desire. Do you feel that desire? Do you hope when you’re gone folks will remember you with longing? Do you hope they’ll miss you? I don’t even really have to ask that question. I’m sure you do.
When I hear this, I can’t help but think of Tabitha in Acts 9:36-42. In Acts 7:60, Stephen, an evangelist and deacon, was stoned to death. The disciples mourned and buried him. In Acts 12:2, the apostle James is killed with the sword. I presume the disciples mourned and buried him as well. On the other hand, in Joppa, Tabitha died and the disciples mourn and send for Peter saying, “Something has to be done about this. Bring her back.”
Apostles die. Nothing. Evangelists die. Nothing. Deacons died. Nothing. Tabitha dies. We need to change the laws of nature. Tabitha was missed. But why? Had she proclaimed the gospel with such eloquence they couldn’t live without her teaching? Was she a leader among women that they felt lost without her? Did she vacate an office in the congregation for which they had no successor? No. None of these. She was a simple servant. The widows gathered around Peter to show the tunics and other garments she had made for them.
What is most amazing is the people didn’t just ask for her resurrection, God granted it. God saw the need for Tabitha as well.
Do you want reasons to be missed when you’re gone? Don’t strive to be a leader of men. Don’t strive to be an excellent orator. Don’t strive to be the pre-eminent spiritual mind in the congregation. Strive to serve. As Tabitha did, do what you can when you can for whomever you can. Don’t wait for the elders to start a program. Just serve.