Friday, March 22, 2013

Bold Service: The heart of the matter

#BTSermon with @Skylarkk

@Skylarkk (Jon Roberts) presented a message last Wednesday night at the Bible Truth prayer meeting and Bible study. The theme for the year is Bold Faith and the focus for the quarter is Bold Service

The difference between Work and Works

Christians tend to get their panties in a bunch when discussing this topic. I've heard many speakers present messages on service that end up undermining the point of service by downplaying good works. When they downplay acts of charitable service, they tend to make it sound like a Christian is fine if they just sit around praying and reading the Bible all day. Granted, good works do not result in salvation, but a Christian who does not do good is not a very good Christian at all.

Take the point referenced above. The process of Sanctification (becoming Saint-like) is one that every Christian undergoes in this life. In fact, it is a natural goal that the Christian should strive for. God does not do the work for the Christian, God presents the task and says, "Pick up your cross and follow me." He wants to break down the things that make you unholy, that is accomplished through hard work.

Letting Christ work in you

"Wait, I thought you said that I had to work in order to become more sanctified. What gives?"

Yes. No. God does want you to step out and do the work, but he already has a plan in place. It's not like you get to decide what work you want to do all Willie Nillie like. Consider the athlete:

How does the athlete get big muscles? How does the athlete get superior lung capacity? How does the athlete look like the person we all want to be? Because he trains to be that way. He lifts the weights, runs the miles and watches his diet. (He could very easily be a "she" as well.)In short: it takes a whole lot of work. It is with this work that the athlete sculpts their body. But how does the athlete know what to do in order to get the body of all our dreams?

The athlete has a trainer. The trainer has studied all the classical fitness and nutrition literature necessary to put a training plan in place. The trainer makes this plan and the athlete must follow it even when it pains him. If he does not, the athlete's body will suffer for it.

In the same way, our work is only effective if it is closely aligned with the plan that Christ has paved. This path is infused with one major element, an element that causes all of selfish humanity to stumble--love.

Love, the most essential nutrient

Love is the most difficult discipline of all. The reason is not because we do not know love. The problem is that we tend to hoard love. When we are busy trying to keep love for ourselves, it's hard to genuinely distribute love to others. We are comfortable when we wrap ourselves with love.

Even the love we think we give is tainted by self love. *Tongue-twister alert!!* Would we love those we love if they did not reciprocate love? Ask yourself the question: "If ___ didn't love me, would I love them this much?"

You shouldn't have to wonder too much about the answer to this question. In fact, the answer probably lies in the answer to my next question: "Do you love your enemies?" Scripture tells us to do good to those who persecute us. How well are we stacking up to the measuring stick of love? If you think this has nothing to do with good deeds, then you are sorely mistaken. This has everything to do with good deeds because the sincerity of our actions is the hardest part of the equation--it is the part that God wants to sanctify.

Remember that Christ didn't leave us without hope.

TALK TO ME: How has Christ's love influenced your life?

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Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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