Friday, February 5, 2010

Armchair coaches unite! and DO something for once

Good morning my friends. It's Friday morning and I wonder what the Lord has planned for each of us today. Perhaps some secret or missions of mercy. Maybe just some manageable chores and some upkeep stuff around familiar territory. Perhaps it will be some training drills with the troops. Whatever it is I am sure it will be great because it will involve working with the King.

I am writing like this because we forget that life is neither mundane nor boring when we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It can be if we look at  life from the wrong perspectives and if we never take risks. By risks I mean when we always play it safe and never trust the Spirit to step out into the great adventures he has for us each day. Risk is when we step outside of what we are comfortable with, our routine activities, our small group of friends and family, our way of thinking. There are no "sideline" Christians. In the United States one of their demi-god events is coming up, the Super Bowl. This sport has become like a religion to many people, a means of escape from things they would rather not face or be reminded. I guarantee you there will be a few million "armchair coaches" during the event. Spiritually Jesus did not call us to watch the game, he called us to be a player. To Timothy Paul wrote:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Paul used this to go on and talk about the quality of workman, character things, such as:

Avoid godless chatter v. 16
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, v. 22
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, v. 23
he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. v. 24
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, v. 25

This is all great and necessary instruction from a boss or a coach but it is for those who are already in the game, who have a desire to do all things well so they are not ashamed when they face the boss. However, I am speaking to the rest of us who would rather stand around, praise the Lord and do nothing but watch the others do the work. This lot is not even in the game. You do not need to bother about character because you haven't even reported for duty yet. To this lot of people I want to bring to their attention the parable Jesus told  in Matthew 25.

Jesus told the tale of the boss who was going away for a while and he gave various amounts of money to his servants to invest for him. This was not their money, it belonged to the boss. Three of them did well with their investments, doubling what they had been given. However, the fourth servant was too afraid (so he said, it could have been laziness) and hid away the money instead of investing it. This servant was fired. With this Jesus was telling us to get in the game. He has given each of us gifts that we are suppose to be using to gain riches but, in the Kingdom, the riches are hearts not money. We are suppose to invest ourselves in other people's lives. It is always about people and relationships.

If you are not taking this seriously you better read this from Luke:

"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:47-48)

Jesus will never force us to be obedient but there are consequences when we fail to understand and fail to walk in our purpose. There are consequences for just standing around and worshiping. There are consequences for not becoming a player on the field. Jesus expects that when we tell him we love him we will show it by our obedience; "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (Luke 14:15}

It's time to start putting our words into action, to get off our butts and get into the game. It goes beyond Jesus' desire for us; it is his will and command. Once we are in the game we can start looking at the quality of our service, whether we are giving our best or not, but for now, make the decision to play. I guarantee you, if you make the decision to participate in the mission today you will find it anything but mundane and boring. Be a risk taker and dive in. I read on twitter today, "It's okay to climb out on a limb, that's where we find all the fruit." Make that decision today to live for the Master instead of for yourself.

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