Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Understanding The Obligation

For the last little while I have been challenging us to consider our perspective on life. Are we sold out for Jesus or is he just someone in our life? Is Jesus the reason for the air in our lungs or do we just pull him out when we have to play the God card? Do we have an "all or nothing" attitude when it comes to serving God with all that we have?

Paul wrote to Timothy :

Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. (2 Timothy 2:7)

Let's review what it was that Paul was saying to Timothy:

- be strong in the grace of Jesus (not as you receive it but as you give it out)
- teach what you have received so they in turn can teach others
- do not avoid suffering in the mission
- do not get distracted by the affairs of this world
- serve according to the rules and principles of the Kingdom
- God provides through ministry

These are Paul's final instructions to this man he considered to be a son so we should consider the importance of these things.Too often we serve with no thought, no reflection, no understanding. Everything else in our lives we study, consider, measure, weigh and understand as we move forward. We do not invest money without understanding the risk. We do not take a job without knowing the job description and the salary. We make a decision based on amount of work, payout and interest. We do not begin a romantic relationship with someone without deciding whether we are attracted, if there is enough interest, if we can see ourselves with the person for the rest of our lives. We consider personality, physical appearance, similarities, the reaction of our emotions. Should we not also understand and engage with Jesus with this same effort and interest?

Service to Jesus does not depend on how we feel. We don't go to work or to school depending on how we feel about it. We have an obligation as we do with Jesus. Again I remind us that we are not free agents. We are not spiritual entrepreneurs. We have entered an agreement, a covenant with the King of kings. We no longer belong to ourselves. We have received instruction. We must understand our obligations and if our heart is right then it will be an obligation of love, filled with joy.

Most people hold back because they are afraid of reputation. They are afraid of what people will think. They are afraid of rejection. But the only rejection we should fear is the rejection of our Lord on the day we are called home. The only reputation that should concern us is one of faithfulness to our King. What the world thinks of us and what the world does to us should not dictate the actions of our day. Only the instructions and example of Jesus should have a direct impact on how we live each day.

So many people are wanting a deeper revelation. They want to learn more. They want to go deeper. Yet, we don't even do what we do know. We sit in classes, take courses, receive certificates but we are too afraid to tell people what Jesus has done for us today, which is our first obligation. Obedience is as simple as explaining to people why we are brimming with joy, despite any circumstance that may be against us. What is the point of wanting to learn more when we don't act on the revelation we have already received.

Oh forgive us Lord.

Let's be the army Jesus has called us to be; faithful, operating in grace, sacrificing as we are called upon to sacrifice, not fearing to suffer when called upon.To God be the glory!

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