Thursday, August 16, 2012

But I don't WANT to!

Colossians 3:23 (ESV)  "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men"

It's that time of year again. The leaves are starting to turn, there is a chill in the air, and all of the stores smell of paper and pencils.
Well, that's what it was like back when old folks like me started school.

Now, it's still VERY hot outside, and the only reason the leaves have turned brown is either too little water or too much sun. School supplies do run rampant around here though.

Everyone better look out, because Boo starts school this year.

With Bug, it was easy. She was so excited to go to school. It was all she talked about the summer before she started. She even loved to play school at home.

Have I ever mentioned how different Bug and Boo are?  Don't get me wrong, my Boo is a very good girl. She also enjoys to learn, but does not enjoy sitting still nearly as much as her sister does, at least not right now.  Bug wants to be the teacher and have Boo be the student. Needless to say, that only lasts for a little while before the small one gets tired of the big one bossing her around and stomps off to sit alone in her room.

I've tried to get Boo excited for this new phase in her life. The conversation I remember most went like this:

"Hey, Boo, don't you want to go to school so you can meet some new friends? That will be good, right?"

"Mom, when I was born, I had friends, and that is all the friends I need."

Okay, so it's easy to pick on my kids, especially the one that is too little to be embarrassed about things I might write about her. I can see this scenario working out for me and other adults as well. How often do we have to start something new, and either do not want to or are apathetic to the idea and process?

Is there something that God wants you to do that you are running from, or trying to get out of doing?

One of the best things I did this summer was take a study on the book Radical by David Platt.  It was challenging, to say the very least. Sometimes we really do not know what all we do have until we see others that are lacking some of the very things that we consider necessities.

Of all of the many things I learned while reading (ok, skimming) this book, two stood out the most, and were so simple that I felt crazy for not realizing them before:

1. There are some things that we should do for God, that we do not for whatever reason or excuse we may come up with. Whether it is something as simple as not wanting to, or more complex like worrying about ridicule or losing our job. When the end is God, should anything else REALLY matter?

2. There are things that we do or want to have and claim that it is for God as justification of our very own selfishness.  How many times have we done something "for God", but it was really "for me"?  Do we volunteer to be good stewards of our time and serve God, or for the recognition of being a good and helpful person? Do we want bigger, larger, and better facilities in our churches to help host more people to hear about God or just so we can keep up or out do the Jones' church? If we have all of these bigger and better buildings, are we actually doing anything to bring in the lost people of our communities? Even better, are we going out of our way and comfort zone to reach the people around us for Christ at all? 

The church is not a restaurant or a baseball field. We can build it, but that does not mean that they will come.

Make an effort this week to do at least one thing that you are not quite comfortable with for God. It could be something simple. Sometimes the easiest things are the hardest to do. It could be a lot easier for some people to go around the world on a mission trip than to walk across the street and talk to their neighbor about God.

Pray this week. Pray that God will show you an opportunity to speak his word into someone's life. And when the opportunity arises, take it. Do not be scared. The worst thing that will usually happen in America is that the person will look at you weird or talk back to you in a condescending way.  Is that really such a price to pay? There is a chance that even if you get this outcome you may have planted a seed in that person's heart.

 You have kept count of my tossings;
  put my tears in your bottle.
  Are they not in your book?
 Then my enemies will turn back
  in the day when I call.
  This I know, that God is for me.
 In God, whose word I praise,
  in the LORD, whose word I praise,
 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
  What can man do to me?
 I must perform my vows to you, O God;
  I will render thank offerings to you.
 For you have delivered my soul from death,
  yes, my feet from falling,
 that I may walk before God
  in the light of life.
(Psalm 56:8-13 ESV)

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