Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Why are we still here?

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 

Serving God was not Joshua's only option. He could have adopted the religious beliefs and practices of his family heritage in the pagan land of Egypt. He could have accepted the idolatrous religion of his neighbors in the region where he now lived. These options probably looked like easier choices than worshiping God. But Joshua had witnessed God's faithfulness (Josh. 23:14). He was convinced that his Lord was the only true God and that serving Him would bring victory and blessing. Joshua decided to serve God alone. He was determined to teach his entire household to honor his Lord as well. He had trusted God for victory on the battlefield, and he knew that God could also give him spiritual victory in his home. You, too, must decide whom you will serve. An assortment of popular religions clamors for your allegiance. If you come from a Christian heritage, you may choose to embrace the faith of your parents and grandparents. If you did not grow up in a Christian home, you can decide, as Joshua did, to reject your heritage of unbelief and begin a generation that serves the Lord. If you set your mind wholeheartedly on serving God, your example will bring a tremendous blessing to your family. If you place your confidence in God, those around you will witness your faith, and they may decide to trust Him too. Choose, as Joshua did, to serve God unashamedly with all your heart, and then watch to see how God blesses your family. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

We live for the Lord. Romans 14:8

 If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of our conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for us to stay here as preparation for immortality. It is possible for people to be taken to heaven, and found to be fit “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Colossians 1:12 NKJV), though they have only just believed in Jesus. It is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we will not be perfected until we lay aside our bodies and enter “behind the curtain” (Hebrews 6:19); but, still, if the Lord had willed it, He might have changed us from imperfection to perfection and taken us to heaven immediately. Why then are we here? Why would God keep His children out of paradise a single moment longer than necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battlefield when one final charge might give them victory? Why are His children still wandering here and there, as through a maze, when a single word from His lips would bring them to the center of their hopes in heaven? The answer is this: they are here that they might live for the Lord, and help others to know His love. We remain on earth as sowers, to scatter good seed; as plowers, to break up the dormant ground; as heralds, publishing the news of salvation. We are here as the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily lives. We are here as workers for Him, and as “workers together with Him” (2 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV). Let us make sure that our life lives up to its calling. May we live earnest, useful, holy lives, “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6). Meanwhile, we long to be with Him, and sing every day, My heart is with Him on His throne, And ill can brook delay; Each moment listening for the voice, “Rise up, and come away.” “My Soul, Amid This Stormy World,” Robert C. Chapman (1837)
- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

A lot to read in today's devotionals.  But it seems they share a thread of connection. 

Why are we still here? What connection is there to the return of Christ through it?

As one said we have jobs to do in the fields.  Until there's no more seed to scatter, no more to be tended or anything else then it will be time.  A different crop will be tended to after the Rapture of the Church. 

We have work to do. As Jesus talked of in several parables of workers in the harvest, of paying people to go out into the fields, of the other examples...there's work to be done.  

And along the way we learn what it's like to be caretakers, we learn to become as the owner would have us be like. 

Matters not if you think you don't know what it is that God has for you to do.  There is something.  Because He always has a plan and purpose for everyone. 

It's not about living for yourself.  Being all you can be as the slogan goes.  There's many that the world uses to sidestep and sidetrack believers. Even more are used to keep the unbeliever from becoming a believer.  There's was a song out a few decades ago that referred to a road that leads to Heaven.  It had all kinds of off ramps.  Every kind of temptation to entangle your life was there. 

Look at your life right now.

What consumes it? 

If you compartmentalized each segment of your day into a percentage.  How much of it was spent in pursuit of a right relationship with Jesus?  By comparison go and read the book of Psalms.  King David was known as a man after God's own heart.  Look at his writing.  Look at how much of his life was spent writing what's INCLUDED in the Bible. There's probably more that wasn't. 

Is that percentage high or low?  Are the concerns and worries of this life a higher percentage?

Where is your attitude and attention?

We have a purpose in the fields.

We chose to follow Christ. 
We choose to obey. 
We have the same God of the Bible if we are found in Christ. 

So what is your percentage?  When you speak is it of the things of God at all or is of the things of you?  I have to confess that it's hard to keep my focus at times. 
The temptation is often great to be sidetracked.  To bask in whatever accolades someone offers me.  If I succeed in anything it's because Christ made it possible.  If I fail it's because of something else.  Either my focus wasn't where it should have been or I was not pursuing what He wanted done.  Be He is faithful. He causes all things to work together for good.  Remember the last part of that verse.  To those who are called according to His PURPOSE.  

There is a purpose to your life. In Christ it's to faithfully work at what He gives you to do.   Not to live for yourself. It's not about worldly accolades and worldly achievements.  It's not about degrees and doctorates.  It's not about awards or medals.  You take none of those with you when you die.  Your life is defined by what you did in the fields of life for Christ. 

Are you playing in those fields or are you looking to earn the wage that you are there to earn?

Are you living for Jesus or for what you can get out of life?  

Why are we still here when like was written in the devotional, God could have just taken us home?  We have our part to do in the fields.  It's our time to work in whatever is your field.  Each of us has one. 

Do your best to tend to it.  Live out your testimony.  If necessary, use words. 

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