Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Never Clocked Out

Never Clocked Out
by David Brenneman 

Most often in life we strongly want a separation between work and home. 

We want smaller separation between us and others at times.  Time to ourselves.

Where Spiritual matters are, life isn't like that.  Our work and our rest in the Lord isn't the same as how the world does things.

We read here that Paul's concern for them and by extension the church at Laodicea was the same.  Be ready for the opportunities presented by the Spirit. Be on the alert. Be willing. Be mindful of how outsiders might view us. 

This, to me, is an extension of my reasons for abstaining from things like following sports.  To be blunt, it certainly doesn't bring out a Christ-like attitude or disposition in me.  Hate is prevalent. Anger is evident. Hurtful words and the undercutting of the value of people happens.  

We can easily be selfish people even as Christians.  I think that's what hit me most on Sunday with the person's testimony at their being baptized.  Selfish in their faith. 

We cannot compartmentalize our faith. We are not to turn it on and off on a whim.

Our life in Christ is 24/7.  

I highly doubt that anyone in the presence of Jesus Christ are sad or disappointed in not doing life that they had before leaving Earth.  I highly doubt their desires are for the places they had been to or places they never got to see.  After all they are with Jesus!  Their desires are probably what He desires.  That all who would come to Christ for salvation do.

We put so much emphasis on living the dream.  On goals that are indeed selfish. On lives that aren't always about people. 
On what we can get out of life for ourselves.   

Jesus was never off the clock with His Father.  

He didn't teach the Disciples to run off and skip out on doing the Will of His Father.

He taught them to rest with the purpose of being ready for their next assignment.  

Some of the greatest revivals came because of one or more people denying themselves and being fully ready and willing for what God wanted next out of them. 

We aren't promising a peaceful existence. We are told it's probably going to be quite the opposite.  That we are likely going to attract the attention of the enemy of God by desiring to live in Christ Jesus. 

So what often happens by intent or by neglect is more and more selfish living creeps into our lives. 

We are pursuing things that aren't going to grow us in Christ.  We spend hours showcasing our sin nature by our behavior.  

It's no secret that I see that the leap of faith that we took nearly a year ago was a provision of God with a purpose.   Just like Jacob's prayer concerning his brother Esau, where it wasn't just Esau who was changed but Jacob as well, so has it been for us.  We are recognizing that our lives in Christ are certainly for a definite purpose. We have indeed a calling in Christ Jesus that's irrevocable as Paul wrote in Romans.  We aren't off the clock in our service to God.

It's possible that's in the heart of several parables that Jesus taught.  That we aren't off the clock in our service to God.  To be ready to serve, be available at a moments notice.  To realize that the Spirit could provide an opportunity at any time.  To watch our life and remove whatever is there that is going to entangle us.

For me, many things can easily entangle me.  Puzzles can.  Science fiction can.  Building things can.  Even striving to be organized can.  I can be wrapped up in thoughts.  I can just want to check out from people.  I can be that man in the parable that told the friend at his door to go away I'm already in bed. 

As it is in Heaven.  Life in Heaven is about people.  Gold, silver, these things are asphalt and building material.  Essentially worthless in Heaven.  What's of value is what we are doing to point people to Jesus.  What we are doing 24/7 to grow in Christ.  What we are doing for the Kingdom.  Possessions mean nothing in Heaven. 

Do you check out on God?

Do you leave yourself an out in order to not walk in a manner worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus?

Do you collect things that have no Spiritual value?  Are you being selfish with your faith?  You got saved and are just keeping to yourself until either Jesus calls you home to Heaven or the Rapture happens?

Are you spending your time wisely?  Are you developing a thankful heart?  

Can someone say of you that you're available in service to God?  

Are your words spoken with grace, seasoned as though with salt?  

We aren't ever on vacation from God.  
We aren't ever off the clock with His plan and purpose for our lives. 
We are never going to live out the full life in Christ by running off to do our own thing.  Taking up our own cross and following Jesus is to put the interests of the Kingdom first.  To value what Jesus values.  

Sure there are things in this life that I haven't seen. Places where I would like to see again.  Things that I could pursue that I haven't.  

But the reality of life is this:  Jesus is coming soon.  Will He find us doing what was His Father's plan or us doing our own thing?

While a peaceful life is desired by all, we aren't promised it.  We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  Doesn't say anything about doing so when we can fit them into our schedule. 

A selfishness check is always a good idea.  Spending time at the feet of Jesus is always a great idea.  Being thankful, rejoicing always...great idea.  Setting our minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are of this world.  Loving not the world nor the things of this world...great idea.  Being ready to give an account for why you believe what you do...always good.  Where it is at all possible living at peace with all people...great idea.  Doing all that you do as unto the Lord...always. 

We aren't here to skate through life after coming to Christ.  We are workers in His fields.  We are those who are to reflect the light of Jesus Christ in this world.  24/7.
Running from our responsibilities in Christ isn't a good idea.  Didn't work out so well for Jonah.  It's plainly evident that Paul's only interest in anything in this life was people.  He was ready at all times to be of use to God.  He became all things to all people in order to show them Jesus.  

My hope at this moment in my life is to be found by Him doing that which I have been called to be doing.  To be ready, to be available.  To give as He desires for me to give.  To walk in a manner worthy of His calling to me in Christ Jesus.  To trust and obey.  What about you?

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