Thursday, November 30, 2023
Not My Job?
Not My Job?
by David Brenneman
"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are." 1 Corinthians 3:1-17.
There's no such thing for several things in the lives of Christians.
There's no such thing as having 'arrived'. Nobody will see full satisfaction in this life.
There's no such thing as going it alone.
We were created to be in fruitful, beneficial, relationships in Christ.
There's no such thing as not doing something in the body of Christ. We read in 1 Corinthians 12:18 "But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired."
We have this as well "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.
So why oh why do people who claim the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, why are they not living out lives as though what's central to a Christian life isn't important? Why do they treat the promptings of the Spirit with a hand held up saying 'stop' when He’s directing them towards something He has for them to do or to learn?
We are not on vacation after coming to Christ. Hardly. The journey in Christ began with our being brought back to life spiritually because of salvation in Christ Jesus. We are not receiving a "get out of Hell free" card to go do whatever we want.
We are to be living a life in full appreciation for all He's done for us.
No where in the Scriptures do we read that God is ok with our leftover time, leftover energy, leftover efforts.
No where do we read that we will get to the point where it's someone else's job.
No where do we read that it's always going to be all sunshine and rainbows.
It is repeatedly described by the writers of the New Testament that we are in training, discipleship training, that is only going to be completed upon leaving this world. We are going to face situations that are too difficult for us because our reliance should never be on self.
When you look at your life, my Dear Reader, do you look at it from His perspective? Because you should. In Christ, the Disciples, who later became the Apostles, learned to do that. They were tasked with making more disciples. The 'next generation' to follow them could never be called Apostles because that distinction was only for those directly trained by Jesus Christ. All who would follow them would be taught of the high cost of living for Jesus. The cost is high because the rewards are higher.
Do you honestly know more about various things of this world than you do about your Bible?
Do you only pray when you are in trouble? If so, you're already in trouble.
Do you pour out the blessings you have been blessed with only on yourself, with no consideration for others in the body of Christ?
Do you exercise the Spiritual body that you have?
Do you feed it as regularly, if not more so than your physical body?
Do the words we opened up with cause you to stop and consider exactly what's to be your experience with Jesus Christ when you face Him face-to-face?
The standards are high for good reason. The price was high. Jesus didn't shed His blood for less than half-hearted lives in Him. Jesus is not just your Savior, He’s your Teacher through the Spirit. He’s to be the Lord of your life. President of your heart. The only one calling the shots.
You who are in Christ have a specific, special, purpose in this here this now in human history. So many in the professing Church are oblivious to their calling. Are immersed in idolatry and don't recognize it. Are living lives of practiced sin and don't see it. Paul wrote about practiced sin in Romans. Might want to go back and read that book.
You who are in Christ Jesus are now supposed to be part of the Royal Priesthood. Do you realize the whole implications of this? We are adopted into the Holy family of God. We live in a world that has a fixation on the fantasy lives of Kings and Queens. The 'royals' as they and their families are referred to. They have protocols to follow for practically every single social situation. They are more devout in following these than most Christians are at following the teachings of the Spirit of God.
Yes, my Dear Reader, living out your salvation with fear and trembling is a very real thing. "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:12-13.
Why is our world in so much disarray? Could it be in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ? Certainly. Could it also be because we're not living out lives in Christ that reflect Jesus? Oh most certainly.
If we lived lives that lay aside self with its passions and desires, and took up what the Spirit teaches in respect to that, what a grand change that would be!
If we were interested in being intentional about the life we have in Christ, what a grand change that would be too.
If we...well...you get the point. Will the works of your life be fully consumed by fire or will there be any gold left for a crown to give to Jesus?
The full Christian life is your life. It's more than your job its your best chance at being your true best in impacting the world for Jesus...the President, not resident, of your heart.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.