Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What It's All About


A Pastoral Reminder of What It’s All About
From time to time we need a gentle (or perhaps not so gentle) reminder of just exactly what being a Christian is all about.

First of all, one doesn’t become a Christian simply because one decides to do so of their own accord. Nor does one come to Christ based on the persuasion of a wonderful sermon, the affects of a play, the words of a song or the saying written on a plaque hanging on someone’s wall. The truth of the matter is that Christ picks us long before we pick Him! The sermon, the play, the song, and the plaque are simply means of conveying His life-giving word into the soil of our hearts. If He doesn’t prepare the soil in advance there is no hope.

If you are a Christian then you have the Heavenly Father to thank for that. You would never have come to know Christ on your own. Your natural state is completely bent in the opposite direction. It would be easier to drive an eighteen wheeler through a straw than for you to come to be a vessel worthy of transporting the Spirit of the Living God. Thankfully, the same God that can herd camels through needles can drive eighteen wheelers through soda straws. So let’s get one thing straight before going any further. You owe God big time! He owes you nothing.

You were rafting through life without a care in the world headed straight for Niagara Falls in complete oblivion. He found you. He reached out His hand. You grabbed it. Who owes whom?
Here is the good part. You can’t pay Him back! He doesn’t expect you to. He doesn’t even want you to try to.  To pay Him back would be impossible. You’re not God. You can’t do the impossible.

What is the only proper response to such a salvation? Jesus seems to think that the response should be to aid Him in His search for others floating down the rivers of oblivion. I say ‘aid’ with a little tongue in cheek action because how much could you or I ever hope to aid the Almighty? We might just as soon aid the sun in rising in the eastern sky tomorrow morning. We can’t aid the sun; but we can enjoy it. We can marvel at the fresh painting on the horizon each morning and give Him the glory that He is due.

Christ is going to accomplish His mission as sure as the sun is going to rise tomorrow. The only questions that remain: “Are you going to enjoy it?” “Are you going to watch it happen?” To enjoy it is to participate in it. To watch it happen is to be a part of it. He gets a kick out of us enjoying His handiwork.

I’m determined to be ‘on the front porch’ of life and take it all in! I wouldn’t miss it for anything! What about you? Are you going to miss being a participant in what God is doing because there is something that is more pressing? What has become more important to you than watching the handiwork of God? Do you have a project that you’re working on that is more important than watching Him work on His? Are your time, energy, and finances too stretched to make room for Him? Are you too busy for the one that rescued you? Has it been so long ago that you have forgotten what it was like when He pulled you from the edge? Maybe you’ve convinced that you really weren’t in danger. You were! Or, that you would have escaped on your own. You wouldn’t have!

What should Christians see? Should we see: full inboxes; busy calendars; and the next item on our ‘bucket list’? Or, should we see what The Father sees? Should we see rafts drifting by?

I know it’s not something that we want to think about. We would rather turn our heads and watch our kids play ball and act like the rafts don’t exist. They do exist and they are filled with people. There are more of them every day; and the current is growing stronger. The warning signs were torn down long ago. The rafters have earphones plugged tightly in their ears as their fingers peck away at lifeless screens. The current carries them along. Why don’t you want to watch? Are you afraid that God has forgotten about them? He hasn’t! You may have, but He hasn’t.

He will reach out to them! He will save many of them! Do you want to be there when He does? I do! I can hardly wait to be right there beside Him as He drags their bodies onto the shore! I can’t wait to feel the joy spill out of them and all over me as they realize what He has done!

 You may have more important things to do, but I can’t think of anywhere that I would rather be than right there beside my savior as He drags another one to shore.

Did you hear that? It was the angels cheering. The Savior just pulled another one from the edge! You’ve got to see this! Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bother you. Go ahead with what you were doing. I’ve got to go.

2 comments:

  1. I think that you did mean to bother us. Like Jesus, you intentionally conveyed a message that you were being used to convey. Thank you Pastor, for writing this. A life of complete dependence on Christ is the only true life. I think that that was the message, amongst more, that you were being called to pronounce.

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