Stir it up! – PDF
Key Texts: Deut. 30:6; II Thess. 3:5; Jer. 30:12-17; Job (various segments from the book of)
For weeks we have been discussing offenses towards our brother, the world and against (or towards) us. This week we dealt with offenses towards God!
This is often a difficult topic, and many Christians tend to avoid facing it head on. I believe this is not due to fear of God, but rather to a false type of respect for Him or concern for loosing their faith in the confusion of their unrealized expectations of Him.
Rather than attempting to give an overview I encourage you to just give this a listen. Allow God to speak to you and realize that if you are His child, you belong to a Kingdom and are an integral part of a larger story than you ever realized.
An overplayed and often exploited real life conceptualization of this is in the work place. You are often asked to be a “team player”. Which carries with it the often negative overtones of “take a bullet for the team”.
Usually no one is asked to be a “team player” when the immediate (or even far reaching) outcome of such participation is favorable. The call is a call to “selflessness” to give up your immediate glory and rights for the greater good of the team. These are noble concepts and would be readily embraced by the majority if there were ever any external proofs of being part of a team other than when being asked to make such a sacrifice!
In the Kingdom of God, we are part of an existing and growing kingdom for which early North American colonialists provide an excellent example. The shores were open to everyone who was willing to leave what they had behind and become part of something larger, better and at heart more noble. Though this required large amounts of sacrifice for anyone willing to come here, the benefits were well worth the “scars”.
So it is with the Kingdom of God. There are times when you will be called upon to sacrifice for others – both in and outside of the kingdom…
Paul summarizes this idea in his letter to the Corinthians,
“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” ~ 1Cor. 9:16-22
The obvious overtones here are that of sacrifice for the benefit of others.
Would God call upon His beloved children to make sacrifices which in the end may even end in martyrdom for the sake of other Christians, the furtherance of the Gospel, the integrity of the Kingdom or even for the lost?
Let’s explore His word for the answers to these and other surrounding questions.