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01
Apr

What Drives You?

Posted by on in Weekly Encouragement Notes
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We live in a busy world. It is go, go, go, all the time and it never seems to slow down. We tend to place way too many things on our plates (I’m not talking about at the buffet) but rather we extend ourselves to far more often than not. It just seems to be what we do. We find it hard to say no and find a way to consider that just “one more thing” might be ok or it could be possible to fit it in. At the end of the day we often ask “where did the day go?” The problem with that question is sometimes we do not have an answer because we never took the time to be mindful of what we were doing. It is as if we become programmed for certain things to happen at certain times. We see the world moving quickly toward automation, but we have been doing that for years in our lives. 

 

We continue in our series with the Message “come and go tell.” This is both an invitation and a command. In the Great Commission we are given the command to share the Gospel. Jesus would give the command, “you shall be witnesses unto Me in Judea and unto the ends of the earth.” In the text for today we see Paul facing this very opportunity to go and tell, to share with someone the message that would help them. His concern for others and their need for the message of Christ is what drove him. It is what kept him going, even when the moments and situations were often times awful. 

 

What drives us today? What is our passion? Most would say our work, our family, our career, etc… and while none of those are wrong or in any way of lesser importance, as Christians, what is reflected to others as our passion? Do we have great concern about the souls of others? Does eternity and the understanding of what that means, does it enter into our thoughts when it comes to others or does that only come at the time of death when we hear that one has passed on? 

 

I say this not to be negative or to be forceful in such a way that turns people away rather than draw them in. What I’m driving at is our passion for what we believe. We tend to quickly share our views on things. It may be music, politics, sports, food, whatever that case, but we tend to be touchy on the subject of faith. The world has conditioned most to “keep that private.” We do not want to offend anyone. Indeed, I never want to offend anyone, but at the same time I would not want them to die and go to Hell all because I hesitated to share my passion for Jesus. They may very well walk away. They may very well not agree. They may even want to argue or challenge my views and thoughts and that is fine. At the end of the day God did not call us to be successful, but rather He called us to be obedient. 

 

Noah told people for at least a hundred years that it was going to rain. Not one person accepted this truth and they all were washed away in the flood. Was that Noah’s fault? Absolutely not, he did exactly what God asked him to do. The disciples were concerned that so few were responding to their work and Jesus replied to them “those who will hear abide with them, those who will not, knock the dust from your feet and keep going.” This is a paraphrase of the actual Scripture, but indeed the intent of the message. What was He saying? Did He not care that people were still lost? Of course He did, but what He was making clear to the disciples what the fact that they had done what He has asked. If others did not accept it, if others said no, that was on them. Our passion for what we believe is best heard when expressed.

 

What does this look like? Is there a clear picture or an instruction manual? The Bible gives us a very clear picture of what God desires. He looks at the heart. In the case of most of the healing that took place in the ministry of Christ, we often read the words “your faith has made you well.” In other words He say their heart, He saw that they were sincere. Our words are just words if they are not lived out. The primary function of the local church is to make disciples for Christ, that is number one. It is not to legislate, it is not to mandate, it is to present the Gospel in such a manner that others can SEE it, not just hear it. Jesus made it clear that we are known as His by the way we treat each other. What picture do we get when we think of that statement? Let me close with this illustration:

 

A pastor once gave a story of a dream/vision that he has about eternity. Many were concerned over the reality of Heaven and Hell. They just were nearly obsessed over what it all means and what it would be like. The pastor began to pray and the seek God’s wisdom for a picture to paint with words in order to satisfy the questions. HE would return to the pulpit with a powerful word picture. He told his congregation that he saw a picture of Hell. He said there was a very long table filled with every kind of food that could be imagined. It was a bountiful feast. He said people were seated in every chair and gazing at what was before them. He noticed something strange about the people there. Each of them, rather than hands, arms and fingers, they has forks and spoons attached and each of these utensils were longer than normal, simply meaning that the length prevented it from being able to actually feed oneself. This caused chaos and the people around the table became angry and violent. It erupted and the fighting began and the whole table was overturned, the food was wasted and everyone went without and walked away hurt, disappointed and distraught. He then said he saw a picture of Heaven. It too had a very long table, people seated at every seat. He said that much like the image of Hell, these people also had utensils for arms and hands and each were too long to use in a self-help manner. He said as the people looked at the bounty that was before them, they bowed in prayer giving thanks and then rather than fight over their physical dilemma, they used their utensil arms and hands and began to feed one another. Everyone got full and they all walked away satisfied and filled with joy that they helped one another. 

 

As we consider our invitation to come and go tell, to find our passion for what we do and believe, may we consider those around the table and how we help feed one another or fight over how to do it. 

 

Pastor Andy

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