“A person must continue to follow only the teaching of Christ. If anyone goes beyond Christ’s teaching, then he does not have God. But if a person continues to stay within the teaching, then he has both the Father and the Son.” II John 9 (Simple English Bible)
Leonard was a keen Christian. He enjoyed the times of fellowship, the opening of the Word during the services and the studies conducted every week. He was enthusiastic and encouraged by the teachers and those who were entrusted with proclaiming God’s plan for man. Leonard hoped that one day, he, too, would be able to teach and become qualified to lead others.
One thing bothered him: the church leaders weren’t that happy with his background. Leonard’s father wasn’t a Christian and his mother had run off with another man when he was a child. One of the elders told him that it wasn’t a good witness to have someone from a broken home who wanted lead others. Leonard was disappointed and became discouraged.
Often, decisions are made with the good of the gospel in mind. We live in a complicated and unstable world so the less risk the church is exposed to, the better for everyone in the congregation. But there are times when decisions are made, which prevent those with a sincere desire to serve Christ, to take an active part. Every Christian has a duty, no matter how old or young, how much money they have or even the level of education. God expects every one of us to do His will.
No matter what.
“Whatever you do, work at it — really try hard — as if it were for the Lord, not men.” Col 3:23 (Simple English Bible)
Charles was overloaded at work. The auditors had made a decision to pulp all the records stored in the basement that were older than three years. It wasn’t his job but the boss asked him personally to handle it and even offered his teenage son, Rick, to help during the afternoons after school. Charles reluctantly accepted, knowing that it would a long, dusty, fruitless job.
To his surprise, Rick did whatever he was asked without complaint, reluctance or refusal. He didn’t fudge away time, avoid the dirty boxes or try to take the easy way out. The teen even worked late even though he wasn’t paid! After a few days, Charles asked Rick what this was all about. Why would the boss’s son work so hard at a scut job when he really didn’t have to. Rick’s reply was simple: “My Dad isn’t my only Father and I serve Him, too!”
Maybe Christians should think more in these terms. We have our natural family, the one we’re born into. Even as servants of the King, we are also afforded a Father in Heaven, too. We do have family obligations but don’t you think we also have obligations to fulfill our Father’s will?
“I can’t find me without You!” Anon Christian
Her name was Maria and she was a nurse. She’d fallen away from the Lord, claiming that her job, divorce, kids and finances took their toll — she didn’t have enough time, no one in the church would help and she never seemed to be able to get ahead of the rat race. If asked, Maria would claim she was a Christian woman but this was just to show some kind of general affiliation.
On her rounds one day, she noticed a well-worn Bible on the bedside table of a patient. It made her nervous to see it there and she often blushed when she had to take the man’s vitals and write them on the chart. He asked her why she was so jumpy and she told him: the excuses that she used to justify her situation were just that. Excuses. The real reason she left the Lord was because she felt He hadn’t heard her prayers. After her shift, she returned to the man’s bed and they spoke for a long time. Maria realized that God hadn’t left her; she had left herself behind.
Do we know who we are without Christ? If we are not committed to Him, then what are we? Can we find our way without Jesus? These questions are rarely asked but are critical for us to understand precisely who we are and why we follow our Savior!
So, who are you?