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Church, Apples & Ideas

Get off your butt!  Get off your lazy butt!  What in the world are you doing?  I can hear these words being directed at me and at you.  I won’t sit by idly and ignore the prompting to call both you and me out.  What elegant pew sitters we have become!  Oh, the ways we justify our actions!

I give money to the church.  I know they are doing good things with it.  Therefore, I am off the hook!  … I worked in the church for ten years and now I am resting.  I did my part! … There is nothing for me to do!  Every ministry at my church is fully staffed! … WRONG!  ALL WRONG!

Let’s put it this way…show me in the Bible all the verses that support your thinking.  I’m waiting.  Still waiting.  I’ll be waiting a very long time.  We are to GO!  We are to DO!  We are to BE!

GO and make disciples of all nations

DO good deeds and works in the name of Jesus Christ

BE the Church

The Church is NOT a building.  The Church is a body of believers…THE body of believers.  The Church is NOT lazy, NOT full of excuses, NOT done working, NOT in need of rest & certainly NOT doing things solo.

There’s a great parable Jesus introduces about a tree that bears fruit.  The tree reflects our life.  Read DEEPLY my next statements.  SOAK them in.

Your life is like that sapling, that sprout, that new seed just starting to grow.  At first, there is NO fruit.  Heck, it couldn’t bear any fruit at such a young age, at such an immature time in your life!  God has prepared you to hold bushels of fruit!  As you have grown in your faith why do you only bear a few choice pieces of “available” fruit?  I say available because you ARE holding fruit…lots of it.  It’s just not appealing at all.  It’s rotten, worm infested or inscribed with your own initials.  Yes, much of your fruit is only available to yourself.  Are you following me?  You are selfish.  My fruit looks much the same.  Why?

We have this wonderful opportunity.  We have many branches of life.  We can reach out to many, many people.  Why do you quit on God?  Why do you even suggest that you CAN’T do it?  You can’t hold more apples?  Oh, so you feel you need to get rid of some choice fruit in order to bear more, huh?  So, you are saying that you have stopped growing?!?  How sad!  God tosses those wilted, unproductive branches into the fire.

Do you still have excuses?  Can I still sit back and watch hours of TV and then say I don’t have time to work for God?  Pitiful.  Truly pitiful.  My God is much bigger than my excuses, than my failures, than my own ideas.

I want my mind to be that of Christ.  I want my ideas to be godly.  You should want this too.  What is stopping you?  Put the DS down, the video game system in the trash, the romance novels, the TV shows, the innumerable kids activities, the “personal, selfish things that don’t matter, materialistic ways of this world” aside!  Yes, read that again, it’s a long sentence.

Here’s my idea…figuratively blow up the church so that The Church will be thrown out into the world where it’s supposed to be.  Prune that tree you call life and let it produce some fruit worthy of picking.  Bear some fruit that a lost person may want to pick.  Make God’s ideas, your ideas.  I think that’s a good place for me to start.  Are you in?


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3 Responses

  1. We’re all living like we’re going to live forever in this world, investing, hoping to make it big, planning for the future. The phrase, “everyone dies” is heard, at least by me, as “everyone ELSE dies” – because truthfully, I never really contemplated death for myself – just something ‘other people do’.

    I am reminded of the rich man in Matthew and Jesus saying, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.” A rich man INVESTS in the WORLD. I’d say the same can be said to anyone who loves the world – we INVEST our FEELINGS in the world – I know I love the world (family, people, destinations) – but we need to make sure we love God even more – because if we don’t, death is going to be a painful experience, as if we’re going down a slide, trying to grasp the sides hoping to grasp on to our false reality. BUT, if we love God more than the world, death isn’t as scary.

    Looking around, if I died today, how would I defend how I spent my time on earth, not preaching or sharing the Word to whoever will listen and not taking time to study it myself. Instead I find myself consumed with the things of this world, things that are really just distractions for us preaching the Word.

    I know starting today I’m going to be working for God instead of the world, and I think as Christians we need to see that it is the whole purpose of the world – we all have to give a testament to God on how we spent the time HE gave to us — maybe that’s truly what the parable of the talents is about, God has given us time, what will we do with it?

  2. Great post!

    I worked in the church for ten years and now I am resting.

    This is an attitude that really grinds my gears, as it’s an attitude prevalent at my church; though it’s not a time span of ten years, but ten months! Maybe it’s just me, but I think that it is such an awesome thing to be able to serve our God, that I don’t feel like I ever need to rest, as God will sustain me if I get weary in his service.

  3. Jeff & Tom – Thanks for the good comments!

    Jeff (The Deliberate Ruminator)

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