Have you ever had a conversation with someone that lasted a little while, but when you stopped talking you realized you really hadn’t said anything of lasting importance? Have you ever taken a class on an important subject and had a teacher who just barely covered the needed information? Or have you gone to a church that ignores the touchy subjects and preaches all fluff?
These things surround us every day, and yet we do nothing about them. I am blessed enough to have a wonderful church with a minister who leaves no subject untouched. My minister says what needs to be said and does not sugarcoat the words so as to make them easier to swallow. I’m so glad I can ask him a question, and he will give me an honest, godly opinion.
Although I have a wonderful church and don’t have to fight very many battles within my congregation, I do face instances everyday that hurt my heart and my soul. For instance, a little while ago, I was in a Bible class with many teenagers my own age. We were asked to find a book of the Bible, and as I flipped to it, I saw many of the Christian teenagers around me going to the Table of Contents to find the book of the Bible. This saddened me that they had not become familiar enough with their Bibles to know the order of the books. (I learned them when I was young by putting them to a melody of a song. And yes, I still sing the song in my head sometimes when I’m trying to find something!) I didn’t think much of this until the Bible teacher asked how many people had read their entire Bible. (Note: This was not a class of new Christians… These were mostly people who had grown up in the church all their lives.) I raised my hand expecting every hand to go up. Of about twenty people, only three or four raised their hands.
This surprised me greatly. I had no idea that so very few high school Christians had read their entire Bible. I didn’t know it was so unusual to have read the entire Bible, much less many times! I just assumed that every Christian had done so at some point in their life. That’s when I realized that the expectations are so low in the present culture that even Christians have succumbed to them.
It hurt me to know that even Christians who had grown up in Christian families were not taking the time to delve deeper into the Word of God.
I have often watched Christian teenagers listen to a powerfully impacting message and say they are going to change and try to do better. Unfortunately, it seems to last not much longer than a week! The hearts of teens today are so hard; it takes many blows to break them down into what Jesus would want. I feel bad for the ministers and teachers who pour their lives into changing teens, only to see results for a little while. It must be so discouraging at times.
And then something else hit me so hard, I was about knocked over.
I realized how self-righteous I was being! I was condemning all these people for not living up to God’s expectations, even though I was also failing miserably! Yes, I may have read the Bible many times, have quiet times daily, and pray, but how many times have I listened to a heart-wrenching sermon and only said, “Hmmm. That’s interesting. Someone should do something about that!” Why can’t I be the person to change that! Why can’t I make a ripple in the pond that will not just scratch the surface, but dig deep into the very core of the lives of people! I want to make a difference!
But I don’t know how. Or at least, I don’t want to know how. I want God to just do it all for me instead of having to work hard and serve others with my life. This is what my flesh desires, but when I was baptized, I made a commitment to serve not my flesh, but my LORD.
I’m challenging you today to choose to find a way to make a difference in someone’s life. If that is by being a good example to your fellow believers, then go for it. If it is serving as a missionary in Africa, then go for it. But whatever it is that God calls you to be, do it for Him alone. Don’t do it so that someday you will have a YWAM Heroes book about you. Don’t do it to make yourself feel righteous. DO IT FOR GOD.
The world may be a place where no one goes deep enough to learn about God and serve Him wholeheartedly, but that doesn’t mean you and I don’t have to.
2 years ago