“So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10 ESV).
“Before you get any dessert, you need to eat all of your dinner.” “You won’t get your allowance until your room is clean and you’ve made your bed.” “If you want to go on the field trip, you need to turn in all of your missing assignments.”
We’ve all heard ultimatums like these before. And I’m sure that we have all used some of the same shortcuts to get our way. We slip the dog our Brussels sprouts when no one is looking. We shove things in the closet or under our bed. We do the very minimum we can get away with and still get what we want.
We do the same thing with God. We find excuses for not spending quality time in the Word and in prayer. We’re much too busy to serve in the nursery, pass out bulletins, set up communion…witness. We think that by going to church we have shown God that we mean business. But we don’t really do we? When Jesus said “Go!” He wasn’t referring to Sunday services. When He said, “take up your cross and follow me” he wasn’t talking about the “burden” of church attendance or even giving up (or really just postponing) a prime TV show to attend a small group!
The Jesus of the Bible differs drastically from the Jesus many Christians follow.
While God is, indeed, Our Father, His plan for our lives doesn’t include getting by. We may think that we are getting away with something when we sweep things under the rug, but He sees!
We may feel a little bit of conviction the first few times, but that goes away pretty quickly. We wonder why Heaven seems silent when we are in a crisis, but the truth is its only when we’re in a spot that He hears our voice!
In physical training, there are no shortcuts. If we don’t put in the work, then we don’t see the results. We might be able to delude ourselves into thinking we’re making true progress, but come race day the ugly truth becomes apparent.
So why do we think that it’s any different with spiritual training? Do we really believe our own thinking that we are doing everything we can to be the people we are called to be?
We need to get out of the mindset that getting by is good enough. What if when Jesus was beaten and stabbed with the crown of thorns He had said, “Okay, that’s enough! I’m sure I paid for somebody’s sin.” What if He said, “I’m finished” instead of “It is finished”?
I’m re-evaluating my commitment level, and I’m finding myself sorely lacking.
I spend too much time watching television. I volunteer for several things at church, but I haven’t shared Christ with anyone outside of church in a long time. I’ve been content to spend eight hours a day with my co-workers, but aside from the odd conversation I have no real idea of whether they are saved. I’m committed to reading my Bible probably more than the average Christian, but still not nearly what I should.
We all want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21 ESV); but I wonder if we’ve even done enough to be able to say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty”.
God is raising up a people who are not ashamed, who know what it means to give their all for the One who gave His all for them.
Going to church is something that we should be doing–fellowshipping with other believers. But going to church falls short of what the Bible calls all believers to do.
My commitment level needs to be kicked up several notches. Mindfully consider whether yours does too!
Blessings on your day!
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