Caring for our neighbor is not something that can be passed by and overlooked as unimportant. Of all the things that Jesus said, the love of God and the love of neighbor are the most important. Jesus went so far as to say that upon these two commandments hang, hinge, stand, all of the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:34-40, NKJV). Everything that we, as Christians, believe and hold to be true can be summarized with these two statements. That is significant and should be treated in a way that reflects this.
While other religions in the world want to add more and more things to do, God says, “Here, just try these two.” In Christianity there is a shrinking of the requirements. And yet, the struggles that come from trying to do these two simple commandments are incredible.
As we go through this process of growing in faith we come to a very sharp and unyielding challenge. What are you doing WITH your faith? James, the brother of Jesus, tells us that faith without works is dead. We say you have faith! “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 1:18, NKJV). If nothing has happened since we have professed, confessed and have been baptized, we should be some concern. Our faith was not meant for ourselves, but for those around us. That’s why God gave it to you.
Finding A Place To Serve
Service has a way of healing the one that is doing the work. This experience does not come from watching, but from doing. We must put our hands to the plow if we are going to see the fruit of that labor. We live in a society that tells us that we can have it all-at a very reasonable price. Well, the price that God found reasonable was the blood of His Son Jesus. That means that if we are going to have it all, then we must also pay the price that has been set, and that price is our service. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1, NKJV). What God expects is not unreasonable. We must learn to acknowledge this truth whenever we are tempted to say that “God would not…” followed by something we do not want to do.
To serve is to return to where God intended for us to be from the beginning. He commanded Adam to go and tend to the garden. Adam was not created to just recline on the soft grass and eat grapes and do nothing. Adam had a job and it was to see after the creation of God. The older I get the more I realize that it is in doing the simple things of God that I find the most joy.
What Are You Doing?
If there is anything at all that is hard about being a Christian it is this-we have to do something. To sit back and kick our feet up just will not do. I believe that God demands us to be proactive. It just is not good enough to do nothing because we will not be satisfied if we are not serving.
When we look at our lives do we think that God is pleased? This is not a question meant to bring guilt. If we cannot answer this question in a way the leaves a sense of peace in our hearts, then something has to change, someone is going to have to give. I can assure you of this, God will not be the one doing the moving.
It is true that I may not be able to judge the quantity or quality of faith that you have in your life, but there is one thing that the world can do and that is it can see and consider the effect that our professed faith has had or has not had in our lives. What do they see? The better question is what should they see?