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What Are You Doing?

What Are You Doing?

     This question has been asked many times over the years. The answer to this question has varied at times based on the situations in the life of those of whom it was asked. If you are asked this question relative to your service to God, what would your answer be? Often when this question is asked in a generic sense, the answer is likely to be: “nothing”. If asked specifically: “what are you doing for God?”   What would your honest answer be? Would we say: “nothing”? If we were required to make a list of the things we do in service to God, would the list be very long?  

   I am afraid that many in the church today have become much like the rich man of Jesus’ parable in Luke 12:16-21. These “Christians” indeed are busy, but in what?   Some were “busy” in the Lord’s Work for some time, but have now decided to “take their ease”. This is when they begin DOING NOTHING! How did that work out for the man in the parable? And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. 

Indeed, this man in the parable was busy for a time. He worked hard, but at what? For whom was he working? He labored to gain worldly goods. He was of a mind that these goods would sustain him through all of life. While it is true that one must have certain material things to live in this life, to do so without the spiritual needs being fulfilled is not life at all, and leads to the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

       One must look to God’s Word and do what it says. One cannot sit back and “Do Nothing” spiritually and still be pleasing to God.   Matthew 6:33 points out that we are to put first things first.   Believe it or not, there will always be time for all else that is required for life in these bodies. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.    Christianity is also not like our jobs in this life.   We can never “retire” from our service to God. We are to “retire” spiritually when we “expire”. We cannot “work” 20, or 30, or even 40 years, and then sit back and “draw our pension”. That pension only begins when we finally have completed the whole journey. Notice how the Spirit had Paul address this in 2Timothy 4:6-8 as he was drawing close to the end of his time here on earth.     For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  Paul had “continually” labored since his conversion, and would do so till his death. Notice also, only then is the “crown of life” laid up for him. He will not receive it until the Lord disperses these “crowns” at the judgment.   Those who retire in place, from the service of God while here on earth needn’t even expect that crown of life, nor the rest that comes from the end of this life till the trumpet sounds.

    Christians that have “retired” from service to God while in this life should heed the warning God provided for His O.T. people through the prophet Amos. It is here that God’s people came to believe they had “done enough”.   They were, after all, “God’s people”. He would love them and provide for them, wouldn’t He?   All they had to do was set back and receive.   In Amos 6:1 this solemn charge is offered to break them from their complacency. Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!  God did love them.    He also instructed and warned them in His Word. Those who failed to heed that warning paid the price.   Need we be reminded again what the Spirit had Paul write to the Roman brethren in Romans 15:4 so they would have an example to follow, albeit it under a previous Law of God?   For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. They are written! We are warned!

     What are you doing?   You might say: “I do my part”, but what is “your part”?   Who determines what your part is?   You? Can you provide for your spiritual needs? Can you provide the “reward” or “retirement” at the end of this life?   I dare say: “None of us can”.   What does God say our part is?   Romans 12:1-2 is a great place to start. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  It sounds to me that God expects us to give Him our all.

      In Luke 17:10 Jesus told His closest disciples – the “apostles elect” – that the bear minimum is not acceptable. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.    Does what you are doing consist of the minimum?   Are you putting God, and His kingdom first in your life?   What Are You Doing?      

                                                                            Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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