Summary: Have we lost touch with the one thing that is SO necesssary for reaching out to the not-yet-Christian?
Where has the Love Gone? Jan. 23, 2011
Sharing Your faith – part 3
Don’t you just love it when someone praises you for doing something good? Does your feeling of self-worth jump up when you’re told, ‘good job, well done!’? Do we respond well to a reward for the work that we do…in other words, do you love payday? Does an appreciative pat on the back, a thank-you note, an email of gratitude, a compliment for your good work and good attitude make you feel good about whatever it is you’ve done? I think most of us could answer yes to all of those.
I think that most if not all people respond well to those kinds of encouragements. When I was in the printing business as a salesman, I always loved it when I would get a card on the mail thanking me for helping a client with a project of any size. I have kept them as they are a reminder that people appreciate a job-well-done, and if I continued serving with that kind of attitude, then the likelihood of those clients sticking with me was far better than if they got lousy service and a bad attitude from me.
And believe me, when people were NOT pleased with the way a particular project went, I would hear about THAT too! Those notes and letters were harder to keep, but I did keep some, as reminders that I didn’t want to get more of them, and needed to learn from those occurrences too.
How about in service to God? Do we like to be complimented, encouraged, thanked, and maybe even rewarded for diligently working for the Lord in some way? Sure we do! We love to hear someone say something like, ‘Thank you…for teaching Kidzone. Thank you…for serving on the worship team. Thank you…for helping set-up and clean-up. Thank you…for serving on the board. Thank you…for all you do to make Westshore Community Church a great place to grow in love and knowledge and service of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
I hope that I do this often. I hope that we do this for each other often. And wouldn’t it be nice if all we ever heard was well done, good and faithful servant? No complaints, no worries, nothing ever overlooked…just good things all the time…ahhhhh, paradise!
But is that the way life is? Are we always good, all the time, doing the things that God has asked us to do? Are we perfect? Are we giving everything we’ve got in love and service to God, and love and service to others? Or have we lost a bit of that ‘drive’ to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves? Has time softened our desire to know God and to make Him known? Have we somehow misplaced our love for God and the need to share that love with others and shifted it to other things that have somehow become more important that following the Great Commission?
Turn with me in your bible to the book of Revelation, chapter 2. I’d like to read a few verses that were written concerning a church that had just this sort of thing happen to them.
Start reading with me at verse 1.
Revelation 2 (New International Version 1984, ©1984)
To the Church in Ephesus
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: (THESE ARE Jesus’ WORDS) 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
What a great church! It sounds to me like this was a ‘happening place’; a church where things happened. These people got things done! They worked…and they worked HARD. It’s not easy being a church plant in a time and place where sin ran rampant, and other religions were pressing from every side. Where life was hard and families had issues. Marriages struggled, taxation was high, money was hard to come by and oh, wouldn’t it be easier to just blend in with the world than to try and live a life of purity and holiness…
Bu that was what this church did. And by ‘church’ I mean the people of that church, since a church is not a building, it is the people who meet there, or in their homes, in the park, or on the beach, or wherever people gather in the Lord’s Name…that’s the church.