On Sunday our pastor made a statement that I hope rings in my head all year long. He said, "I can't say it strongly enough. There has been a murder in the church!
Safety and security have slaughtered
Service and sacrifice!"
He was talking about in the church--the church in the broader sense
and our church specifically, I'm sure.
He was talking about in the Christian's heart.
In my heart.
I have known this for years--known it and believed it.
(See this post with the rest of this quote:
"Because what they're actually feeling in their heart, I think, is the word of Jesus, which is saying to them, "No, I didn't make you for safety. I made you to go build my kingdom and transform the world.")
And yet I forget to live it.
I live in my nice house with all my stuff; I even complain about all my stuff! I have my husband coming home each evening; I even complain when he's late! I have my healthy kids; I even complain when they wake up in the night!
I'm sure you get the picture. My safety and security have bred an ugly ungratefulness.
How do we counteract this? What can I do?
Our pastor gave a few bits of advice woven into the rest of his sermon (on Matthew 10, by the way).
1. Do what you cannot do. Live risky. Ask for the Holy Spirit's power. And all good things come from Him, so all of the following are really part of #1.
2. Start with who you know. This is the hardest thing, isn't it? I can serve and sacrifice right now by lovingly greeting my kiddos when they wake up, making breakfast with joy and spending the day loving them.
3. Give as freely as we have received. Really, could we ever match His generosity? He gave His own Son!
4. Trust that God will provide. This is very easy to say (or type) but it is definitely refer back to #1 for the actual doing.
5. Live this: "Christianity defined is the most dangerous special operation. Someone may well die. Someone already has."
6. Go every day. Disadvantage myself for those who are lost so that they will receive the advantage of the Kingdom and the Gospel.
7. Speak it every day. It may feel a bit corny at first to bring up the Bible often to your children or your husband. It often feels contrived to me. But I believe in Deuteronomy 6. I believe that Scripture is woven beautifully into our lives, so there is beauty in speaking it!
8. Go to work. If I see myself as a contented slave laborer, what won't I be willing to do? And really, if there is any possibility that this would bring me closer to Him here or in heaven, what wouldn't I do for that?!
9. Nothing can stand in the way. Nothing can stop His grace. He is all powerful. I want to live this way, you know? I want to live as a daughter of the King--never ruffled because I know that my Daddy is in control. Fearless, confident and humble.
10. Live simply dependent. I'm going to spend the rest of my life figuring this one out.