Thursday, August 4, 2011

What Are We Holding Back?

           God expects us to use everything we have available to reach out to our generation. But, so often I fight an eternal battle of reluctance. Oh, I can find any number of "legitimate" causes for this desire, but how many of my justifications measure up to the standard of scripture?

Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” (NLT)

            Am I the only person struggling with reluctance in my Christian action? So, I ask the question: What are we holding back? Again and again, I remember my mother saying, "Charity begins at home" as she would explain how my grandmother would sort eggs to share with the Pastor. (Double yoked eggs stayed home.)

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (KJV)

            Think about your own attitude toward giving and service.  Does generosity and faithfulness describe you? Or have your own attitudes been colored by experience as mine have? Most of the reasons for my struggle come down to some form of judgment on my part. Either I am consumed with worry about how others will view my actions, or I am consumed with my own perception of the people or ministry in need.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (KJV)

            What others think about our service to Christ must not be allowed to stop the flow of His blessing. What we think of another’s service to Christ also must not be allowed to stop the flow of His blessing. Either attitude can hinder our effectiveness for the "Kingdom of God".

Philippians 1:18 “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,” (NIV)

                Christ has called each of us into the “Priesthood of Believers”. Our gifts are vastly different but each is necessary. The needs we have will be met as we act in faithfulness to the call we have received for Christ. Do not hold back. Be bold. Be strong. Be faithful and above all, be authentic. Serve God with everything you have and everything you are. God is the judge, the score keeper, and the paymaster. He knows what He has invested in each of us and He knows when we are holding back.

1 comment:

  1. In the last paragraph where you mention that God is the judge, scorekeeper and paymaster, the immediate thought that came to my mind was the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard found in Matthew 20. Go is so amazing, that even though all these workers were hired at different times, he paid them all the same.

    It is so clear that God's ways are so much higher (and different) than my ways. He knows exactly what I am capable of doing. He knows when I give my all or hold back from Him. And the neat thing is, I don't have to worry about comparing "my all" to "my neighbor's all" because we are all vineyard workers - and God keeps his promises to us - not based on his promises to another - but just based on who we are in Him.