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One Of Us Has Committed A Sin

The Importance Of Our Work

Everyday reminds me of the urgency of our work. But it also tells me that one of us in the community has committed a sin against God.

Left Undone

How's that possible? One of us didn't do his job. A serious work of evangelization was left undone. The families, friends or persons close to those abductors could have been reached by the Word of God. The hearts of these people might have been touched.

But one of us didn't respond to the Lord's call to evangelize them. Maybe, he was very comfortable. Maybe he was very busy or had other priorities. But this is what we are talking about when we're talking about the mission. You have heard us over and over: the work that we do now will actually bear on what could possibly happen to us tomorrow.

Not Contented

I don't think the Lord is really contented with what we're doing. He had said where much has been given much will be expected. Looking at it that way, I think what we've been doing is very much lacking. Planting in our very own vineyard as in Isaiah 5:1-7, the Lord has done all that is needed. We've been blessed, empowered by the Spirit, renewed and given all imaginable blessings. We have experienced God in our lives.

But what He has given us is not for us alone. He gave in order that we might live our lives in a way that makes a difference in this world. This is a call to fruitfulness - to faithfulness so that we might be fruitful! In the Isaiah passage, there is fruit but it was not what was expected from his vineyard despite the care and attention provided. There was fruit but it was not good fruit. It was not an adequate fruit.

We are like that even when we say that we have evangelized 71 countries. That's not enough! That's not the extent of the mission that the Lord Jesus Christ has called us to. Our work is rapid, massive, global evangelization. We're doing a little bit of that but we are still far away. We've been asked to evangelize at least one person a year but we have not been able to accomplish even that. Many of us are going about our own lives unmindful of the great commission the Lord has commanded us (Matthew 28:19).

The Blessings

We accept all the blessings from the Lord, but we forget that that's not all there is to it. In fact, that is just the foundation. The Lord just allows us to experience Him as the God who provides, as the Father who cares for us, so that any struggle that we pass through we know we can make it with Him.

But then, He sends us forth to renew the face of the earth. I believe that we will be judged based on the kind of fruit that Gods expects us to produce. If not, as that gospel passage says, “For this reason I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will yield a rich harvest. (Mt. 21:43)” This is what we are talking about: a rich harvest! Not just a little harvest, not just a little evangelization work, but a total giving and a total going forth, no holds barred, beyond our comfort zones. God is about a work of renewal during these times in the midst of this world of darkness. As we enter the another millennium, the Holy Spirit is about a mighty work - it is an urgent work.

And yet it is going to be done. Because God is God and the Lord Jesus Christ is already victorious.

The question is “Will we be a part of this work or not?” The rich harvest is going to be produced but the only question is who's going to help bring in that harvest? Are we those people or not?

The Missions

Brothers and sisters, this is a call. God is renewing His call to us on this month of missions and with inspirations talking about gratitude and fruitfulness, talking about rich harvest. He reminds us of the reason why He raised us up. This is why Christian communities exists. If we're not going to do this, let's not be members of these communities. Anyway there are a lot of prayer groups around. There are a lot of comfortable organizations out there you can join.

But our call is different. We are an evangelistic and missionary community - that's what we need to be to yield this rich harvest.

If we are faithful, God will multiply the harvest - that's what will enable us to do a lot more work of evangelization and renewal. Greater energy, greater commitment – in fact, our all - has been what the Lord has called us to do.

But if our response is inadequate, there will always be the threat that the Holy Spirit, impatient and disappointed with us, will move on because He needs to be about the work of the Father in this world.

The Crossroad

Let's examine ourselves. Why are we serving? What is our focus? Are we here simply because we want to return this great love of God for us, this undeserved love when Jesus died for us even when we were sinners? Are we here for ourselves or are we here for the Lord? Are we ready to endure hardships, even trials and persecutions, any amount of pain, even injustice in order to serve the Lord?

We need to examine ourselves. It is a crucial time in the life of the Christian community. I think we are at the crossroads. We can move on to do glorious work in the name of the Lord because God has called us and is empowering us giving everything that we need. Or we could move the other way and lose it all. Because we are not faithful or fruitful enough, the Lord can decide to get someone else to bring in this rich harvest that He is going to have no matter what. We need to examine our hearts, we need to come before the Lord, we need to repent for whatever we've been doing that is not of Him. We need to see clearly our calling to be an evangelistic missionary community.

We need to guard our community and look beyond our own needs, our own comforts and our own desires to what will be good as far as the Lord is concerned. The Lord expects much more from us.

Let's become more serious. Let us encourage, push and reach out to our brothers and sisters. This work is bigger than all of us. This work is beyond us. We are talking about God here! Yet, it is so easy to satisfy him: just be faithful, just give your all, whatever it is.

Comfortable?

Why should we be comfortable? It’s just right that we face hardships. The problem though is, not that we are in a crisis, but that we give up every time we meet difficulties. Part of the attack on us is the criticism we receive from others. Never mind if it comes from outside - people, who don't understand us, who have not been touched by the Spirit of God, or who are not living in the community. Unfortunately, we hear this from among our leaders.

It might be a cover-up, because they feel uncomfortable. Whenever you are out there giving more of yourself and they are just relaxing, then they will look for any reason to criticize - there is that discomfort that they have not given as much as they are able to give.

In this world we will have a lot of these difficulties; that is why Jesus's sharing was very upbuilding. Not only because of the insights, but because of the real trust and love for God had shown during their hardship and great trial. With the few problems and discomfort we have, we tend to already give up. The Lord allowed it to happen for many good reasons: to show us how important this work is; to show how small our own difficulties and trials are compared to other people who are suffering; and to show how in spite of all of these we need to be faithful because God will bring good out of them all. For God makes all things work for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). If we love God and act in accordance with His call to us so that we are living our lives according to His purpose, then we have that promise that He will make all things work for our own good. It's a very comforting promise.

But Are We Ready?

Are we prepared for this great work? The Lord has worked in us for 18 years; I hope that we are. I think everything is there and what is needed is our “yes” - our conviction that it is indeed worth living our life for, even worth dying for. If we do, we will see a mighty harvest, just as what God had intended. We need to saturate this land, to be a light in Asia. If are faithful, God will help us and give us everything that we need in order to do His will.

We need to be fools for Christ. This is what the call to mission is all about - foolishness. It is leaving our family, our work behind (not neglecting it, mind you) in order to work for Someone else. It is being willing to give our blood, our sweat and our tears in order that our Lord may delight in us. It is going forth to people that are considered the 'scum' of the earth - people blackened by sin, used to a life of crime, unmoved by a deaf child's pleas - and try to bring the light of God into their lives.

Many will be tempted, “Don't bother to attend that assembly. Anyway, many will be there; your absence will not be noticed.” But God sees us. He is waiting and had waited long ago for us. God has called us individually, He died for us individually and He expects each of us to respond to give our all. Whatever trials and persecutions as we move much more towards the end times these may become worse.

But our work is cut out for us. The Lord has shown us everything; He has laid the foundation already. The Lord calls upon us to greater faithfulness in order that we might bring forth greater fruit - not wild grapes, but the kind of grapes that He intended. He calls upon us to have a rich harvest. God is truly a loving Father and in all of these He will be faithful to us - if only we too will be faithful!

From womb to tomb, God is there as our faithful God. He is the victorious king! Out of His great love, He not only brought us into life, not only called us into new life in Christ, but says I want to share this work with you - Go forth and truly touch the world. Make it a fitting kingdom for the Messiah who has come into your life!

Religion | Christianity | Society


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