This man walks into a coffee shop and asks the barista if he needs any help.
The barista looks at the man and says “Have you been born again “?
The man says “I think so”.
The barista responds, “wrong answer”…
Thus began the journey to here. I have spent the majority of my life focused on all the wrong things, and I never knew it: in fact, I was blind to even the possibility. I believed I had read the Bible because I had spent hours in countless Bible-studies, with many smart people who could give you the definition of almost any word in its root language… They were people whom I admired and respected. I had attempted to read the Bible over and over again, but always seemed to lack the ability to read it. It put me to sleep and I just couldn’t get through it.
I made a simple commitment: I would read the Bible in a year – following the plan on biblegateway.com. I read the Bible in a year, and prayed every day. My mind began to change. I also kept meeting with the guy in the coffee shop. Instead of a person telling me what the Bible meant, I began to ask God about it. It is His (God’s) word… so there is no greater authority on the subject… right? God began to move in my life. I asked Him to baptize me with His spirit – and I began to believe Him.
Now I have different motives. This life is not about me. Church is not about weather I like the teaching, if I am being “fed”, if the worship makes me feel good, if people praised me for my generosity, welcomed me properly, gave me a standing ovation for showing up, answered my questions, met my needs, helped me in my troubles, or pretended to be my friends. Church is about God. His plan, His son, His spirit, His way, His covenant, His promises, His purpose, Him. Not me. Pretty simple, really.
We minister to people because God says to do so. There is no other reason to do it. Compassion is a great emotion and gift we are given, however, compassion exists without the right motives. Many earthly people and organizations are compassionate. People put on concerts to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and help refugees. But is God telling them to do it? Are they motivated by God to meet human need, or are they attempting to work out a deal based on works for their own benefit? If God is telling people to help, why would He allow anyone to share His glory? If God is sovereign and omnipotent, and He did choose you or me to do something, wouldn’t the end result point to Him? Let us not be a stumbling block or an idol… Let there be only one stumbling block: Jesus Christ and only one God worthy of our praise and worship: Yahweh.