Are we concerned for others in a Godly way, and if not, what is our motivation for being involved with others? For the sake of clarity, by “involved” I mean: in their lives, interacting with them, getting to know them, etc. This is a near and dear topic for me. One which I have been in some way, shape or form dealing with since the 80’s.
A little background: I haven’t always gone to church, in fact, I believed church to be a social construct no different than a country club for years. Little happened to change that opinion after I found Jesus. In some ways, church transitioned from the country club to the team. While my internals about church were being formed another dynamic was taking place: Churches were becoming franchised. The current pervasive corporate philosophies of big-business America had invaded the church. Thanks to all those “good” businessmen on the boards of so many local churches, the message of corporatism was received hook, line and sinker (so to speak). I can almost hear you telling me I’m being judgemental. Before you pick up a brick and wind up your stoning hand, remember, I live in a small community in a semi-rural area in the West. How many churches in this area have tried to go the “mega-church” route? (for those not here: several) The real question is how many churches in this area did God tell to go the mega-church route? If the proof is in the fruit, than I think we have quite a large discrepancy between the number of mega-church attempts verses number of times God said to build a mega-church. So far, God is winning as I don’t really perceive any mega-churches in the Carson Valley. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying. Keyword: “people”.
On to the topic: Motivation. What motivates you as a believer, what influences do you allow in your decision making process? Are you motivated by a genuine concern for others which stems from the overflow of a loving relationship with God – or are you motivated by something else? Lets examine some scripture together on this topic.
(15) “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
(21) “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
(19) Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
And finish it up with a heaping helping of Romans 12. Here is a great excerpt Romans 12:9-10 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
I will likely revisit this topic later… Happy reading.