Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:21 (CSB)
Our thought for today: Live life fully, with purpose and passion”
This morning I want us to continue thinking about the powerful truth we learned yesterday that the meaning of your life is to help others discover the meaning of theirs. What I meant by that is that now that you know Jesus and your sins are forgiven, you have the Holy Spirit living in your heart. You are enjoying the fruit of the Spirit in your own life, and you are sharing that fruit with others. And also, you have the promise of eternity in heaven. With all of that being true about you, your primary purpose in this world now is to help others discover what you already know, and to have what you already have. Regardless of what else you also do in life, first and foremost, the purpose of your life is to know Jesus and then to share Him with others.
Any Christian who truly understands his or her mission in this world will never lack for purpose or meaning, and will always have hope for the future. That then will become the motive force that drives you, it will be the fuel that energizes you. In the Gospel of John, we find a scene where, at the end of a long day of ministry, the followers of Jesus were urging Him to eat some food. He smiled at them and said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about … My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:32;34 What Jesus meant was that His participation in the kingdom-building work of God on earth was the motive force that drove Him and which kept Him going.
I’ve sometimes heard people describe their desire to die a quiet, peaceful death, surrounded by friends and loved ones, as they “slowly slip the surely bonds of earth …” Not me! I want to live life fully and with passion to the very last moment. Rather than “slipping” into the presence of Jesus, I want to come crashing through the gates of heaven, tumbling head-over-heals, skidding to a halt at His feet, looking up at Him with a grin on my face and saying “Wow! What a ride!”, and with Him grinning back and saying “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
As this COVID 19 pandemic continues to unfold, we can easily be tempted to just shelter-in-place, curling up in a book in a book, or binge watching TV shows, while shutting out the world. I think that would be the wrong response. There’s a lot of ministry that needs to be going on in our communities right now. People are living in fear; some are in various stages of panic; some are elderly and some are sick; others are suffering financial hardship; and all of them need to experience the peace of God in the middle of these unsettling times.
Yes, we all do need to stay home to the greatest extent possible. But there are also reasons to leave the house. There are those of us in professions that require us to be out and about in the world despite the risk. In those cases, take the best precautions you can, but then get on out there and serve well. There are also many volunteer functions that need to take place right now. If you are healthy, then I encourage you to make yourself available to help those in greater need than yourself. This is what Christians do. In our County here in Tennessee our local government has even put out a call to the churches for volunteers to help with vital functions. Take the appropriate precautions, yes, but let’s be willing to get out there and be of service when that’s what’s needed.
And even if you have to stay home, you can and should still be on-mission with Jesus finding ways to minister to people in need. Make those phone calls; check on people; pray with them; encourage them; write a check to someone in need and put it in the mail. And please, avoid spreading fear and drama on social media. Resolve to only post positive, uplifting, and encouraging messages.
When this is all over, may it be that the Lord looks upon all of us and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”