Let me ask you this, is this the time for you to make a serious decision regarding giving of your time to Jesus? Is this the time? Yes. You see many of us see education as a savior. The way to secure life, get an education. You don’t need Jesus, get an education. I’m talking to you. To make a commitment that is serious and radical even if my parents and friends consider me mad. I may have to go ahead to head with my father or my mother. I need to change that. Because I’m tired going head to head with God
Now is the timeWithout reservation, to the cause of the gospel. When God created this world or when He was planning the creation, He had a back-up plan; if man sinned, He would send His son. That is a back-up plan. When He sent Jesus, what was His back-up plan? Where does the Bible mention a back-up plan? Something to fall back on if Jesus had sinned? When God committed Himself to the salvation of this world, He had no backup plan! Too many people serve God with a back-up plan. I will give my life to Christ, but just in case it does not work out, I will do this. And as long as we serve God with a back-up plan – in case serving God does not work out, we will delay and delay and be guilty of criminally retarding the return of Jesus Christ.
Now all over the world is chaos. There’s turmoil on the economic front. Savings, retirement plans, those things are fast becoming a relic of the past. They will soon be fossils. As companies retrench and seek to save themselves by cutting back workers and cutting back expenses. We are living in perilous times! I don’t mean to present a God who is handicapped and deficient in creativity. I’m not saying that. You see there’s something God cannot do. God cannot force you to love Him. God cannot force you to be committed to Him. Yes, in love God sends calamities from time to time to wake us up, to make us aware that the path we are following is not consistent with His will for our individual lives and with this overall will for the plan of salvation and the direction of the gospel.
Romans 13:11 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now, is our salvation nearer than when we believed. Now is the time to awake out of sleep, why? Because the time is momentous. When momentous events occur, God requires a response and the response has nothing to do with the hands and the feet and the elbows, it has to do with the mind! There must be a shift in mindset for the Christian who honestly understands that something portentous is occurring. It’s Paul Commission’s us in Colossians 3:1,2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where? Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
God is omnipotent? Yes. God is all powerful? Yes. God is omniscient? Yes. But there are some things God cannot do. One thing He cannot do is to force your mind. He needs you and me to commit ourselves in a manner that looks insane to those who do not understand. As insane as Jesus looked to His family in Mark 3:21(21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.) With all the economic wars in the world, we need to come to the place where we decide, Lord I will not die wealthy. It makes no sense to die rich! I will invest where no moth nor rust doth corrupt and where nor thieves break through and steal (Mathew 6:20) . God is not joking. He requires a mental shift and the shift must be upward.
Counsels on Stewardship page 148 the desire to accumulate wealth is an original impulse of our nature implanted there by our Heavenly Father. Those of us who love gold, God is not opposed, but the gold cannot be the end of itself. Gather your gold, then use it for the gospel. What’s your gold? Is it your career? Here comes God:
- My son “I need someone to be a church schoolteacher in Indonesia. There are so many tsunami orphans. Will you go?” And the boy looks at God and says “Father, I understand the urgency of the time but I just began a graduate program in science and I’ve got to be in the lab to produce a paper so that I can get some recognition in the scientific community and be securely placed on the tenure track. I understand the need but I have another commitment”. And God says okay.
- And He turns and He says “My daughter, I need a missionary in the Philippines or New Orleans to comfort the grieving”. Young lady says “Father, I – I understand. I see all the images on television, CNN but I just started a relationship, Father you know relationships take time to build, take time, we must spend time. I just met this Christian young man, vegetarian and it takes time, I can’t go”. And God says okay.
- Then He turns to some other man. He says son, “I need you to go to the North Pole” and he looks at God and he says “Father, I understand the conditions in the North Pole and the South but I just bought a house. It’s a 30-year mortgage, the bank of Chattanooga. I just can’t go to. I have to work because now I – partially the property of the bank”. And God says okay.
- And He turns again in desperation. Jesus turns and He says My daughter I need you here or there and then person says “Father I just decided with my husband to have four children. You know children need parents at home. so, I – I can’t go”.
When Peter tried to get Christ not to go to Jerusalem, Jesus turned and rebuked him and said get thee behind me, Satan: for thou art an offence unto Me for thou savourest the things which be of man, and not the things which be of God. Peter was seeing Christ through the glittering gold rimmed glasses of a place in Christ’s secular Kingdom not understanding that Jesus had made it clear My kingdom is not of this world. 1st Peter chapter 1 verse 18 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold; It’s not a bad thing, but gold rusts. The gospel does not rust. The cause of God does not rust. Calvary does not rust. You and I need to make decisions for God that family members and friends will consider radical and extreme!
Now is the time to say to God who gave all He had with no backup plan when he gave Jesus Christ. Now is the time say “Father I am putting this relationship on hold”. There’s no Bible verse that says every woman needs a man. There is no Bible verse that says every man needs a woman. God told Jeremiah deliberately, don’t get married, don’t have children. I need you without distractions. What does Paul say? The married woman thinks of how to serve her husband. That she ought to. You and I need to decide “Father, I will make a commitment to you”. Perhaps it needs to be “Father, I will not go through with this application for a nine-year program leading to a PhD in comparative biology or paleontology because it will tie me down”. Does God deserve that kind of sacrifice? The answer is yes. Perhaps is a time, now that you don’t have a 30-year mortgage to give some time to God. Now you don’t have three children hanging on your skirts or putting your hands on your empty pockets. Now is a time to say, Lord Here I am without attachments, without restrictions, use me anywhere you choose for as long as you like.
Catholic Church has the Society of Jesuits founded I believe in 1540 by brother Ignatius Loyola and those men are unrepentantly and intractable and irreversibly committed to the Pope’s wish and will. They go anywhere to advance the cause of the Holy Father. This Church needs a similar society. Young people who will say look, Christ is coming soon! I realized we ought to make it a hymn because we say it so often. He’s coming soon. Where does He need me in the system that will make that imminent return a present reality? Where does He need me? Jesus here I am. I’ll go wherever you say and do whatever you ask. Take a risk but I must put the word risk an apostrophe or quotation marks because there’s no such thing as taking a risk on God. God is a sure thing but since we’re so secular, take a risk, drop that plan you have. And I’m not joking, drop it. Give your life to God for the sake of the gospel exclusively. Ask Him to give you an immunity against the talks, the laughter, the disgrace and whatever your friends and your family members may heap upon you, ask God to immunize you, that you may remain committed to whatever decision you make and with respect to the needs of the gospel. I say again from my heart not just to the young; young and old.
You read Ezekiel 9 verse 6 the instructions of the angel of the slaughter weapons slay utterly old and young, both maidens, and children, and women. Makes no difference to God. When He pours out His judgments, they’re young and the old. So, I am speaking to young and old, make a drastic change in your life and experience the adventure of serving God. The excitement of knowing the freedom, of knowing that you are genuinely committed to a cause.
We read in 1 Peter 1:18 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; The same chapter verse 7 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, Gold perishes, the faith has to be higher. 1 Peter 3:3,4 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, the gold is corruptible, the hidden man, the inner man, the Christ-like character that is incorruptible because it’s eternal. The gold is corruptible
Now you tell me, with all the education you have amassed, of all the expensive schools including and tutor hours, you tell me, where should your emphasis be? Here is something that will pass away. Here is something that endures and remains with elastic eternality. It’s here, it’s here. Now, where is your emphasis? You tell me! While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: says Paul. for the things, which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).
Let me ask you this, is this the time for you to make a serious decision regarding giving of your time to Jesus? Is this the time? Yes. You see many of us see education as a savior. The way to secure life, get an education. You don’t need Jesus, get an education. I’m talking to you. To make a commitment that is serious and radical even if my parents and friends consider me mad. I may have to go ahead to head with my father or my mother. I need to change that. Because I’m tired going head to head with God. Because now is the time