Let’s Get Real About Works

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Photo by Maaike Nienhuis

When I became a mom my daughter was 7 years old. Confused? Let’s just say that she came into my life when she was 7 years old and I was not even ready but God had a plan. When she was 8 years old, she told me, “Mom we need to celebrate God,” that changed EVERYTHING. I came back to the Lord and started being a regular member of the local Christian church.

I was one of those church members who was the last one to come in and the first one out the door and in the car heading home. I really didn’t want to be connected because that would require me to do “work” and I didn’t want the responsibility. I figured, I was going to church and reading the word (sporadically) so that should be enough. It sure was more than I was doing a year ago. I liked flying under the radar. Again, God had another plan.

During the next 3 years after I came back to the Lord, I joined a small group (I know…a miracle) and I learned a lot – much more than I ever did in 4 years of Christian school (let me make clear that was not their fault, it was me). During this 3 year period, I and especially my daughter was put through a lot of tragedy. I won’t go into it but let’s just say it totally changed me. I wasn’t as trusting as I was (and I wasn’t all that trusting then). The idea of getting stuck into doing the work of the Lord was WAY OFF the radar now. I didn’t trust people but I trusted the Lord. I could depend on Him but not on people.

Fast forward to today. I decided the only way I would be held responsible to study the Word of the Lord consistently and do the work He has commanded us to do as followers of Jesus I would have to get “stuck in” to something. I was in the Missions Ministry in church with my husband but it was easy. My husband shared the responsibility so I really wasn’t doing a whole lot. I wasn’t in a ministry where others depended on me. I always avoided that. Partly because I didn’t want to let others down but more so, I didn’t trust others all that much. I knew getting into a ministry where people depended on me or where I was required to really connect would be uncomfortable. Truthfully, I would have to be vulnerable – connection requires vulnerability – and the idea of putting myself out there to be hurt was scary.

I can remember one day talking to the Lord and I said, I need to learn to make connections with other women, Lord we need an organized Women’s ministry. Immediately, I mean it wasn’t a second after I had the word ministry out of my mouth the Lord said, “then why don’t you start it.” YIKES! ME?!?! I sat with that for a long time until finally I submitted to the Lord, talked to my pastor, and now here I am part of a leadership team who organized a ministry. I love it. I love our women! It isn’t always easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it. In our Sunday School class, I’ve seen lives change. People who were hesitant on leading prayer now volunteer. It is AWESOME to watch God make an impact on others. I’ve seen others open up during our women’s meetings even though I knew it wasn’t easy for them. I’ve seen women take the lead and teach during a meeting. IT IS SOOOO COOL! God is so good and boy does He know way more than I do!

The reason I’m sharing this with you is that I’m seeing a weariness in our church. If I’m seeing it there I know its probably a problem churchwide. It has been said that 10% of the church members do 100% of the work. This is sad. We are ALL CALLED to do the work of the Lord on a continual basis. After all, isn’t being a Christian about serving others? Nowhere in scripture do I see where we are to be self-serving. If it’s there, let me know. It is time for more than 10% to stand up and do what they have been called to do.

 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  James 2:17-18

To the 10% I leave you with this verse:

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

 

Love y’all!

 

Did they forget who Jesus is?

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Photo by David Beale

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:4-6

From as far back as I can remember, my mother taught me to pray at night. I can remember the prayer:

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Mommy & Daddy & everybody. Amen”

My parents at this time in my life weren’t saved (at least I know my dad wasn’t). When my father received salvation, we went to church whenever it was open. From the time I was 14 till the time my parents split up when I was 17, I was either in church or I was going to a Christian School. I was being “trained up” in the ways of the Lord.

When I graduated, I left the church but sadder than leaving church, I left the hope I had attained in Jesus behind. Not that I “lost” my salvation – I knew Jesus. I just left all I THOUGHT He stood for.

In my twenties my parents had front row seats to watch me marry the wrong man, smoke marijuana, drink,  go from job to job, and struggle financially because of my decisions. They got to watch their little girl who had so much promise fail. Not just fail a little, as we all do, but fail in an epic way. After all, I’m not sure I ever did anything half way – well anything bad that is.

I guess I’m telling you all of this to give you hope. If you are the parent of a child who has grown up knowing who Jesus is, and he/she has left – DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Keep praying. I can remember during my days while I sat in my backslidden state, how I could feel the prayers of my father. In fact, there was one day when I called him up and asked him to stop praying for me. I couldn’t take it and I hadn’t been to church in ages, I hadn’t prayed for a long time, and my relationship with Jesus was non-existent. The spirit inside, was pleading with me to come back to my first love. The praying was working and not only that, it gave my father hope.

When God said in scripture, “When he is old, he will not depart from it,” I take that as a promise. If you taught your child the ways of the Lord and they have departed from them, keep praying and hanging on to this promise. They will come back and they do remember. Trust me, they feel your prayers.

 

Trust God.

 

 

If you need prayers, we have a team of Jesus lovin’ women who would love to pray for you, for your child, your husband, or whatever need you have. Contact us here.  If you don’t know Jesus but would like to know more about my Savior, watch this video.