Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Be a Giver and not a Taker

President John F. Kennedy once said "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." It was a famous line in his inaugural address of Jan. 20th, 1961. Those words stirred a nation and for many of us, who were not even born yet, we have heard them spoken of and replayed a hundred times over and we are moved by them still.

At the end of that famous speech President Kennedy says another important sentence that I have never heard before. He says: "... let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own." This is what I would like to talk about to you today.

Unfortunately many people are takers and not givers. President Kennedy was a giver and asked all Americans to be the same. Many Christians are takers as well and that is not what God intended us to be. Many have received the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life but are unwilling to work for the Lord. They are content just knowing that they are free from their sins and will someday go on to be in Heaven. They're 'safe' and that's all that counts to them. They have taken all the gifts and the blessings the Lord is offering but are unwilling to give anything in return.

While we are here on earth we are to be working for the Lord. Mark 16:15 Jesus says to His disciples: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." He doesn't say 'if you feel like it', He says 'GO' or 'do it!'. For the Christian who truly wants to grow spiritually we need to be 'about the Father's business' we need to be working. We are told in Matthew 28:19 to " go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Again we are told to do something.

We all need to be givers; givers of our time, our talents and our life. We can't just be takers and expect to live a full life. If we want to truly follow the teachings of Jesus we need to follow what He told us to do. He told us to go and tell everyone what He has taught us. He told us to love one another. He told us to care for one another and in so doing we are showing our love for Him. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus teaches this to His disciples and in turn He teaches it to us.

We are to welcome strangers, feed the hungry, give clothes to those who need it, visit the sick and those who are in prison. Everything that we do in kindness to others is a gift that we can give back to the Lord. We will be following His example and in so doing we will be true disciples of Christ.

No where in the Word does it tell us to believe in Jesus Christ, confess our sins and sit back and do nothing until we get Heaven for a reward but that is how some are living. When Jesus was on earth He was busy. He was busy teaching, helping, healing, and drawing others to Himself. We are to do the same with His power working through us. We need to be givers and not takers.

To change a famous quote I'd like to say ask not what your God can do for you, ask what you can do for your God! It's time we all got busy for the kingdom of God!

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