Saturday, June 14, 2008

Care for the neighbours...

"everyone should be serving. The best way to find your spiritual gift is to serve. Not by reading books. Everyone is afraid is to change. 10 years someone else takes care of it. 15 years, 20 years someone else takes care of it. You have to change your mind you got to commit to serving your church. That means making a decision and changing the status quo.


Starting that church he has to do it all, pastor, sun school teacher, he was the carpenter, he ran the food bank..many times I saw him scrub the toilet. And he could have easily said..that's not my gift. But once again, you don't have the luxury when things have to get done. This goes back to what Jesus ask, "who is my neighbor?"

This is coming from Boundless Show Episode 21. It is a podcast that I listen to from time to time.

This is also exactly what I have been thinking. When Jesus wash the feet of His Disciples, even the one who will betray him. It is not because He did it out of convenience.

Who are my neighbors?

In Luke 10:25-37...
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[a]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b]"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

I use to think that serving Church is when I have extra time. And when my plate is full, I will stop. After a while, I feel this is hollow. It feels very project management focus. After all, project management focus on efficiently of spreading your resources around. The problem with this thinking is that God, being all sovereign and powerful, is beyond this limitation. If we act according to project mentality, where does God fit in? Didn't I put God in a box?

So I challenge myself. Let's be the Samaritan. Let's care for the neighbors. Let's for once, stop thinking how little I can do and just let God work through me.

And as I started to change my thinking and started to serve, I no longer feel like there isn't enough time or lack of resources. Well there is a lack of resources (human, time, money etc.). However, I am not overwhelm or stress by it.

Put it in the church perspective, am I serving my church? Do I even sensitive to the need of my church? Or do I stare at the problem and then walk away? Am I willing to get down and scrub the toilet??

And when I start to think like this, I start to get even more involve in church. This is when things get really dicey and my faith is put to the test.

My friend had a discussion earlier whether we are denying ourselves everyday and take up our individual crosses.

There are a lot of discouragement at times. It is truly discouraging when others don't see the same needs in the church. And I don't know how to discuss this without getting frustrated. And I understand everyone has their own schedule and life and calling.

And at times, the battle feels like myself hacking away.

And you know, at times I found I am by myself. I reflect that's how my pastor must have felt. He once asked the congregation to help set up the bulletin board. No one pitched in. Everyone is busy with their life, plans....and this included me.

Sometimes, it will be cool if I have a calling for a ministry and someone just bounce back and jump on it. And we build the momentum up. And we give everything. Drop 100%. Nothing is left. And often..the idea turns to a turns to more yapping. And the energy is spent on yapping. And more yapping. And after a while...the yapping fades and nothing is done.

And that's ok. At the end of the day, I have the Holy Spirit. It convict me. Take care of my neighbors....deny myself..take up my cross. Be compassion. It is the part that keeps the fire in me going. When the body is tired, when the mind is dull, when the emotion is on the verge of crumbling, the Holy Spirit continues to convict. And it burns (in a good way).

I look back the few months where I was involved in multitude of ministries and events to be neighbors for other, I am thankful and grateful to given even the opportunity to serve.

I would say if someone wants to grow closer to God...pray for God to give him/her opportunity to serve. And God will answer. And He will answer beyond our imagination.

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