2005-04-12 - Holy Work Folk
Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks throught Him to God the Father."
There was a tradition around the cathedral at Durham, that if you did service to the church, you did not need to serve the local Baron. You might ask me why I bring up this historical point, and that probably is a good question, but I think I have a good answer, or I would not be writing this. Christians do "Holy Work." It is something Christians do, and I am talking about things like tithing, teaching sunday school, giving a Bible to someone. These are the things Christians do. We also try to live in a world that keeps ourselves from sin. So often it is more what we don't do, than what we do do. Christians are often quiet, and sometimes marginalized because of it, but Christians often keep to themselves.
I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to be like Daniel. We all know the character of Daniel from the Word of God. But I am going to remind you. Daniel was a leader and probably could have saved his skin by proxy, but he did not. When the law was pased that one could not pray, Daniel, even as a leader, who probably could have got an exemption, kept his practice of praying. He did this without showmanship, without fanfare, but he continued to pray, was arrested, and tossed into the lion's den. We all know that God saved him and shut the lions mouths, but we all have to ask ourselves a question. Would we, given a postion of authority, where we probably had a way out, simply be faithful to our faith? It is very personal. How strong is your faith? Would you and I not seek the way out? It is not a fair question to some extent, because most of us will never be put into such a situation. But be honest with yourself - what would you do?
So are we holy work folk? In one sense, I hope we are; in another sense, I hope we are not. The holy work folk were following God to purge their souls, and doing good does not purge anything. It is only Christ that can forgive our sin. Doing holy work means nothing save that you are following your real beliefs, and that is the point of holy work. Are you doing it because it is an outpouring of your love to Christ, a simple flowing of who you really are, or are you doing good because you feel it helps you in eternity? If you buy into the second, I am telling you, and I am SCREAMING IT, you are lost. Turn to Christ. Only Christ can save your soul.
I was reading a book recently. It was over 150 years old, but that is normal. I rarely read a book that is not at least 100 years old (it is kinda my rule, but I sometimes break it - I read all the time). But the author said something I have thought about for many days. He said if it took every Christian in the world, and grant me this is strange, if it took every Christian living to go to the middle of Siberia, to reach one soul, one person, it would be worth it. Every Christian in the world, for one soul. Can you imagine it? It sounds crazy, but it is the truth, and that is the value of your soul, or the s oul of your friend. Eternity, it screams at you. It screams at me, and if I dare, I seek to be like Daniel, faithful, regardless of the consequences. I hope you will join me.
Soli Deo Gloria,