“Now there were four lepers sitting outside the city gates. ”Why sit here until we die?” they asked each other. 2 Kings 7:3 (Living)
A guy has a talking dog. He brings it to a talent scout. ”This dog can speak English,” he claims to the unimpressed agent. ”Okay, Sport,” the guy says to the dog, “what’s on the top of a house?” “Roof!” the dog replies. ”Oh, come on…” the talent agent responds.” All dogs go ‘roof’.” ”No, wait,” the guy says. He asks the dog “what does sandpaper feel like?” ”Rough!” the dog answers. The talent agent gives a condescending blank stare. He is losing his patience. ”No, hang on,” the guy says. ”This one will amaze you.” He turns and asks the dog: ”What book in the bible begins with the letter “R?” ”Ruth!” goes the dog. And the talent scout, having seen enough, boots them out of his office onto the street. And the dog turns to the guy and says, “Maybe I should have recited the Lords prayer
Aggressively Pursuing God
“From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it.
Matthew 11:12 (GW)”
“Hello? Mr. Doggett This is Mike from Picture-Perfect Window Company. How are you today?” Sound familiar? It always seems as though telemarketers (whether they’re window companies, lawn companies, insurance agents, or credit card companies) call at the most inopportune times. You would think that cold-calling people would have to be the most unproductive way of drumming up business. Yet it seems as if my family gets at least three or four of these annoying calls a night—right in the middleof dinner. Still, companies use telemarketers because they know that if they sit around waiting for more business, they will more than likely not get it. They have to be aggressive. Turn Read 2 Kings 7:3-19
The bible tells a story about four men who sat at the entrance of the city’s gate dying with leprosy, an incurable disease which causes terribly visible swelling and sores on the skin, only then to eat inward to the bones. These lepers sat outside of the city because they were not permitted to live within the city because of this contagious and incurable disease. These men were faced with a fatal disease, they were outcasts, and they were starving because of a famine in the land. This type of dark and gloomy life and no perceived future would make the average person throw in the towel and just give up on life - but not these men.
“And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.” (II Kings 7:3-4)
Sitting and examining their situation, they realized that just simply sitting and doing nothing would result in having and being nothing, so they asked themselves the question, “Why do we sit here until we die?“ They knew that if they entered the city, they would die because of the famine. They also knew that if they sat there and did nothing, that they would die as well. What did they do? They made the decision to ACT. Regardless of their gloomy circumstance, they got up from were they were and decided to do something to change their situation. They made the choice to face their obstacles and do something different. They went into the city realizing that difficulties may be ahead, for if the city dwellers spared their lives, they would live, and if not, they would die–but given the situation that they were in, things were not going to just get better. Our opening verse of scripture and its surrounding story focuses on the way the four Samaritan lepers thought and acted on their situation. They realized that no one was going to offer them food in the midst of a famine, and if they were going to get rid of that gnawing in their stomachs, then they would have to take matters into their own hands. If they maintained the unchanging status quo, then they were going to get the same results that they had been getting—no food and ultimately death. They realized that they would have to be aggressive.
: Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. — Will Rogers
God Will Work In Your Situation If You Make The Decision To Act
“I will place on his shoulder (Jesus) the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open Isaiah 22:22 (NIV)”
God will open wonderful doors of opportunity for the believer who will obey His word. He will also close doors in situations where the enemy is trying to enter your life to hinder you.
Continuing our story: Upon entering the city, to their pleasant surprise, no one was there, because God had caused the city dwellers to abandon their tents. ….. Because of their decision to change their situation, and the decision to act, these hungry dying men when into a tent, and feasted as they ate, drank, and carried off silver, gold, and clothing. However, it did not end there, after putting away the silver, gold, and clothing, they entered another tent and again met great fortune.
You, just like the lepers, may be in your decision place today. If you are in a place, or situation that seems lifeless, regardless of where that place may be, or how things look, ask yourself the question, why do I sit here until I die? Take a good look at where you are, and where you want to be. Then take the necessary steps to find yourself in that desired place. Because in the midst of misfortune – choice, and then action will find you reaping the great benefits that God has purposed for your life.
Pew Warmers / View from The Pew
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)
The expression “pew warmer” is a familiar word to most Christians, who have learned over the years some of the ‘Christian’ jargon. Now many churches don’t even have pews, but they still have ‘pew warmers’. For the uninitiated, they may be defined as “those who do nothing more for the Lord than sit in church on Sunday” and, sad as it may seem, they are the most common, garden variety Christian in our country today. In a decade of harvest and outreach, at a time of God’s Spirit moving on hearts in a deeper way, they sit, detached and very often critical, guarding their seat lest it be stolen in the middle of a meeting! The deceiving thing is that they look the same, and sound the same as those serving God, at least until you look a little deeper. They may sit praising Him; they usually have a comment about how everybody should be doing it. They very often love God, and are right into positive words, faith, and showing love to the brethren. So what’s missing? They are people who refuse to act –Members who sit back to receive without getting up to give. Of course it is tempting to sit back, to take it easy, to let others do the work. The result however is devastating. First of all to the church, because there is more work than a few so-called experts can handle. But also for those who think they can sit back and watch. Non-involvement means dying for both the church and those members, who unlike Jesus, seek to be ministered unto, rather than to minister. Why sit here until we Die?
The comfortable pew
Means that the burdens of the ministry are left for the shoulders of a few. And it will result in quick burnout. It will result in, sometimes; severe criticism on the part of those who do nothing and that will bring more discouragement to hard workers…. and one more result may be that those who stand back will live on the edge of the church, always in danger of falling over the edge and losing it all. But the Bible has news for us. Being a member of the church means that you, according to your ability take part in the ministry of the church. No one is exempt, not even those who think there is nothing they have to contribute. Every church member has been given at least one gift. So what we need to do is to: DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS and use them for the glory of God- Why sit here until we die? Make a contribution to the church- Serve the Lord with gladness!
“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. John 17:4 (NIV)”
In 1 Corinthians 12:11, Paul, writing about the Spirit giving gifts, says: “He gives them to each person.” And that gift is a body gift. By that he means that these gifts are given to the body of Jesus for the work of the church. It is important for us to think about the fact that together all members form the body of Jesus. And of that body, Jesus is the Head. What does that imply’?
When Jesus was with us, here on earth, He finished the work that He came to do. He opened the way to the Father, the way home. He removed the terrible roadblock formed by our sin. That however did not mean that nothing remained to be done. For instance there are children who need to be informed that the way home is open. They need an invitation to come back to the Father. They need to be guided. Furthermore all God’s children need to be prepared for living at home. They need that simply because they know naturally how to live in this world, but they have to learn anew how to live in the home with their Father. They need to be integrated into the body; they need to learn about fellowship, and many other aspects of living with and for God. They need to learn how to live in the kingdom; they need to learn how to assist in the coming of that kingdom. So Jesus, when He had to return to heaven, from there to rule His church, sent us the Holy Spirit in His place. The Spirit came to live in our hearts, to transform us, or sanctify us for living at home. By His very nature, He remains in the background. He works behind the scenes. There He encourages us to do the work of Jesus, to finish what is still left uncompleted: Gathering all the nations in, calling all men to give God the glory, uniting into the body of Jesus. No more spectators-No More Bench Warmers- Get in the Game! –Why sit here until we die!
Being Aggressive About What You Believe / The Grasshopper & The Ant
“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4 (NIV)”
I know we all have heard the story about, “The Grasshopper and the Ant.” The grasshopper in the story is considered a lazy insect, while the ant is looked upon as industrious and economical. As the story unfolds, during the summer while the days were pleasant and sunny, the grasshopper would sing and play and have a merry good old time, never thinking about tomorrow! One day the grasshopper decided to visit the ant. Upon his arrival, to his surprise, he found the ant hard at work. He said to the ant, “Why do you work so hard? Why don’t you rest and have a good time like me, and enjoy the beautiful summer days?
The ant replied, “I must work in order to be prepared when the stormy days shall come.”
So the grasshopper went away as idle and as unconcerned as before, singing, playing and sleeping the fine sunny day away, while the ant was busy preparing for the chilly winter days that would surely come. Soon a change began to take place. Cold winds began to blow, and snow covered the ground. This stopped the grasshopper’s dancing and singing and it stopped his playing. For he became cold and he had no shelter, so he went around to see the ant to get some food and shelter from the cold; but the ant said, “Not so, I have but enough for myself, you have spent your time in idleness throughout the summer days, now it is cold, and winter has set in.
It is too late, “The door is shut!” Let me ask you which of these two was the wiser?
I believe we all will agree it was the ant! You will admit that the grasshopper was unwise. So what is the meaning to this parable? It is saying to adults, children, and our youth; it is not wise to wait until you become men and women to give your hearts and your time to God. No it is not wise to play when you should be learning and getting involved in the work. To the young while you are young, give your hearts and your time to God. While you are young, give of your best to the Master, give of the strength of your youth, start preparing while you can give Him a full life; I know how easy it is not to take life serious, we all have been young, but remember the lesson of the grasshopper, for sure as there is spring and summer, there will be a fall; and when the fall is over, winter is not far behind! See Matthew 25:1-13 story of The 10 virgins
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Matthew 25:1-13- Philip. 2:12 (NIV)
Why Sit Her Until We Die? Make your decision today To Act!