We were blessed to have Rev. Gerald Gibbs and his wife Barbara, missionaries to France, in the service today. They showed a PowerPoint presentation on their church in France giving history from its beginning to now. They are happy to report that the church has a French interim pastor serving in their absence. When they return to France, they will continue to work with him through the transition period, and he will become the pastor.
Jerry and Barbara also sang a duet in French and English. Bro. Jerry brought the morning message.
France has an ungodly culture with one third of the population being atheist. When we come back to the states we see the contrast. We are now starting to see the cultures come together as the U.S. declines in spirituality. This might hurt, but the problem with the world being on a downward spiral lies with the church. We’re not getting the job done. What would happen if we gave it all instead of merely going through the motions of being a Christian?
Galatians 6: 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
We’ve gotten tired and many of us are going through the motions. We all tire of good things. When we go to the beach on a vacation, the sunrises are great the first part of the week. By the end they are old hat; we tire of them. Kids get tired of their toys. Christians get tired of doing good.
I remember the first pair of glasses I got. It was great! I could see clearly for the first time. When I got saved it was the same. It was wonderful; I couldn’t say enough about God. The newness wore off. I began to go through the motions. How many lives would be changed if we did more than just go through the motions—if we actually did it?
We do grow weary in well doing. In everyday life we get tired of giving and serving. We start going through the motions. Preachers get tired too. Why? One thing is that we don’t always see observable results. We pray for people for a long time and it doesn’t happen quickly. We read the Bible and right after don’t have a clue what we read because our minds were somewhere else. Prayer becomes routine. Results matter, but just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean nothing is happening.
The prophet Isaiah was told to preach although the people wouldn’t hear him. Jeremiah was commissioned by God and all he received was ridicule. We have to change. We have to stop letting the minority rule. I’m not talking culture here. I’m talking about philosophical and spiritual matters. We need to speak up for God. Missions is telling people about God. Sometimes we get tired because we think we’re the only ones doing anything. Criticism makes us tired. How many times do we have to hear “we’ve always done it this way?”
How can we fight the tendency to get weary? Focus on God and not results. Focus on obedience to God. Every church exists for one reason: missions. The church’s job is to tell others about Jesus. I wonder how many of us know someone who needs Christ. Do you work with someone who needs Jesus? Do you go to school with someone who needs him? Do your neighbors or family members need the Lord? What kind of difference would it make if we gave everything instead of just going through the motions?
We need to focus on our service, what we’re to do—not what others are not doing. Consider what Jesus did so we won’t get tired. We need to see things change. Compared to most nations, the U.S. is still a Christian nation, but change is needed. What difference would it make if we give it all instead of going through the motions?
A man was in his cabin asleep. A bright light shined and he heard God telling him there was a boulder in front of his cabin that he needed to push. Days and months went by. He pushed and pushed. He got so tired his muscles ached. The devil came to him and said you have pushed and pushed and that boulder hasn’t moved one inch. You should leave this and go do something else. The man prayed about it. The Lord told him he didn’t tell him to move that boulder just to push it. The Lord does the moving. He didn’t tell us to change the world but to be faithful to share the gospel. We might get tired. It might get discouraging, but God is the one who changes people. What difference would it make if each of us gave everything to Christ? He gave everything for us. What if Jesus had said he’d get beat up and spit on, but he wasn’t going to die. That’s not what he did. He went all the way. He gave it all so that we could have life.
What if we gave it all and didn’t just go through the motions? If you’re not saved, you need to be saved. Jesus died for your sins. If you are saved, consider your life. Are you giving it all?