A friend once related that while going to Bible school, he witnessed a lack of boldness within some missionary students. They were claiming they couldn’t help with the street ministry on weekends because of the large amounts of school work they had to do. Well, if they were too busy to do it while in school, these same people would continue to be “too busy’ and lack boldness when you got to foreign soil.
I thought that statement was so interesting. I loved our Pastor in Montana. He was great with the kids, kept his sermons both interesting and relevant, and was busy with all kinds of activities and events. He had a great Awana group going in our church, had just finished giving us a four day Missionary conference, and had gotten the Woman’s Alliance up and running again, among many other things. But there’s one thing he lacked, and that was the time to just sit down and talk with people. "Your a great man," I’ve told him, “but it’s impossible to get a minute of your time.” He agreed. “But we will do it soon,” he said.
Does it matter to you what kind of witness you are of Christ, right here, right now? Do you feel if you help at church and rub shoulders with some kids in the youth group or organized an Ice Cream Social, that you have done your work as a witness for the week?
Yes, we're all busy. But that's not an excuse. An amazing Missionary by the name of Otto Koning told about how after many years, he finally learned to give up his “right to time” and simply take care of the things put before him by the Lord, as senseless as those tasks seemed to him at the time. The amazing thing, though, was that after he gave up the right to his time and went ahead with the tasks the Lord had laid, the Lord Blessed it, and he had time more abundantly.
THAT is interesting.
Does anyone have any idea what it means to “shepherd”? Do you understand that the Shepherd didn’t look after just those sheep who were good and kept right where they were supposed to be, but that he went looking for the lost? And not only did he look for them, but when he found them, he picked them up and carried them back on his shoulders? What does that action mean for us? What does it mean for us to pick a lost lamb up and carry it home? Does it mean giving up the previous plans we had that day? Giving up rights to our time and energy? Does it mean... maybe even carrying the weight of that lost lamb until the lamb is able to stand on it’s feet again?
Think about it. What about the Good Samaritan? Luke 10:30 - 37 tells us the story of a man who was on the ground, beaten and left for dead. Two men, a priest and Levite crossed to the other side of the road rather then deal with him.
We all tell ourselves that we would never do that.
But have we ever thought about what those men were thinking? Maybe they had appointments. Maybe they thought he was drunk. Maybe they couldn’t risk being late by spending time on a person who probably brought his predicament all on himself!
No one can know what they thought, but it doesn’t matter to us, because we think we'd never be like them. But we are like them everyday.
Further, we don’t know what the Good Samaritan was thinking. Was he free for the afternoon, or did he also have appointments? Did his effort with the beaten man make him late, or ruin his pre-planned afternoon? And was the Samaritan rich or poor? Was the money he gave the innkeeper all he had, or did he have plenty? Did it matter to him?
Would it make a difference to you?