Daily Devotional for Thursday January 26, 2012

So Many Christians are Content to Sit on the Sidelines

(James 1:22)

So many Christians are content to sit on the sidelines, listening, watching, and experiencing the fullness of the Christian life vicariously through others. What I am about to say is going to get me in trouble, but it won't be the first time. One of the popular Christian magazines each month has become little more than an advertising vehicle for this Holy Ghost Conference, that Camp meeting of the Millennium, the annual Partners Only Crusade, Women's meetings, men's meetings, and on..and on..and on.

Listen, I am in no way trying to minimize, judge, or criticize what other ministries are doing. My Bible says that we need to be united, support one another, and God is working through many different types of instruments. The point I want to make is that the people of God have gotten very fat and lazy with all of the Christian celebrities and the Christian entertainment that our culture has produced.

Again, there is nothing wrong with producing the finest quality radio, television, movie, and stage productions to help share the message of Christ. The point I am trying to get across is that it has made too many of God's people lazy and more comfortable sitting on the sidelines watching, which was never God's plan.

I am a big believer in education, in listening to God's anointed teachers of the Word to learn all we can. But while we are hearing the Word, we also must be doing the Word. All of the commands in the Gospels, the Book of Acts, Paul's letters, and the other New Testament writings were to be active participants in our faith...helping others, witnessing, teaching new believers.

Spiritual gifts have become such a controversial topic, and I will deal with that issue soon, but God gave gifts to His people to be active DOERS of the Word, not idle bystanders. He has given each one of His children gifts, abilities to help advance the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught in many parables that it is a sin to not utilize the gifts God has given you.

In past Devotionals I have spoken about the sin of omission. I want to make sure you clearly understand today, that it is a sin to not use the gifts and talents God has blessed you with to serve Him. That does not mean you have to quit your job and become a missionary to a third-world country or sell everything to start a ministry. God may call you to do that.

However, for most of His children, He has called you to serve Him exactly where you are today. It is no accident you live where you live, go to school where you do, work where you do, recreate and shop where you do. God has placed you there strategically to be a light to others. The most effective way we can serve God is in our normal day-to-day life. Letting our Godly- lifestyle be a living testimony to those we come in contact with. Helping those around us in a time of need. Getting involved in projects and ministries through our local church.

I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today, that these words will cause you to stop and reflect on your life. Ask yourself if you are on the sidelines or actively living the Christian life God has called you to live. Are you using your gifts and talents for Him? Take inventory today of whether you are not only hearing the Word, but DOING the Word.

I want to see you be all you can be and all God has called you to be for Him. Remember, our greatest and most effective service are rarely those big things we may be involved in for the Kingdom, but the quiet, one-on-one ministry to someone who is hurting and looking for hope. Everyone who knows Christ can tell someone that Jesus loves them. Everyone that knows Christ can testify to what Jesus has meant in their life. Everyone who knows Christ can share the love and hope we have in Him with someone. Doing that makes you a DOER of the Word.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller