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Failure of the Church to get the balance of the faith/works issue right (Part 10)

11/28/2014

Part of the Church, the body of people who consider themselves Christians, spends a great deal of time in personal spiritual growth, but neglects the call of Christ to feed the hungry, visit the sick, the incarcerated, clothe those in need, etc.  Part of the Church spends their time in activities of service such as food drives, holiday food baskets, clothing drives, fund-raisers for special projects, etc., but neglects the call of Christ for an intimate relationship.

Do you spend more time in personal spiritual growth, or are you spending the bulk of your time in service? Both are good. Both are needed. The problem, for the Church as a whole, is balance.

As we have seen in the last nine blogs, Jesus calls us first to a personal relationship with him (Parable of the 10 Virgins), which we enter when we realize we need a savior, accept his sacrifice on our behalf, and ask him to be our Lord and Savior. Essentially, we have opened the door God has been knocking on all our lives, and allowed Jesus to enter.   If we were genuine in our repentance, acceptance, and have given our lives to Christ, then our lives will never be the same. We begin a wonderful journey of growing in faith, understanding of God’s word, and there is a gradual change as we grow in character.

During that growth period we can discover our spiritual gifts. Jesus encourages that we do (Parable of the Talents). These are gifts the Holy Spirit gives us to enable us to serve God with passion and fulfillment.

Then, as our love for people grows, and our desire to serve the Lord swells within us, we find ourselves eagerly serving others, in a whole variety of ways. You see the service no longer is a “duty,” an “obligation,” or an “expectation.” It has become a passion. It is like a flame which cannot be extinguished.

This process, first Christ, then growth and spiritual gifts, followed by passionate service, is cycle that keeps going and growing. The more we serve, the more excited we are about drawing closer to Christ. So, we spend time in spiritual growth, prayer, and group Bible studies. These things fill our hearts with more love, more compassion, and an even greater desire to help others.

If you have not experienced this process yourself, and you are a Christian, then I ask you to go back through the previous nine blogs, starting at Part 1, and consider where in the process you got sidetracked. Certainly the adversary of God would love to keep you sidetracked. Don’t let that happen. Your eternal life just could hang in the balance.

M.

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