It’s not what you do every once in a while: It’s what you do on a daily basis that makes the difference. (Zigler.com)
I want you to take the time to read this sentence several times. I have recently been talking in kids worship about the above statement and diligence. I showed several pictures in the theater just to prove to them the above sentence was true. First, we looked at a flower. The flower was beautiful in color, the stem stood strong, and it gave off a wonderful fragrance. The second flower had lost its color, it drooped in the vase, and had no fragrance. Secondly, we looked at a swimming pool. The water was crystal clear, the inside was spotless, and it was very inviting to us. The next pool was green, it had leaves floating in it, and smelled. Thirdly, we looked at a beautiful smile. The teeth were pearly white, and were very welcoming. The next mouth the teeth were rotting, gums were swollen, and had horrible smell. My point to all the pictures were there was hard work, diligent work, involved in all the beautiful things. The things that were ugly and smelly represented those things we only did every once in a while. You see the beautiful flower needed someone to diligently water, feed, and weed it. The crsystal clear pool needed someone to dilegently check the filter and to dip off the leaves. The pearly white teeth needed somone to diligently brush, floss, and rinse them.
So lets take the priniciple and apply it to our spiritual life.
Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus says in this verse daily take up our cross. He is saying, “I want you to commit (big word) everyday to be sold out for me. I don’t want you to do it when it’s convenient, or when you feel like. Even if you have to suffer, give up things, be ridiculed- follow me.” Let me just say that those of great faith did not just happen upon it. Just like in the pictures of the things that were beautiful it takes diligence. It takes getting up every morning and praying, reading our bible, sharing our testimony and our faith, meeting others needs before our own, deny our selfishness, and the list goes on and on. If we truly were to examine how God sees our life we might be surprised. Recently in our community bible study (Westmeade 9:45-11:45 Thursday all ladies welcome) our commentary made this comment. "We think of God somewhat like a vending machine: insert a prayer, select a remedy, and the requested answer rolls down the chute. But God cannot be likened to a candy or drink dispenser; He is the bread of life. He does not exist to take the edge off our appetite but to satisfy those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Mathew 5:6)." Bottom line he wants to be our everyday, not our sometimes.
I am so tired of hearing the statement "well I go to church". Well so what if go to church if all you ever do is sit inside those four walls and listen to preaching, but you never get up and GO! If you never take it outside the four walls then what has been the point. This is not a statement to get you out of the church pew or going to church. If you are saved church is just to be a refueling station so you can go back out. It’s a pit stop if you will- stop and GO! However, sometimes we only stop and forget about the go. If you are following someone you are not sitting still you are moving. God has really stirred in me that the church has become like a stagnant pond. We have all these programs, bible studies, events, but never take it outside our walls so it becomes still and stagnant. Jesus never referred to anything associated with him as being still.
He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38
Jesus gives us Himself (John 14:6). He is this abundant life. It is God’s kind of life. “My cup overflows,” means it is not just full; it is “running over,’ filled to the brim and overflowing.
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)
Can I be honest with you today reading our bible when we remember; going to church when we can work it in is just not going to cut it. Imagine yourself needing surgery. The first surgeon says, “I have performed this surgery everyday, at least 6 times a day for the past 20 years. The second surgeon says, “I perform this surgery every once in a while when I feel like it.” Which one will you choose? Of course you will choose the first one with all the experience. He could probably do it in his sleep. The same is true with our Christian walk. God wants to have those people who are diligent no matter what walking with him. Many times people say, “I don’t know God’s will.” When the truth is that we have not spent enough time with him to even begin to know him, much less know his will.
Have you been diligent in your walk with God? Have you truly picked up your cross daily and followed him? Do you have the courage to get out of the pew, and take the gospel outside those walls not sometimes- every time? Maybe God is simply calling you to the first step of being diligent- salvation. Salvation you simply have to believe you are a sinner that needs forgiveness. Jesus died on the cross for everyone to have the opportunity to be forgiven of their sins. Jesus shed his blood on the cross to be our sacrifice. If we confess him with our mouth, he will be faithful to save.
Lord forgive us where we have been disobedient to you. Forgive us when we put temporal things ahead of eternity's work. I pray that you rekindle a fire that stirs in our heart for you. So we may take your gospel to everyone. Amen
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains diligent under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.