USEFULNESS

     Someone once said, "Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our capacities."  Certainly in serving the Lord we can all see the truth in this statement.
     When God told Jonah to go and cry against the city of Nineveh, Jonah did not care to go.  His desire was to go in another direction.  He tried to live according to his own desires, and look what happened to him.  God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and He meant for him to do just that.  Jonah finally went to Nineveh.
     When God told Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice, Abraham did not want to do it.  No one would say it was according to his desires.  But he took just the opposite view of Jonah.  He did not try to run away from God.  I doubt that he even allowed such thoughts to enter his mind.  He believed in God.  His faith did not ask God for reasons, only directions.  When God pointed in some direction, Abraham was willing to go that way.  So, without any hesitation, he took his son to offer him as God directed.  Not according to his own desires but according to God's desires.  He could do that and God demanded it of him.
     In sending the apostles to death by saying "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," Jesus did not question them concerning their desires in the matter, but commanded them to go.  He told them that they would be hated, despised, persecuted and even killed if they did what he wanted them to do.  No one would say it was their desire to havfe these things happen to them.  No person in his right mind enjoys being tortured and killed.  But Jesus knew what he wanted them to do, and without considering their likes or dislikes in the matter, commanded them to do it, and they did.
     All of this, and the many other illustrations furnished us in the Bible, prove the statement made in the beginning.  We are not to be useful according to our desires, but according to our capacities.  Jesus taught this lesson in the parable of the talents.  He taught it when he said from those who had much he would require much, and from those who had little he would require little.  He taught it when he said those who have shall have more, and those who have not shall lose what they think they have.  It is the only way service to Christ can be accepted.  The law of Christ is the only fair way of dealing with humanity.  He would not have some eased and others burdened.
     With all of this, it might be well to ask ourselves this question, "Am I being fair?"  We talk of fairness in other matters.  We want people to play fair in any game.  No cheating.  We demand that they be fair with us in business dealings.  Don't try to push us around.  Are we baing fair?  Or are we taking out on the Lord what others do to us?  We have to work hard all week for our employere.  We don't like it.  So we treat the Lord like we feel that others have treted us and run out on him Sunday.  We expect our children to be fair.  If we provide a comfortable home for them, and the advantages of the best schools, we demand a decent report card.  Yet, we are so unfair with God as to refuse to study his word, even to the neglect of the Bible Study hour.  Where is our sense of fairness?
     How useful are we to the Lord?  Is it possible to be more useful?  If so, the Lord demands it of us.  He may not prepare a fish to swallow us as he did Jonah, but the day will come when he will take vengeance, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."  How useful are we to the Lord?"
     It's something to think about. - tp
 




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Staff

Tim Perkins
Minister
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