“Are You Getting Lazy?”
A little boy had been trick-or-treating through the neighborhood and was on his way home with a bulging bag full of candy. He couldn’t wait to gobble up his goodies. In his excitement though he forgot to keep his hand under the heavy bag to support it, and just as he was nearing home, the bag broke, spilling all his candy into a puddle by the curb! The moral of the story is: as you near home that’s not the time to get lazy or forget about what’s important!
That’s something for us to think about today. Jesus laid his life down on a cross and rose again from the dead so we may be able to receive forgiveness for all our sins against God. As we trust in Jesus as our Savior and receive that forgiveness, Jesus also promises that we will inherit eternal life in heaven when we die. What a great gift of love that is for us in Christ! It’s one we should cherish. It’s also one we should give careful attention to. For the simple fact is, we can fall from our faith in Jesus and lose that gift of eternal life if we’re not careful.
It’s no wonder then, that the Bible warns us, “11 …The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:11,12) These words remind us that each day we live, we are one day closer to the time when our Lord Jesus will come again in his risen glory. That means this is no time for us to grow spiritually lazy and stop fighting against sin! If anything, this is the time for us to be even more diligent in that regard!
Now think about what that implies for our present situation. Throughout this pandemic many of us have been confined to our homes, either totally or in part. While that might be good for our physical health, it can be detrimental to our spiritual health. When kids are left alone by themselves, it’s easy for them to get into all kinds of trouble. That same thing can happen with us as Christians! Without the accountability that our brothers and sisters in Christ provide at our congregation, it’s easy for us to give into sin.
That’s especially true when it comes to making use of God’s word. If we’re home alone, who’s going to know if you don’t continue to read and study the Bible for yourself each day? Who’s going to know if you don’t make use of the online worship resources we’re trying to provide, or ponder those pastoral letters I’ve been writing to help us spiritually during these crazy times?
Since no one knows what we’re doing, what happens? It’s easy for us to give way to our sinful desires, get spiritually lazy, and neglect our proper spiritual nourishment. In doing so, however, we begin to drift away from Jesus, and run the risk of losing his blessings before we finally make it to our heavenly home!
To prevent that very thing from happening in the midst of this pandemic, is why the Holy Spirit calls to us again this day, and encourages us with these words, “5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-11)
Your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus!