My neighbor recently got a dog who always wants to leave his designated area to come say hello to my dog. Each day he tries to walk off his master’s porch, walk down the pavement, and join Max. Since he was unable to find any success choosing the way of the stairs, he decided to sneak around another way. When Max and I approached, his master looked for his puppy in the usual area; however, he wasn’t there. He was already at some bushes making his way toward Max from another route.
We often think we can take another way to get to a destination. We have shortcuts and back roads. There are times when we can skip steps and save time. But when it comes to our relationship with God, there are no back roads, no shortcuts; there is no way to skip any steps.
I was reminded of John 10:1 when I saw the dog sneak around the gate. In this verse, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!” There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus, and there is only one way to receive Eternal Life, only one way to have a relationship with God—through Jesus.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6 [NIV]
There they were standing around this big hole while one person was doing work on the lines below. I often wonder why so many people are needed for some of the roadwork jobs. There’s one man needed to do the digging. There’s another person needed to ensure no one drives or walks into the hole, because it has been proven that orange cones sadly aren’t enough. There’s the man in the hole doing the hardest job. Then there are two or more people standing by the hole as spectators. They aren’t the hole diggers, the line fixers, or the hole watchers. What exactly do they do?
In my town they are doing a lot of road work lately. I keep seeing this same thing over and over again. It reminds me of the Church. God’s Word tells us that there are many parts to one body. We each have our own part to play with the Great Commission. Some people are ministers, some are teachers. Some people are encouragers, others are called to the mission field abroad. Some people are prayer warriors. Other people are choir members. The list continues. One thing not on the list is a spectator.
Nowhere does God’s Word tell us to stand around and watch life. Nowhere are we told to not do anything. We are told to feed the hungry, clothe the naked. We are told to share the message of Christ. We are told to encourage one another, bear each other’s burdens. We are to be “doers of the word” (James 1:22). Being doers does not mean simply within the walls of the church. From all this, we know that we have never been called to be spectators. To die for Christ is to live intentionally. To live intentionally means there is no standing around.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”
– James 2:14 [NLT]