[CF Devotionals] 2014-05-06 - Cowbird Christians

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Galations 6:4-10 (The Message) 4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

6 Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.

7-8 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God! – harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.

9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Richard and I have been avid birders for 25 years. At this time of year, a birder’s excitement builds, as Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and many other songbirds build their nests and raise their young. But the Brownheaded Cowbird wants to take the lazy way out. They don’t bother to make a nest. Instead, they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and then ignore them. The Cowbirds are parasitic. This can be detrimental to the other birds’ fledglings, because there is only so much food to go around. So most birders try to discourage Cowbirds from taking up residence in their yards.

We Christians sometimes behave like Cowbirds. We go to church on Sundays, but we expect others to do the work. Songs to be sung? Someone else can do it. Yards to be mown? Someone else can do it. Using our gift of teaching in a class? Someone else can do that, and everything else that needs to be accomplished, to keep God’s local churches going and growing.

But this isn’t God’s plan; He endowed us all with spiritual gifts and opportunities, and expects us to use them to glorify Him, and to build up the local church.

If you aren’t already active in serving in a local church, I encourage you to ask God to show you His place for you. It will not only benefit the church; “it’s for your own good,” as well. God can get along without us. But in His plan, He allows us to participate. Not only is a serving life more obedient, but it’s also more fulfilling.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser

All scripture references are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.

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