[Papercut Press Publishing] 1999-03-13 - The Great Lack

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and that which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

A family of six was home one evening watching TV and going about their daily business. They did not know that the roof of their house was on fire. A man went into the house to explain to them the situation and the danger they were in. In his explanation he was pointing out the necessity of providing for their safety. While he was talking another neighbor ran in and simply yelled, “Fire”, “Fire”. Everyone ran out of the house and escaped the danger.

The family did not need to hear an explanation. They did not even need a complete sentence to know what they needed to do. The first man in our story lacked earnestness. There was, apparently, no pressing need to get his point across. The second man, however, rushed into the house and acted as if the very lives of the people in the house hung on his every word.

Earnestness is often, in my view, the great thing lacking in the Christian church today. We, as Christians, do not often live or talk as if souls hung on our very words or actions. There are two qualities I would like to highlight about earnestness.

  1. Fixation on one purpose. An earnest heart has a sense of the greatness and sacredness of life. An earnest heart also knows the obligations (call them privileges) that are upon us as members of God’s family, namely, that we will serve Christ and His kingdom. Very simply put an earnest heart consecrates time, efforts, and talents to the glory of God’s kingdom.

  2. Exertion of the necessary energy to reach the goal. In order to consecrate our time, our efforts, and our talents towards the end of advancing God’s kingdom we can not become distracted. Even if we determine to focus upon the cause of Christ our lives already have many distractions. There are so many other (even good) things that get in the way of the end that we seek.

Life is a process of learning how to focus on serving God’s Kingdom and finding the discipline to avoid distractions and exert the necessary energy to reach that goal. Fixation on one purpose and exertion of the required effort to reach the goal are principals that we can apply in lots of areas of our lives. Let us think eternally and focus on those things that will last in God’s kingdom, “fixing our eyes upon Jesus” and serving the kingdom of God.

Soli Deo Gloria,