Verse: Matthew 10:39 (NLT)
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.
C. S. Lewis.
One of the stories from the October 15 earthquake, is the tale of a person who worked abroad for almost ten years without coming home to the Philippines. The reason he worked really hard was for a house—his multimillion dream house which he built in his hometown. On the tenth year (this year), he planned to come home to see it. But the quake took it all away. So as he comes home this Christmas, he will only see the rubble of all his hard work.
What a sad story you may say, but sadder still is the reality that it is the epitome of a lot of people today.
We spend so much time on the temporary rather than on the eternal.
We spend so much effort building houses than building homes.
We spend so much time satisfying ourselves by acquiring things rather than having an intimate relationship with God and with others.
We spend so much money and effort in building our own life than building God’s kingdom.
We spend so much time in having religiosity rather than building real spirituality.
This latter part is the saddest of all…
How many of us just have religion and not a real relationship with God? A Church-anity and not Christianity.
This story is a reminder for us…
Church Gets a New Pastor
“Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service….only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food….NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.
As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation……..”We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”….The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation…..The homeless man sitting in the back stood up…..and started walking down the aisle…..the clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him….he walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment….then he recited
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’;
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’;
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning…many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame…. he then said….Today I see a gathering of people……not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples…when will YOU decide to become disciples? He then dismissed service until next week…….Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.” (http://nesaranews.blogspot.com/2013/11/church-gets-new-pastor.html).
Could this be us? Are we more of church-an than Christian? Do we treat our lesser brothers less? Do we treat each other well? Do we just easily take advantage of others in business? Do we steal from our companies? Do we at times deceive even our relatives and friends?
The way we responded to crisis just revealed who we have become. We loot and even justify it as legal. We have not known all along what it means to lose for the sake of Christ so that we may find life.
The way of selflessness is the way to find life.
Always remember, Christianity is more than something we should claim, it’s something we live by and share with others.