Thursday, February 26, 2009

Be a Part of the Body: Revival of Responsibility

I played football in high school. I wasn't very big, or very fast, or...actually...very good. But I loved the game, so I played. We had several student managers on our team. They were guys who wanted to be involved in football, but for reasons of health, temperment or (like me) lack of talent, they didn't actually play. So they kept the water bottles full, hauled equipment, made sure there was ice in the coolers, etc. We liked these guys. A lot. One summer, one of our student managers went to a week-long camp to learn how to be a student trainer. They taught him how to tape up injured ankles, ice down contusions, and so forth. That next football season, this particular guy was nearly worthless. If we ran out of water and asked him to get us some, he'd say, "Not my job. I'm a trainer." Since a high school football team isn't exactly a MASH unit, he spent most of his time sitting around, nursing a cold soft drink while we sweated out our practices. We didn't like him. At all.

In a way, he reminds me of the Church. Jesus left us here to be His body. That means that we are supposed to do the things He did when He was here in the flesh. In fact, He promised us (astonishingly) that we would do even greater things than He did. How is that possible? Because there are millions of local churches worldwide. Each one has the DNA of Jesus in it, in the form of the Holy Spirit. That DNA enables us to accomplish His will, overcoming evil, transforming the world. Of course, that only happens if we love each other, and if each individual member uses his/her gifts to help the church accomplish her mission. That's what we've learned so far in our study of Romans 12-13. But this Sunday, in our last message in the series, we'll talk about our primary responsibility: To represent Christ before the world in such a way that everyone who meets us will be drawn to Him for salvation. Unfortunately, the way most churches function, one would get the impression that we say to Christ, "That's not my job. I'm comfortable being religious when I'm together with my Christian friends on Sundays. But I didn't sign on to be a missionary."

Simply put, we need a revival. But not the sort of "revival" most Christians think of when we use that term...a revival in which the culture conforms itself to our values, and so we become much more comfortable in the world. No, a real revival would be a revival of responsibility, in which we reclaim the yoke of Christ and start accomplishing His mission once again. In other words, a real revival changes us first...and then we change the culture. If you get a chance, take a look at Romans 13:8-14, and we'll apply it to our lives this Sunday.

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