Monday, April 20, 2015


Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” (KJV)

Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship

            Work is one of those four letter words that no one likes to use. But the Bible tells us that hard working hands will rule. Experience teaches us busy people get the job done and those that work hard get promoted. God has a plan to make His people “the head and not the tail”; so, He expects us to be hard working, diligent, and self-controlled. We should be all about getting the job done. But, what is the job?

            Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship –– WORK! God is asking us to be devoted to living in harmony with each other. Regardless of our position in life we are equal in the sight of God and should be equal in each other’s sight. Everyone can offer kinship. Kinship is always refreshing. The difficult part is being willing. (Romans 12:16)

            Some believe that God is into making millionaires, offering us a life of comfort and ease because we can solve all our problems with money. God wants to be the solution to all our problems and He does not need money to do it. God does desire that each of us be made rich, but His measure of wealth is good works. Isn’t that a thought? God is ordering us to get busy working for His Kingdom and He is making us rich in good deeds. (1Timothy 6:18)

            I often tell my congregation we have one choice in life and after we make it all other choices are His. Once we make the choice to become Christians all other choices belong to God. He is asking for workers. We may decide after evaluation that we have not done a good job. We may find that the scale we use to measure our generosity does not meet with God’s standard. We may even find that we have not been involved with the doing of good deeds on a regular basis.  If any or all of these are true, scripture is clear about what our response must be. Willing service begins with repentance. (Acts 3:19-20)

            Times of refreshment come from Jesus. When we repent and spend time worshiping Him, He arrives on the scene and changes the situation. We have been created for good works. Too often we avoid talking about WORK in relation to the church. Salvation is by the grace of God, but our relationship with God cannot stop with salvation. Once we have accepted the grace offered to us we have a responsibility to share that grace with others. That, friends, by its nature is WORK. If you don’t believe me just give it a try.

            Everyone has been given gifts and abilities to use for the WORK of God’s Kingdom. Some are able to teach. Others are able to make music. Still others have the gift of hospitality.  Some have the ability to build or work with their hands. The deciding factor is that we Willingly Offering Refreshing Kinship to everyone. Whatever our ability we need to employee it for God’s Kingdom and His glory. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

            God is building a family. We are God’s workmanship. His plan for us while we are here is that we do good works. God has given us Christ Jesus and He expects us to WORK for His glory. Every great artist signs his work. God is making our lives His masterpiece. He has signed them with the seal of His Spirit. When we Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship to others we demonstrate the love of God. Our mortality is not a cheerful uplifting thought, but it is a fact. Tee-shirt philosophy teaches, “Life is a gift from God: What we do with it is our gift to Him.” We are being offered an invitation to answer the call of God. There is WORK to be done.  Are we willing? Do we offer freely the gift of salvation as it was offered to us? Is what we offer refreshing? Do we truly recognize our kinship with others? If we answer these questions in the affirmative, we can WORK because we are His masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)

            When Jesus sent out His disciples He gave them instructions regarding what they should do. He sent them in His authority and power. They were His ambassadors. His instructions have not changed. His authority has not diminished. We are His disciples and these are the works we are commanded to do. All of these are possible through His presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, which has been freely given to all believers. (Matthew10:8)

            Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship –– WORK! God has not changed His mind. We are living examples of His message. It may be time for some spiritual closet cleaning. Most of us can find things around the house that we have forgotten we own, or worse have forgotten how to use, and in the area of our spiritual life it is no different. We have things that we have forgotten how to use and even why we received them in the first place. We also have collected things that have no business in the lives of Christians. God is calling us to clean out our spiritual closets and put to use the awesome gifts He has given us. He is also calling us to get rid of the junk. We do not approach our problems the way the world does. We do not depend upon human wisdom, or strength to get the job done. Are we working for the Kingdom but relying on something other than God? The command is that we WORK –– Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship. (1Corinthians 2:12)

            God blesses us so that we can and will bless others. What He freely gives to us we have a responsibility to share. Our times of discouragement and defeat come from the fact that we do not encourage ourselves enough in Him. We do not offer encouragement to others and they do not offer it to us. As a result everybody gets tired, run down and burnt out. Only when we live according to His word are God’s Kingdom advanced and His goals realized. Scripture commands encouragement daily. We can neither give nor receive enough fellowship and encouragement by attending church once a week. We need daily booster shots or our willingness to get involved drops drastically. (Hebrews 3:13)

            Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship while it is still called today. We have not come up with a better word for the day we are living in right now than today. Every time we wake up in the morning it is today so find someone to encourage. Build each other up. There is enough bad news to fill any newspaper. Let us spend today sharing the good news. Jesus Christ is alive and is willing to bless all who will come to Him in the right attitude. God never turns people away. Attitude makes all the difference.
            What happens to all the good that God freely gives to us if we choose not to share it? It turns to bitterness and rots. Everything we touch becomes unproductive or worse counterproductive, destructive.  We serve a living and active God. He empowers a living and active people, and the plan is that we spend today doing good deeds. (Proverbs 3:27)

            Most people have a pretty high opinion of themselves. Most people truly believe that they deserve the best treatment in every situation. In ourselves by virtue of who we are, we have no claim to special treatment; however, in Christ by virtue of who He is we deserve the best. When the Bible tells us not to withhold good from those who deserve it; we must look at it from the righteous prospective –– Christ died for each individual and God thought each was worth it.

            Applying scriptural truth to our daily lives requires a change. Our attitudes and actions must come in line with scriptural principles. God is involved in every area of our lives and He plans to use us where we are every day. From the President to the grounds keeper and everyone in between; there is no one of greater importance than another. We are transformed when Jesus comes into our hearts. From that moment on, our priority is Kingdom WORK. Willingly Offering Refreshing Kinship to everyone calls for diligent and deliberate service.

            This type of service is not just giving people what they want. We have seen the effects of that upon society already. It is giving them what they need in light of godly wisdom. Clothing, shelter, food, and love are the necessary elements of physical existence. The essential spiritual need that must be addressed is salvation. We must realize the spiritual need will never be met without first meeting physical needs. We will not all be millionaires, but we can all be warm, well fed, and loved.

            God never asks us to use what we do not have; but always asks that we put to full use what we do have. The challenge is that we daily answer the call of God. Overcome the distractions, break down the barriers, and serve God with all that has been given to us.
            We cannot afford to be misled or choose to be unproductive. The task is not simple, easy or uncomplicated. It is however attainable. The key factor in our success is willingness. When we are willing, God provides the ability. Willingness is risky. Offering ourselves in service is an open invitation to be hurt emotionally, but God is our source. Refreshing times will come. The road is long. The path is narrow, but the oasis of His strength is ever-present. Kinship is a constant struggle. Doesn’t involvement in our families drive that fact home? But, family also teaches us other valuable lessons.

            For most of us, the first experience we have with work comes in the form of chores. These labors of love must be completed in order to experience peace and harmony within the home. I can honestly say, “I do not remember Saturday morning housework from my childhood with fondness.” In truth it resulted in some pretty heated arguments about whose turn it was to do which task, but as we grew, my sisters and I learned which things we enjoyed and could accomplish more in less time with greater satisfaction when we worked together.

            Translating that very common experience into a spiritual application should tell us that WORK, though it is a four-letter word, is not something to avoid. It is something to embrace with gladness. Family dynamics and the commitment they demonstrate are a source of strength when we submit to the Holy Spirit. The family of God is a beautiful reflection of His presence when we all WORK –– Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship. “Diligent hands will rule…” and “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might …” none of us can sit idly by and watch the world go merrily down the road to hell. Do you feel the urgency?

            If any part of this acrostic message is missing, it becomes useless, ineffective and dysfunctional. If we as the body of Christ decide to sit on the sidelines or check out, the world suffers at our unwillingness to get involved. Please choose to WORK for the glory of God. Please understand you do have a ministry. You are important to the plan of God and there is something that only you can offer. Willingly Offer Refreshing Kinship –– WORK! Make the necessary investment in the family of God and leave the results of the return to Him.

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