Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't Waste Your Time

Galatians 4:11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

There was a story of a young man that was drowning in a raging sea. A man was passing by and saw the young man struggling for life. Without thought for his own life the man jumped in the sea and swam against the current to save the young man. Somehow, they both made it to shore where the young man gasping for air said, “Thank you.” The man, exhausted, looked at the young man and said, “I just hope you were worth it.”

When you have poured yourself out trying to help people, put yourself “out there”, your only hope is that it is not a waste of time.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia “I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” Paul was concerned that, “Judiazers”, religious zealots had gotten to his new Christians with some corrupt teachings that if they wanted to be “authentic” they had to be circumcised. Paul spent all this time preaching, ministering, and risking his life only to have people turn away to the tradition of believing they had to be like the religious folks in order to be saved. Paul said, “You are saved by faith not by works.” In essence Paul was saying, “I didn’t mind laboring for you or teaching you but I just hope that all that I poured out for you was not a waste.

When we minister to people, we don’t do it for the applause. We don’t do it for people to see how great we are. We do it because we see somebody flailing in the sea of life and it’s worth the risk of ridicule, it’s worth the endangerment of public antagonism as long as the people we are saving don’t waste the grace they’ve been given.

How do you make sure your salvation is not wasted?

1. Don’t turn back. Jesus said, “He who turns back after having experienced the grace of God is not fit for the Kingdom.” When I accepted my call to preach one of the old mothers of the church came up to me and said, “Son, Don’t turn back.” That’s all she said then she sat down.

2. Make something of the life you’ve been given. I saw a young man in Sudan who was kidnapped by Soldiers to be murdered later. He lay on the floor praying that he might fulfill his purpose in life. The captain came in and saw him tied up and asked the soldiers who he was. They said, “Just some guy.” He shot the men and took the man back to his home, gave him food, and apologized. He’s now ministering to Women and orphans. What did you do with your second chance?

3. Save somebody else. Whatever God delivered you from, he did because you now have the empathy to save somebody else that went through the same thing you did. You have been saved now go and do likewise. Don’t waste it.

Dear God, thank you for saving me. I was sinking deep in sin far from the distant shore, but the master of the sea heard my despairing cry, his love lifted me now safe am I. Now help me to do the same, so that my life will not be a waste. Let me live out my purpose.

In Jesus Name,


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