Well, here I am again, after what seems like an eternity away. And once again, I considered giving up my little “gold” space on the web. Do all bloggers consider, at some point or another, just quitting? When things have kept you away for so long it just doesn’t seem worth the effort to pick back up? I think I’ve seen it before. On more than one occasion, actually. So, I just dusted myself off and decided to write again.
I won’t make excuses for why I haven’t written. “Busy” seems to be a word that shies in comparison to my life lately, but I think there’s more to it than that. I’ve allowed questions like, “What I say won’t matter anyway” and “Who’s really reading this?” creep in and lead the way. It seems hardly worth to money to keep a blog going when you feel like no one is reading.
BUT…we have this handy little thing called “analytics” and I actually DO know that people are visiting and reading. People occasionally comment or share, and that’s always nice. But I also know there’s more to it than that. There’s more to why I started this blog in the first place, and there’s more to why I’m going to keep it going. I really actually made up my mind while sitting in church last night.
A Guest Brings the Message
Our Pastor and First Lady were out this weekend, taking a much-needed trip to visit family, so we had a guest speaker for both morning and evening service. It was during evening service that Mr. Jones made some points that really hit home for me. Oh, I’m sure they hit home for a lot of people, as it was a powerful sermon, but being a blogger, they hit me a little differently.
The overall title of the message could easily have been “Don’t Be a Gold Digger”, though I don’t think he’d titled it at all. He pointed out that serving God, as a means to an end, really doesn’t make us any better than Judas. After all, it was Judas who had complained when the woman with the alabaster box came in, broke the box, and anointed Jesus with it.
It was Judas who complained about the waste, and said that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Of course he would say that…he was the one holding the money bag after all. He would have had access to the money. It was immediately after Jesus called him down for speaking out again the woman that Judas went and betrayed Jesus. The Pharisees promised money in return for being able to physically apprehend Jesus, and Judas was much obliged to play the part.
Our Own Fair Share of Digging
Don’t we already play the part of Judas sometimes? If we’re not in this thing wholeheartedly, we certainly do. Or if we’re only using Jesus like a genie in a bottle, we might find ourselves doing just that. For instance, have you ever gone to church after a long absence, just to pray about the job you just lost? Or have you speedily made your way to the altar for a sick loved one that needs nothing short of a miracle to survive? Are you staring a divorce right smack in the face as you head back to church for the first time in the whole relationship?
Listen, here’s the truth – if you’re just turning to God when you’re in trouble…YOU’RE IN TROUBLE!
That’s not how God works. And it’s not suppose to be how you work.
A Sad Young Man
Crack open the Word to Mark chapter 10, and read the 17th verse on through the 22nd verse. It tells about a man who wanted to know, from Jesus Himself, what he had to do to have eternal life. Jesus mentioned the commandments, and then named a few. The young man assured Jesus that he had obeyed those his whole life.
Jesus said, Yes, but there’s something you’re lacking…you need to sell everything you have, donate it to the poor and then follow me. (I’m a paraphraser from time to time, but you can read it in the above-mentioned Scriptures).
Those of us who know the story know how it ends. The man went away SAD, because he was rich. He didn’t want to sell everything he had. He was, no doubt, very comfortable with his money and his belongings. It’s likely his circle of friends was in place because of that money. We never hear about the young man again, whether he actually sold everything or not. We don’t hear of him making that final, ultimate decision. He could have, and only God knows.
Don’t Miss It…
Now, go back and read that again. If you’re like me, you might have missed a part that is so integral to the story, that it changes everything. It sheds light on everything that was said. You can find it verse 21, where it says plainly, Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,… I could quote the whole Scripture, but this is my focus now. These few precious words that mean so much…
Jesus looked at him and LOVED HIM. This wasn’t just another dude to Jesus… this is someone he loved. He wanted him to know the truth and how to really be free. These words mean that truly, he did know him before he was created in his mother’s womb. He had probably looked on this very moment several times during his stay here on earth, in the flesh.
Jesus loved him. And He told him the Truth.
I’m Not Going to be a Judas
As the speaker drew to the end of his message last night, he urged everyone to not let their service to God be a means to an end. He invited people to love God enough to weather both good and bad times for him. We’re GOING to go through tribulations and tough times. There are GOING to be people who are just hard to deal with, and who might make us want to quit. Lord knows everything won’t be perfect just because you go to church and serve the Living God.
No, there were never any promises of that!
But what I do know, is that I won’t give up my small ways of making a ripple in the Kingdom waters. Sometimes, the only way I have to get “the Good Word” out, is to post it here, on this blog. And if I’m only doing it for views or hits or comments or shares, then am I really any better than Judas?
I choose, rather, to say what I feel like God has put on my heart. I choose to magnify and laud the Name of the One who died for me. And I choose to pray to the One who knows whether or not I need that answer right now. What I say here may not be seen for a year, two years or a decade, maybe longer. But who am I to just “not say it”? How dare I NOT give praise where praise is due? Because someday, someone who REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need it might just happen across the right post. And then they’ll need it.