Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful UNTO DEATH, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10 ESV)
In the above verse we are being reminded to be faithful to God, in the greatest of trials, even in the face of death. It also means that we are to be faithful until the end of our lives.
What does it mean to be faithful? Well, to me it means to remain true, loyal, and steadfast. I think it means that God calls us to be workers until our last breath. To be servants until the end of our lives or this world, whichever comes first.
In Matt. ch 25 in the parable of the talents, the two servants who are commended at their masters return, are the two who worked until their master returned. They continued in their efforts until the end.
In this life it is all to easy for us to fill our lives with "ya-buts". In response to doing more (or any) work for the Lord, we excuse our way out of it. Ya, but I'm too young. Ya, but I'm too new. Ya, but my kids are too young. Ya, but my kids are older and we are too busy. Ya, but I'm busy with work. Ya, but I do that at work all day. Ya, but I retired. And so it goes....on and on. We can each justify our own circumstance but we judge the others around us. God does not accept excuses. Either you want to work for Him or you don't.
Friends! Where does the Lord tell us to be faithful until marriage? To be faithful until we work? Or be faithful until we are retired? At what point is it ok to become a spectator in the church? At what point is it ok to say, we have served enough and now it is our turn to be served? Wasn't it our own Lord who served until His last breath? When did he feel it was time for people to start washing HIS feet?
I can hear it now.....ya, but I am not ABLE to work. No. You CHOOSE not to work. If you have physical limitations, what keeps you from making phone calls, writing letters, sitting and teaching? If you have a desire to serve, the Lord will give you a way. If you have time limitations, first check your priorities. If they are truly in order you can still squeeze in service to God.
I understand that we need to step back and recharge once in awhile. But we should return with renewed passion. We should not step back and walk away.
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; (Matthew 9:37 ESV)
The laborers (workers) are FEW. God needs you. Yes, you. He gave you the interests, talents, experiences, hardships, knowledge, and personality you have for a reason! What you view as an ordinary part of you is a planned detail in some way God wants to use you. You are you, for a greater purpose. God's kingdom needs workers. One day we will all have to turn in our talents and present the Lord with how we have used what he has given to us.
We are creatures who can justify anything we want to. Let us justify our idleness no longer. Let us take action, and shine our lights every single day. Let us allow God to use us for His purpose. We can do this. No more excuses. Let's get to work.