Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tobacco Stick Fiasco

Tobacco Stick Fiasco

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14 – New King James Version).

I grew up with three older brothers. We had our ups and downs with one another, but we had a good time. Once we were sent to the pack house to tie tobacco sticks in bundles of fifty in each bunch. We started out strong, working hard for a while, but it turned south. Being boys, we started to sword fight with the sticks. Pretty soon, broken sticks were strewn all over the place. Our dad drove up in his truck. Seeing the broken sticks, he was not happy. Today, those sticks wouldn’t be worth much, but at that time they were very valuable. He lined us up, and gave each of us a whipping. He said, “I’m not whipping you because you broke the sticks, but because you aren’t doing what I told you to do!”

Christian friend, I’ve got some bad news. There are a good many of us that need to be lined up and whipped. Honestly, if Christ came back today, would He find us doing what it is He told us to do?

Many times we don’t know what it is that God wants us specifically to do. When that happens, do what He told us all to do. In the above verse, Christ clearly says, “If you want to be identified with me, do what I told you to do!” Earlier in John 15, Jesus said that we can only produce if we abide in Him. This applies to doing whatever it is He has commanded, even personal evangelism.

In Matthew 28:19a, Jesus commands us to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (NASB). This is a clear command. Often, however, rather than doing what we are told, you will find the church sword fighting. Instead of soul winning, we are infighting. Do you think, if Christ saw us now, He would call us His friend?

I know serving God is not easy, but even when Jesus sent those precious few disciples out, He promised to be with them. The promise is good today. There are a great many more commands that Christ has given us, but the point is to be found doing what He told us to do.

I want to be called a friend of Christ. By HIS standard, that means obedience. Let us resolve to be found doing what He told us to do. Physical whippings are bad enough, but going to the spiritual woodshed is infinitely worse. After that whipping my dad gave us boys, fear alone kept us task oriented. The great thing about Christ is that His motivation is love. He even tells us to “…abide in My love” (John 15:9c). Do this and turn your life from fiasco to fantastico!

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