For Lord’s Day, May 12, 2013
Jennifer and I are about to leave a two-day home schooling conference in Escondido held by Christian Family Schools of San Diego County. We have a lot of great general life and parenting wisdom nuggets I’d like to share with you, and I plan to do so tomorrow to relieve Elder Huffmaster of teaching Sabbath Class this week as his voice is not strong due to not feeling well (please pray for him that he might yet be able to worship with us).
Just two things to share here.
First, a quote by G.K. Chesterton: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
Wait a minute, aren’t we supposed to do things excellently for the Lord? I don’t know much about Mr. Chesterton to know where he was coming from in the context of this quote, but I think this is helpful for you and me to keep in view of sanctification and Christian service. We’ve been made perfect relationally with the Father in Christ through justification and adoption (both acts of God). But sanctification (a work of God) never stops until we get to heaven. That is, we are never done growing in grace. That can be frustrating in terms of where we have not yet gotten, but it also can be liberating in terms of where we can yet be going.
What do you want to try to do for the Lord in your life that you haven’t because you’re too afraid of failing? Is it important? Is it worthwhile kingdom work? Then get started. Isn’t it worth doing badly, that you might get better and better at it? And that won’t happen until you begin and are willing to not be good at something so that you can get good at something. So how I think we can apply this Chesterton nugget is by seeing that Jesus Christ is so worthy of our best effort, even though our best effort may be pretty pathetic for a while. Jesus is worth our best; but He also is worth our best being not very impressive at first so that we don’t use it as an excuse to stay idle with our idols instead of stepping out in faith to move forward in grace.
Second, a Scripture that was shared and applied with the question, “What’s in your house?”
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. (2 Kings 4:2)
Notice that the widow’s answer was at first, “nothing”. But she had a pot of oil. Elisha told her to go get many pots, and the oil only stopped flowing from that first pot once there were no more empty pots to fill!
Beloved, you may feel very empty right now. But look around, what do you have in your house? There’s got to be something you can trust Christ to use. Don’t you use the fact that it may be a half empty cracked earthen vessel (isn’t that what we all are?!) as an excuse not to trust and try. Offer it and yourself using it up to God’s great and final Prophet, Jesus Christ, and see if He doesn’t fill it and you with wine. See if He doesn’t take your few fish and crumbs and feed thousands. He doesn’t want you to try to be perfect experientially; you can’t be. He just wants you to see what you have to work with, and determine it’s worth offering up to the Master Who can work miracles with things that are otherwise unworthy. He can make your bad works good in Himself; and isn’t that what will glorify Him most!?
Praise the Lord that He delights to work in the day of small things, and that He calls you not to despise them. Beloved, what’s in your house? Start as good as you can; it’s OK to do it badly at first, so long as it is your best. Christ will take care of the rest.