"I Can Get Three F's and Still Not Fail"

     Those were the words I overheard one time from a group of middle school youngsters who were just starting the school year. It seems one of their number was new to the school district and her friends were informing her of how easy it was to succeed. I’m sure she was thrilled to know she could fail three classes and not need to repeat seventh grade.

     But is that really succeeding? Most of us realize immediately that one of the problems of our culture is there are so many who are satisfied with minimum effort. Lackadaisical students too often become irresponsible adults. Parents, teachers and even our government are forever trying to find ways to change this pattern at an early age.

     What about the church? How would you sum up your desires to serve the Lord? If you could, would you ask God what is the least that you could do to gain that eternal heavenly home? While I’ve never heard any Christian admit such a desire, it’s obviously being practiced. What motivates you to serve God?

     Our greatest motive to serve is in response to what God has done for us. “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” [1 Samuel 12:24]. Heaven isn’t a paycheck we receive for a life of labor. It’s a home we look forward to spending an eternal holiday in with our spiritual family. First century Christians got tired out, too. The message to inspire them was also one of responding: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” [Hebrews 12:3].

     So, what’s it going to be for you? Are you “pressing on” [Philippians 3:14] or figuring out ways to do the bare minimum? Are you “fervent in spirit” [Acts 18:25] or “lukewarm” [Revelation 3:16]? Are you “diligent” [Hebrews 6:11, 11:6] or “sluggish” [Hebrews 6:12]? Can you join with Paul in saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” [2 Timothy 4:7‑8]? If not, I hope you make it your goal TODAY to turn things around. Become one of those whose life is a response to God like those who “loved His appearing.”

Jeff Greene