Pew Warmers

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A man by the name of Steve Maraboli told of a time when he was traveling back from an exhausting business trip.  He was tired, grouchy, and irritable because of the rigorous schedule he just endured.  He was not in the mood for conversation so he turned his attention to the newspaper to catch up on the events of the world.  It seemed like nearly every page was full of stories about injustice, pain, suffering, and people losing hope.  Combined with tiredness and irritability, these depressing events pushed Steve to an emotional breakdown.  He retreated to the bathroom where he gave in to his emotions.

With tears flowing down his face, he looked up and began questioning God, “God, look at this mess.  Look at all this pain and suffering.  Look at all this killing and hate.  God, how could you let this happen?  Why don’t you do something?”  Then something strange happened.  As he was weeping and questioned God, he looked forward and saw himself in the mirror.  Just then he realized the answer to his own questions and said to himself, “Steve, stop asking God to do something.  God already did something; He gave you life.  Now YOU do something!” (Steve Maraboli. Life, the Truth, and Being Free).

For far too long many Christians and congregations, probably more than we would like to admit, have been characterized by spiritual apathy and evangelistic laziness.  The old saying still seems to be accurate, “Eighty percent of the work in a congregation is done by twenty percent of the people.”  Surely this varies from Christian to Christian and congregation to congregation, but the underlying principal is true.  Many Christians do very little, if any, work for the Lord and with the church.

On Sunday mornings many warm the pews and sing, “To the work!  To the work!”  Those in the assemblies mouth the words, “I want to be a worker for the Lord…I want to sing and pray, and be busy every day.”  We sing these words, but do we actually want to be workers for the Lord?  Do we actually want to be busy doing things for God every day?  Hopefully we really mean the words we are offering up to God in worship.

Scripture places a heavy emphasis on being active for the Lord.  It praises the workers and condemns the lazy (Proverbs 12:11; 14:23; James 2:14-26).  It honors the zealous and shows detest for the lukewarm (Matthew 22:37; Revelation 3:15-16).  It details numerous ways for followers to be active and busy for God (Teaching, preaching, evangelism, hospitality, encouragement, service, giving, etc).  The Lord is clear about the expectations for His followers.  So, what are we doing for Him?

The points stated above might have come across harsh and piercing.  The goal was not to be insulting or ugly but to simply to point out the problem and to help light a fire under us all, myself included!  Our Master, the one we all dedicated our lives to, saved us from our sins (Acts 2:38).  He sacrificed His only Son for us (John 3:16).  His Son ended up suffering an excruciating death so we could be saved (Romans 5:8-9).

God has done so much for us!  As Christians, the least we can do is be active and busy working for Him.  It’s time we do more than just warm the pews.

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