What can YOU do for God’s Work?
This isan age of noninvolvement - a time of self-interest and personal gain. No one, it seems, wants to become INVOLVED IN A CAUSE- no matter how great. What about YOU? Here‘s how you can become MORE INVOLVED in the greatest commission ever given to mankind!
byAlfred E. Carrozzo and James J . Young
* Slightly modified an updated.
ALARMED government psychologists concluded recently that people can no longer be moved by causes - only benefits. “What’s in it for me?” is the question most often asked.
This is the generation of total "get" and never give - except to get. Our system has been founded on the principles of acquisition: “Buy now and pay later!” “Fly now and pay later,” scream the ads. “Get that new car off your mind and into your driveway,” pleads the auto industry.
Our society is wallowing in borrowed affluence. The shorter work weeks, the welfare checks, the fringe benefits and the endless “free” gimmicks have combined to build the psychology of GET into the minds of our generation to a frightening extent !
Needed: A Strong Sense of PURPOSE !
The recipients of today’s unique blessings are so filled with the doctrines of avarice and appetite that they find it difficult - IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE - to identify with any cause that does not directly center around the self.
The book In Every War But One tells how many American soldiers in Korean prison camps, lacking any strong sense of purpose, would quickly lose the will to live, lie down, and pine away until they died. In an effort to prevent this, their own sergeants would curse and kick the men, hoping to make them just fighting mad enough to want to live. This illustrates just how deeply the philosophy of causelessness and total selfishness had bitten into the character of our nation as early as 1950.
Today it is even worse. We live in a land filled with citizens without a cause except self-aggrandizement. Only a handful, seemingly, have any sense of purpose.
And, brethren, most astounding and alarming of all, even some of us in God’s Church suffer from this same lack of purpose. Some of us seem to want to “pass the buck.” After all, we reason, there are so many thousands of others “doing the Work” in God’s Church today. So we “excuse” ourselves from ACTIVE participation !
Do you realize God chose you out of 7 BILLION PEOPLE ON EARTH TODAY?! God chose you at this time for a PURPOSE, and that purpose is NOT because He desperately needed you among the first fruits!
God has called you today to DO HIS WORK! The need to finish His Work is your personal responsibility. You have a part to do now, and you dare not fail!
Don’t Underestimate Your Part
Some in God’s Church feel so inferior and personally useless that they think of themselves as unable to do anything for our great cause-- the very WORK OF GOD! They defeat themselves in their minds before they start.
It is not at all God’s will that any one of us be useless or feel useless to His Work! Yet some, especially when newly converted, have honestly felt they had no capability of doing anything to help in God’s Work. Have you ever felt this way?
Brethren, don’t underestimate your value in this great Work. What would happen to a tug-of-war team if several of the members began to think their part wasn’t important? The team would get pulled off its feet at the very first tug.
What would happen in your body if half your red blood cells individually decided they were not worth much and might just as well quit functioning? You would be totally without energy, flat on your back and unable to work.
In fact, you would soon DIE! What would happen if half of the members in the spiritual body of Christ individually decided they were so insignificant that it made no difference to the health and strength of the body whether or not they did their part? The Church would soon become enervated and unable to do the Work that God has commissioned us to do.
We must understand and believe we are on a TEAM and that our part in the Work is IMPORTANT! Whether or not you have realized it yet, God knows our part is important and is holding us personally responsible for fulfilling it !
As we admit and accept our part and strive to fulfill it, God will begin to use and inspire us to do more and more. As we participate, the Work will become more personal. Then it won’t ever be others’ work-it will be OUR WORK in the greatest commission in the history of the world !
Our GREAT Commission !
Noah was commissioned to build an ark as a witness to his generation. Moses had to receive God’s laws and build a nation. David founded a new dynasty and qualified to govern Israel forever. Daniel received great prophetic forewarnings of world significance, and John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Christ.
Each was a fantastic commission, but none was more significant than the end time commission God has given to His Church.
Since we live at the time of the end, Christ has commissioned us to do a mounting combination of all these things. Like Noah, we must witness to our world, and at the same time we must prepare a people for the world tomorrow. Like Moses, we received the Law - but in the Spirit - and we must help build a spiritual Israel. Like David, we must qualify to became kings and rule the nations forever. Like Daniel, we have received prophecies, and we must explain to the nations their dire and worldwide significance. Like John the Baptist, we have to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah - His second, and permanent, coming. Could anyone ever be chosen to perform and contribute to a greater cause than this?
The whole creation groans - and waits - with eager longing for the sons of God to be revealed (Rom. 8:19-22). The need for us to roll up our sleeves and get on with this job has NEVER been greater, and YOU have an active part - NOW !
What YOU Can Do
Some think they are unimportant and useless if they can’t send in large sums of money to God’s Work. They think their “little bit” won’t matter one way or the other.
What if the widow Christ mentioned had that attitude? She would have thrown in the towel instead of her mites. Then Christ would not have been able to commend her and say: “This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:43-44).
Do you know just how little a “mite” really was?
A mite was a small thin Jewish copper coin called a lepton, which meant “peeled” or “pared down.” It had the value of a little over three-sixteenths of a penny, and she cast in two - all she had - making a total contribution of about three-eighths of a cent!
Yet Christ did not think she was unimportant or insignificant - He praised her for doing her part! And He recorded her fine example in His Word for all to read ever after.
So your contributions, no matter how “small,” are important ! The church has shown us in the past just how much one dollar can accomplish in this great Work. That’s what YOUR DOLLARS are accomplishing ! Combined, all of Our dollars are having a TREMENDOUS IMPACT on this world as we send Christ’s warning witness to all nations via the printed page, radio and television !
Of course, the bigger your salary the more financial thrust you can add to the Work in tithes and offerings. Without hurting their families, many of our brethren have been working several hours overtime each week to be able to increase their tithe and fatten their offering.
This is a fine example and of great benefit to the Work. But contributing money is only a part of what you can do.
The POWER of Prayer
Do you somehow feel, in spite of all previous admonitions, that praying for the Work is just spiritual garnish, but not a very real force in fulfilling our Commission ?
In Luke 2:37 we read of a widow who SERVED GOD with fasting and prayers day and night. Far from being ineffectual murmurings in a dark room, our prayers are pictured in Revelation 8:3 as sweet smelling incense coming up into the very presence of God.
Because prayer is so important, Christ gave us the sample outline for prayer (Matthew 6 ) . In that prayer, the very first thing He teaches us to focus our minds on, after worshipping and acknowledging the power of our heavenly Father, is - “Thy Kingdom come.” So since this Work is preparing the way for the coming of that kingdom, your prayers and supplications obviously can have great effect!
Incense is a Biblical symbol for prayer (Rev. 8:3). But to burn properly, incense has to be beaten small. Likewise, to be most effective, our prayers for the Work must be beaten small. Likewise to be more effective our prayers for the work must be beaten small- be broken down and made very specific.
There are countless thousands of things to pray for, if we will only stop to think about the needs of the Work. You should pray earnestly for the many things it takes daily to do the Work of God - divine guidance - inspiration-intervention - protection - wisdom- good judgment, etc.
The ministers are especially encouraged to know that you are praying to God on their behalf. It is a tremendous help to them in fulfilling their great responsibilities. It helps to “hold up their hands” as Aaron and Hur did for Moses (Ex. 17:12).
The ministry, has reported many times that the income has taken a sudden upswing for no apparent reason, and often in spite of general economic trends. The reason, of course, is that God’s people have been beseeching Him fervently to bless His Work!
Believe it or not, this Work runs more on PRAYER POWER than on any other force!
Of course, praying to God is not a substitute for our paying tithes and giving offerings, but it is a multiplying of their effect.
Our Father in Heaven enjoys having His people come to Him in prayer. The prayers of the upright are His “delight” (Prov. 15 : 8). If everyone is doing his part, the sun literally never sets on the people praying to God for His Great Work.
Other Ways to Serve
There is much, much more you can do, You can contribute to God’s Work in many other ways - but you must be willing.
In Exodus 35:21 we read: “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work.. . .” Once a right attitude has made you willing, you will soon find other things to do for God’s Work.
Opportunities for service are endless!
Down through history, people from all walks of life - kings, widows, fugitives-have found a way to do their part, from building a temple to visiting the sick; from taking in strangers to giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty disciple.
Many today are serving as elders, deacons and deaconesses, and many of our young people are attending one of the three campuses at the College. There is a job for each to do. However, apart from these responsibilities, there are many other roles and responsibilities to fulfill.
Help in the Church
We live in a cutthroat, dog-eat-dog society where the weak are continually exploited because they are weak. Paul says in Romans 15: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.’’
From time to time people in God’s Church become spiritually, physically or financially weak. We need to be vigilant and ready to offer a helping hand. As Paul said to the Galatians, “Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2 ) . “As we have therefore opportunity,” he added, “let us do good to all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (verse 10).
Forexample, how encouraging it is to a sick person to be visited. When one is ill his spirits are usually at a low ebb. Almost more than at any other time, this is when a person needs to be cheered up. Flowers especially help to bring sunshine into his or her room. It’s a comfort to the patient to feel that he or she is loved and not a burden at this time.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father,” said the Apostle James, is “to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction.” Paul said that if “one member suffer, all the other members (should) suffer with it” (I Cor. 12:26).
Todevelop empathy for someone in affliction and to visit them really helps any wounds in the “body of Christ” to heal fast!
Some, because of poor health or lack of transportation, are unable to do much visiting. But all are able to write a letter or send a card for just a few cents. This is a very important binding agent within the Church. Many times you can express thoughts and feelings in a letter that you would be unable to do in person. You have put part of your being on paper and given it to someone else in service, which is always appreciated.
Sometimes one can see a few sad or discouraged faces at Sabbath services. Before attending services, you could pray that God would help you to talk with the right people- those you can help or encourage by helping with their personal problems-by being a friend. Try to shed some cheer into that life. This is really letting your light shine (Matt. 5:16) and setting a fine example. And remember we are exhorted to provoke one another to LOVE and GOOD WORKS (Heb. 10:24).
Romans 12:1 tells us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God - “Which is your reasonable [logical] service.” Life is time, and certainly to give up some of our time for others is a logical service. Why not take some of your time and call up someone who lives alone? Why not take some of your time and give it as an offering to someone who needs transportation to the store or a ride to services ? This is certainly acceptable and pleasing to God.
The Apostle John says, “Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (I John 3:17.) Sometimes a breadwinner in the Church loses his job. Why not take over a few of your canned fruits or vegetables or leave a sack of groceries on his doorstep? They don’t have to know where it came from.
There are many other ways in which we may help in the Church. There is always a need for people to set up chairs - arrange flowers - play the piano - sing in the choir - look after used clothing or take care of the Church library.
When our lectures come to your area you might be invited to attend to help set the atmosphere. Here is a real opportunity for participation will you respond?
God‘s Word shows we all definitely have our part to do in the Work of God. We are not vestigial organs in the Body of Christ. We have individually been specifically placed in the Body for a GREAT PURPOSE ! All of the things we have covered in this article which we can DO are vitally important in fulfilling the big, overall commissions of preaching the gospel and feeding the flock!
We all need to deeply believe and understand that Christ placed us in His church as unique individual members and that we have our own active role to perform for the healthy working of the overall Body of Christ. When we really think in those terms about our PERSONAL CALLING how can any one of us feel unnecessary or useless ?
Christ says: “I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to reward every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12)
So let’s get on with the job of accomplishing the greatest Work of all time! The world and God’s Church are waiting - on you!