People want the sweets, not the sweat of answering God’s call. Should we blame church leadership for membership crying out for candy and choosing to go elsewhere when they don’t get it?
Church must be sweet.
That’s the nature of organized Christianity today. Pastors must please the people, or they are out of a job. Or as they might view it, “Without people attending church, there isn’t much opportunity for ministry.” But actually, I’m afraid the money is often the motivator for what we call ministry.
“Saving the lost” isn’t a motivator.
For most Christians, the “great commission” is paying the bills and taking care of their own. At best, they might give a little to missions or what they view as a worthy cause. They aren’t that interested in reaching out to all who don’t know Jesus. Most are ill-equipped for Peter’s call to “be ready to give an answer to those who ask where our hope comes from” (1 Peter 3:15). Why? Because they don’t understand why helping others is so important.
The religious cliché to save the lost is a sign that’s often ignored. We might do better if we show how helping others is the best way to help ourselves. God made us to do that, and we’re worthless to him if we don’t.
“God helps those who help themselves.”
Some Christians think that old saying about helping ourselves is biblical. I’ve been asked if I believe that, and people are shocked when I say I do not. Scripture says God helps those who help others.
A give-to-get motivation doesn’t work.
Jesus condemned those who claimed to have done many good works, but they were doing it to get something for themselves, not to serve the Lord in helping others (Matthew 7:22–23).
God’s reward isn’t a $10,000 payoff from a $100 seed that you planted. The hundred-fold blessing Jesus promised Peter for giving up everything (Mark 10:30) wasn’t a more expensive house or a million-dollar fishing business. What he got was persecution, flogging, and imprisonment until he was crucified upside down. Yet Peter would tell us he was blessed more than a hundred-fold. Why? His relationship with the Lord in being used by the Holy Spirit to help so many people was priceless.
Give, and you will not have to worry about receiving. You will receive a full measure, packed down, shaken together, and spilling into your lap. The measure you give determines the measure you will receive. — Luke 6:38, The Discussion Bible