Monday, August 8, 2016
AUGUST 7 "ARE YOU TAKING NEW PATIENTS?"
Many Churches in America have given up "reaching the lost". Their Church has just become one exclusive club, "no taking any new members". I always love calling a Doctor's office when I'm sick and being told, "I'm sorry, Dr. Smith is not taking any new patients at this time". Okay, I'm sorry too, I guess I'll just roll over and die. We may not have a high pitched, squeaky secretary telling people "we are not accepting new patients/sinners" but we can still have the same mindset and posture. Paul, in our text reminds us, indirectly, of our purpose and function in this Christian life. We are involved in a project, it's called "Advancing the Kingdom of God Upon the Earth", it involves work, sowing seed, water seed (follow up) and causing it (The Kingdom of God/The Church) to grow. "Not taking patients anymore" is an unacceptable answer! "They are unreachable" is an excuse, if not short of a lie. When have people been "reachable"? We read just last week, from the Old Testament about men of God going around trying to spurn up a religious awakening and they were being mocked and scorned. People want to know "the hot spot", the "hot city" to go to and have revival. "Where's the hot spot to do an event, an outreach and/or a crusade? Where can I be guaranteed results? Paul in our text is giving us some pointers and revelations that none of that is up to us to determine. We are in partnership with God, we are the laborers in the Vineyard, but it is God who brings the growth and increase, but we must be laboring and planting seed and following up. Perhaps the situation in our text is that Paul preached the original word to these folks, but Apollos came in and locked the folks in, got them grounded in their faith. It was a team effort, with the greatest team member being God, because even with Paul and Apollo's exceptional effort, nothing would have come about, without God getting involved in the supernatural realm.