August 2, 2008


28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" 29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." 32 "Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." Mark 12:28-34

I believe many of us are at this point ourselves. Many of us may even live here for many years. We are so close to the Kingdom of God, and yet we just don’t quite get it totally for whatever reason. I have been praying about this for quite some time, asking God to show me what may be our point of error.

We don’t miss it due to lack of knowledge.
We don’t miss it due to lack of opportunity.
We don’t even miss it due to lack of ability.

I believe that our point of error is in the lack of motivation. More importantly, the lack of motivation to commit to doing our part for the advancement of the Kingdom. We can commit to our workplace, but it is because we have motivation to commit. Our motivation is due to a desire to keep the house, buy a new car, have that dream boat, take a vacation, etc. etc. Our motivation to do our best and give our best (including our time) on our job is due to the fact that they pay us well.

We are even motivated to give of our finances to the church to support the missionaries and various other projects that the church gets involved in. But when it comes to our time and our talents it becomes much harder. It is easy to give money because it virtually requires no cost. Most of us give our tithes, missions, and other various offerings out of our abundance. Very few of us give out of our need or in a sacrificial way. Just look at us. We don’t appear to have missed a meal due to our giving to the Kingdom. That is why at the end of the year we receive a CONTRIBUTION statement rather than a sacrifice statement.

When it comes to the WORK of the Kingdom many of us have become spiritual freeloaders. If we do anything at all for the church or the Kingdom, our efforts are barely enough to call a contribution. Certainly not a commitment.

That is why it is easier for us to give money. It is more of a contribution rather than a commitment. Now I understand that giving our money does requires a commitment; but nothing requires more of us than when we are asked to give of our time, talents and giftings.

However, for the local church to be successful it requires that all of us give according to what the Lord has gifted us with. When something goes lacking in the local church it is not because God left those gifts and talents out of the package, but because someone is withholding the talents and giftings that God had entrusted them with.

We must understand that the hope of the world (community) is the church. The hope of the church is unity. The hope of unity is me (and you). The hope of me (and you) is relationships. First with God and then with others. What is unity—unity is U-n-I--ty-ed (you and I tied) together with unconditional love and a passion to pursue God.

Let’s work together and restore the HOPE of our community and the world! It's what real leaders do!