First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Go and Do Likewise

This past year I've been watching via the Internet a Do-It-Yourself rocket being built by a group of crazy Danes. The project is called; Rocket Shop and they appear to have a pretty good shot at succeeding in their goal of putting a man into a suborbital trajectory and returning him safely to the earth. I've been asking friends of mine who are engineers and physicists if these guys are for real, and they all have answered in the affirmative. So I have been watching them build a rocket out of donated and salvaged stuff in hopes of seeing them blast this thing into space someday.

Recently the Rocket Shop blog talked about the people who have volunteered to help with the project. They get lots of inquiries, but they accept only a small handful of these offers. The reason is that 99 percent of the people who offer help do not have the skills needed to create the rocket systems. Most of the offers come from rocket scientists who work on their computers all day. The Rocket Shop needs people who can design and fabricate the actual rocket and its systems. In other words; they need welders, machinists and mechanical engineers. They don’t need people who can design the systems; they need people who can make the systems. And so most people are turned away because they are thinkers and talkers, when the project needs doers.

I've noticed that we (humans in general) sure do like to think and talk a lot. We are not so good at the doing part of the equation. An example of this is at the Astronomy Club that I belong to. Most people who attend regularly do not own or operate a telescope. They have never worked out the mathematical equations that underlie the hobby. They have never fabricated any of the devices that are used to make gazing upon the heavens possible. I’m not saying this is bad. But without someone engaging in the above list, nothing else in the hobby is possible.

The same goes for churches. Everyone in the church world knows that 20 percent of the people do 100 percent of the work in a typical church. The 20 percent pay the bills, sing the songs and teach the children. The rest sit back and enjoy the show. In the Astronomy Club example I would say that there is nothing wrong with this scenario. In a church, there is.

Listen to the words of Jesus;

                The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Matthew 23:2-4.  (The Pharisees were good at talking, but not so good at doing).

            Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise. Luke 10:36-37. (The end of the Good Samaritan story praises the man who did something, not the ones who did nothing).

                So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12. (The Golden Rule is a statement demanding action. Jesus did not teach his followers to be passive).

My interpretation of these passages; Jesus required his followers to be doers. It is not enough to have faith in the Kingdom of Heaven. We must live out our faith.

                As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead. James 2:26.

Jesus did not sit on a mountain top and dispense words of wisdom. He traveled among people and did the work of the Kingdom of Heaven. Go and do likewise.


Pastor Bill

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