May 02, 2012

The Omen of the Christian Parasite

I Corinthian 12:25-26
"That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."

There's a saying that goes something like this: “Don’t shoot a coyote in the summer."

Its meaning is quite clear. That even though it's dead, its carcass is still alive with movement because of the ticks that cover it from head to tail. And reproduce they will because of an available host and a warm environment in which to carry out its propagation. Can you imagine that, Reader? A dead varmint with ticks crawling all over the body, looking for places to suck out the last remaining source of nutrients from the blood?

These parasites survive by sucking just enough nutrition out of their hosts to flourish and procreate, yet not killing the source of all their free meals. Consider this phenomenon as nature's welfare program (Ah, but that's another sermon in itself!).

This is a good object lesson for us, how sin will suck the life out of you & me. Plus, you often can’t see the parasites of sin without the mirror of God’s Word (Heb. 4:12).

What I want to focus on today is the Christian parasite. I know, it's almost an oxymoron, the words being quite opposite in meaning. That is to say, the Christian should be a giving person; so, to say that he or she is a parasite - one who feeds off others - is a striking contrast. Instead of giving, the Christian is taking.

Read verse 7 of the same chapter of I Corinthians: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."

Thus, if you're a born again Christian, you have been given a gift, which is, in part, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, prophecy (which means preaching God's word and not looking into the future), and so forth (vv. 8-10).

To what purpose do these gifts pertain? Read verse seven again and you'll see that the gifts are intended not just for private edification, but for the good of the church. In turn, the community benefits from a church that is obedient to God's word and in harmony with one another in labor (I Corinthians 14:26).

For further demonstration of this thought of edification, look at these verses -

1. Built up for work: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"   Eph. 4:12

2. Built up with knowledge: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"   Eph. 4:14

3. Built up by love: "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."   Eph. 4:16

Let me put it to you this way, Christian: By being in the church and not being involved in a ministry (because - as you have read - you've been given a gift), you are taking instead of giving, much like a parasite. Don't you see that parasites don't give, but suck the life out of those around him or her?

By the way:

* Giving money to TBN is not a ministry.
* Sponsoring a child from a 3rd world country, although admirable, is not a ministry.
* Emailing chain letters that promise blessings if you send them to 10 people is not a ministry.
* Copying & pasting devotionals you chance upon the internet and then emailing them to family  and friends whom you believe need to read them is not a ministry.
* Studying the Bible at home and not sharing God's wonderful treasure with others is not a ministry; indeed, it is a SIN ! Read James 4:17 for further conviction.

You will be judged at the Bema Seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10) for your Christian service, or lack thereof. To delineate this thought further, consider I Cor. 3:12-15,

"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

In verses 8-9 of I Corinthians 3, Paul gives the context of this judgment: It is based on man laboring with God, who shall give each man his own reward according to his own labour.

Dear Christian, do you really want to remain uninvolved and have this charged to your account? Truly, you shall reap what you sow, my friend (Gal. 6:7)!

So, stop sitting on your blessed assurance and get involved in your church. Duty calls for it and grace allows for it!

Before you can serve, you must be saved! How Can I Be Saved?

There is joy in serving Jesus
As I journey on my way
Joy that fills my heart with praises
Every hour and every day

There is joy, joy, joy in serving Jesus
Joy that throbs within my heart
Every moment, every hour
As I draw upon His power
There is joy, joy, joy that never shall depart

There is joy in serving Jesus
Joy amid the darkest night
For I've learned the wondrous secret
And I'm walking in the light

There is joy, joy, joy in serving Jesus
Joy that throbs within my heart
Every moment, every hour
As I draw upon His power
There is joy, joy, joy that never shall depart

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