When the Affordable Care Act engaged in full force, small businesses were already making hard choices, hiring employees for part-time rather than full-time. Many people who were promised not to lose their healthcare were faced with losing their jobs. Now with labor day on the horizon, we begin to see the condition of jobs and benefits deteriorate unlike we’ve ever seen before.
Now, these same folks love Jesus, go to church, and are good Christian folks. But while the preacher goes on and on about the sweet by and by, they are hurting in the here and now. Does the eternal, holy, and good God see my needs where I am? Are God’s good gifts only eternity? Or are they for the here and now? What are God’s promises for his children while they tread upon this earth?
When we start a new job, we have come to expect certain kinds of benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, vision and a retirement plan. Some jobs even include a life insurance policy in effect while we work for that job to help take care of our families. And these will be the subjects of our messages this month, for God supplies richly and abundantly the benefits of His kingdom upon those whom He has called.
But all those benefits assume that you are doing you job. Even these heavenly benefits are contingent upon the practice and growth of your faith. Are you expanding your toolbox by reading and studying God’s Word? Are you strengthening your relationship with Jesus by spending time in prayer? Does the practice of your faith include both going to church weekly and sharing your faith daily, with family, friends and people you meet?
Our job description is clear: As you go, make disciples, baptize believers, and teach them to be like Jesus. This is our great commission as the church, which applies to each of us if it applies to any of us. Each of us has been called, however we are equipped by the Spirit, to make disciples, to show others even if only by our example, what it means to be a Christian. Whether in tough times or easy, how do you labor for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Does everyone you know know you are a Christian? If not, repent of this sin, and seek to show others your faith. It’s ok to make others uncomfortable. We weren’t called to make them comfortable, but to bring their souls to Jesus. This is our job, and we have this job to do.
We find that the benefits to this job far outweighs the headaches and frustrations.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
“I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.