What Are You Doing Spiritually?
Many Sabbath-keepers have been disillusioned or turned off by one or more organized bodies. Some have thrown out all or most or their former beliefs. Others are perplexed and hurt, the spiritual refugees of chaotic, strife-filled battles with their former affiliation. They may be still clinging to basic truths, but not knowing where to go or what to do. They are in need of a helping hand. It is to this latter group that I ask a vital question: "What are you doing spiritually?"
Before, it was so easy to pray for others to "do the work," and to pay tithes to "Godís ministers" to do His Work. There was no question about where to go for Sabbath services. Now it is not easy at all. For what, or for whom, does one pray? Where does one invest Godís tithes? With whom does one fellowship? Suddenly, the "easy" questions are now very hard to answer.
For some, loyalty is merely switched from one group which "has all the truth" and is the "true church" to another group which claims the same things. I know such people, who view myself and others as outside the fold of Godís Church.
For others, there is an inward turning. Tithes are put in the bank and kept there, awaiting Elijahís return. There is no fellowship with others, period. Personal beliefs are adamant and often out on strange tangents. This is a dangerous condition.
A few honestly attempt to maintain cherished beliefs, meet with others of like faith (not necessarily exactly, but certainly within bounds), and do what they can to encourage others to stay in the faith as well.
Several scriptures have motivated them to do something positive. Matthew 25:14-30 tells about the parable of the talents. The one who received only one talent did nothing. He put his tithes in the bank and stayed in his ivory tower. His returning Lord expected him to have done something, and cast this unprofitable servant away. Matthew 24: 42-51 describes the faithful and wise servant, who, when his Lord returns, is found to be doing his part in giving the Lordís household meat in due season.
What should the profitable servant of God be doing?
(1) Seek and maintain positive fellowship with others of like faith. Without proper fellowship, you will die spiritually. Years ago, brethren thirsting for the truth would drive hundreds of miles for worthwhile sermons and fellowship. Now, some wonít go across town.
(2) Maintain the "big four" spiritual habits of prayer, fasting, study and meditation. You certainly are good for nothing unless you maintain your spiritual savor.
(3) Broaden your base of understanding through correspondence and sharing of ideas and comments with others. We need to get out of our spiritual ruts we sometimes get into. Simply writing or phoning a distant brother can produce a life-stimulating bond which refreshes both parties involved.
(4) Use your spiritual gifts. Remember, we are not all called to preach or write articles or make Bible Study tapes. Turn a hobby, occupation, talent, or ability into a worthwhile work of service for all, especially those of the household of faith, Galatians 6:10. Our Savior was a "man for others" and we should be also, continually serving the brethren.
Would You Make the "Sabbath-Keepersí Yellow Pages"?
Someday Iíd like to compile a "Sabbath- Keepersí Yellow Pages." It would contain the names and addresses of many who serve others. One entry, under the topic of "Printing & Duplicating," would be Johnson Graphics, George L. Johnson, PO Box 317, Decatur, Michigan 49045. George has a small print shop, specializing in publishing magazines, articles, booklets, and out-of-print books of interest to Sabbath-keepers.
Under "Bibles & Religious Books" would be our activity, Giving & Sharing. We are a non-profit, mail order, religious bookstore, offering discounts on most Bibles and Christian books in print. Books have been my interest and aptitude. It is a pleasure as well as a responsibility to help others get their hands on Biblical study material at reasonable rates.
Earl Lewis, who manages the Giving & Sharing Bookstore, also conducts SEED, a tract ministry. He sends much literature to Sabbath-keepers around the world, including India.
Every member of the true body of the Messiah has a spiritual gift or talent that the Eternal expects to be used. Read Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12. What a shame so many professed believers do not use their God-given talents.
An early 1920ís Bible Advocate carried the following article, "A Dying Church," written by O.R. Osman: A Church that is doing nothing for the public is on its way to the cemetery. All its members who are doing nothing are acting as pallbearers. All who are so busy with their own affairs that theyíve no time to devote to the Lordís cause are making the mourning wreath. The brother who says nothing at all is driving the hearse. The ones who are constantly drawing back when moves are to be made, are throwing flowers on the grave . . . . Brother, which of these acts are you performing?
What are you DOING spiritually?W
This article was originally published as Study No. 52.