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Fort Gibson

July 14, 2014

Christians must pave the way for future generations

There's no doubt about it. We live in a generation of consumers. We have high expectations for what someone else can do for us. Unfortunately, this is also the case when it comes to matters of faith and religion. It is easy to expect someone else to blaze the trail for us so that we can gain the benefits. Granted, not all of us are gifted at trail blazing. But there are many things we can do to help prepare the way home for future generations.

The apostle Paul wrote to his young brother in the faith, Timothy, to remind him of principles that needed to be reinforced among Christians. One of the most basic things he taught is the importance of being available and willing to carry God's message and do the work of the Lord. In other words, be a willing vessel.

Paul said, “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21).”

One of my lessons at church camp this summer is about Moses (Numbers 16). He is a good example of someone who didn't feel qualified to lead in the way God called him to lead. But because he was a willing vessel, many great things were accomplished through him. For Moses, leadership wasn't always something as glamorous as standing up to Pharaoh and leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. Sometimes it was something as simple as reminding the people about God's law, encouraging obedience and warning about the consequences of disobedience.      

While Moses was busy leading God's people, many from the priestly tribe of Levi evidently had a shallow view of the importance of the jobs God asked them to do. They became jealous of God's decision to make Moses their leader and Aaron their high priest even though the Levites had no small task in ministering to the community and working at the Lord's tabernacle. Those Levites rejected God's decision and became jealous vessels, not willing ones!

They were paving the way to destruction for themselves and future generations.

It would have been easy for Moses to cave in to public demand instead of teaching the people to honor God's commands.

But Moses knew generations of people after him could either be saved or lost based on his convictions.

Scripture points out that Moses was not perfect but he goes down in history as one dedicated to restoring righteousness among God's people.

In our culture today, people are sometimes not very tolerant of anyone encouraging obedience to God's will and even less tolerant of anyone warning about the consequences of disobedience. That is why it is vital for Christians to model Christ. In other words, take on the joy and heart of a servant so unbelievers will be drawn to what you have and believers will be encouraged to do something other than point out people's faults.

There is plenty of work to do in the Lord's kingdom today and every job in Christian service helps restore righteousness and pave the way home for generations that follow. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or barrett@ftgcc.org.

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