It's very similar to owning a really nice hot rod. You've got this car that has a big engine. It has all the bells & whistles you could ask for and when you have it in neutral you can really shake the ground by reving up the RPM's. But no matter how good it sounds, this car is of no good until you shift it into drive. I believe that's where a lot of churches are. They are sitting in neutral. They have all the components, look good & sound good...but they just haven't shifted gears.
Matthew 25 has a great parable where Jesus teaches us about the a master who gives 3 of his servants some talents before leaving town. He tells them to take them and make him some money. Well 2 of the guys take their talents and double their money for the master. The 3rd guy, out of fear of losing his talent, buries it in a hole. So when the master comes back the first two guys really impress him, but the 3rd guy fails at making his case about his fear of losing the talent. So the master takes the talent from him & gives it to the one who made the most and cast this guy out into the darkness where there is wheeping and gnashing of teeth.
Poor guy right? I mean he had the talent...he had the opportunity...he had the master's permission...so he had the potential. Buy he failed to act on it out of...well...you fill in the blank. See we are all given a talent to do something with. But how many of us make an excuse or allow fear to keep us from stepping out of our potential into being productive. In the discussion group some good thoughts were brought out. Some of us are: scared, fear of the unknown, lazy, apathetic, don't know which direction to go in, not sure what the needs are in the church, etc... So we just sit in idle.
As the pastor, I've got to key in on this and address it. I have to cleary articulate the vision God has given me so that there will be no excuse as far as needs & direction are concerned. I also have to teach that everyone of us will be judged on our lack of action just as much as we will on the actions we do take. In 1 Corinthians, Paul address those who build on gold, silver & precious gems vs. those who build on straw. Your work or the lack there of will be judged by fire. Your life's work may stand on the gold, silver or precious gem. However if you have moved out of your potential & got productive for the Kingdom your life work will be consumed by the fire. You will still make into heaven, but you'll smell like smoke.
Are you being productive? What are your passions, hobbies, talents? Next week we will talk more about stepping out of our potential and use our talents for God. My friend Tony made a good point that many are called but few are chosen. It's not that God didn't want all the other to be chosen as well. Actually, it's based on the fact that only a few chose to follow God and respond to his call. Only a few were willing to step out in faith & leave their potential to become productive.