Duty Demands it
‘Rescue the Perishing, duty demands it,’ is a line from a Christian Hymn. Of course it is speaking of telling people headed for hell that they can change course and go to heaven instead through Jesus Christ.
But, is that all Christian duty demands of Christians? Hardly. Our duty is far more.
The Bible says that someone who is faithful over a little will be made faithful over a lot – or something close to that. We often think of it as someone who is faithful in doing a good job in a work environment will get a promotion. That may well be a good interpretation. But, the scope of this teaching is far greater than one’s work environment.
The duty of every Christian is to be obedient to God. That requires self-disciple and responsibility. I read about a man who was very rich and had a loving family. The next day he was taken prisoner by the Nazis, his family was murdered, his wealth confiscated, and even his clothes – the clothes of rich man – were taken. He found himself dressed in thin prison clothing, eating starvation rations, and treated brutally by his prison guards. Years of captivity and torment went by. He survived to see the end of the war, gain his freedom, and begin a life entirely different than he had ever lived before. When he was asked for his secret of survival he replied, ‘I realized that the only thing that was truly mine was my attitude. My captors could not take that from me. They could not tell me what my attitude must be. That is how I survived.’ (paraphrased –and I can’t give the source of this story since I don’t have it anymore.)
It is the duty of every Christian to have an attitude that pleases God. If your attitude doesn’t please God in the little things then you aren’t going to please him in the big things.
Duty demands that you have a good attitude. There are no escape clauses due to circumstances. Circumstances obviously can bring great sorrow, tribulation, poverty, illness, mocking, boredom, and more unpleasantness than could be written down in a ten volume set of books on that particular subject. Determining to have a good attitude in trying circumstances does not trivialize your current situation. It does determine how you will handle it. I can’t imagine what the man in the concentration camp went through. I don’t actually know his definition of a good attitude. But I always think if people in a situation that horrible can manage a good attitude then I must try.
A good attitude is truthful. It doesn’t mean facing the day pretending everything is perfect and lovely even though it obviously is not. It does not face the day pretending that everything is far more horrible than it actually is. A good attitude faces reality, does its best to get through the day in a way that is honorable and helpful, and doesn’t complain.
The fertilizer for a good attitude is thankfulness. There is no way an unthankful heart can develop a consistently cheerful positive attitude. Remember that when the disciples were facing a fearsome storm Jesus came to them walking on the water. And he told them to be of good cheer, and confirmed that it was Jesus Himself with them in the midst of the storm. Jesus is with us in the midst of our storms as well. He won’t leave us. He won’t betray us. I can almost guarantee that we won’t understand what is going on most of the time, but we will not be alone. We are to be of good cheer. I think that means at least in part to be hopeful.
It is our duty to love others as Christ loved us. That doesn’t automatically spring up in the midst of persecution and trials. Pray daily, ‘Help us to love others the way you love us.’ That doesn’t mean you condone their wicked actions. To love others the way Christ loves them is to hope for their salvation through Jesus Christ. There may be opportunities to show others the love of God through your actions, but the first act of love is to pray for their salvation.
It is our duty to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ as given to us in the Bible. There is nothing that can be added to His word. There is nothing that can be taken away from His word. Charismatic prophecies and papal writings are false teachings when they contradict with God’s word. Anything that contradicts with God’s word is a false way. It is our duty to hate every false way – because false ways lead people directly to hell. The way to show our hatred of false ways is to love people enough to tell the truth regarding how to get to heaven. It is to tell the truth about sin even when society claims something is not sin.
Remember the blessings and promises of God written in the Bible. Remember His blessings to you personally beginning with the blessing of life and salvation. God’s promises are still good. They may not come in the timeframe that suits us, but they will be fulfilled. Then we will understand God’s timeframe. Right now in America and in the world people have forgotten the blessings of God on nations. The Bible tells us that while the Hebrews were in Egypt they were first well thought of due to Joseph. Then as many years went by Joseph was forgotten and great sorrow came to the Jews and then to the Egyptians. Forgetting God is always path to sorrow and woe. Currently the Christian foundation of America is being rewritten to suit a man centered philosophy. The indisputable fact that the hand of God was on the start of this nation is being pushed aside. It is being erased from history. Tragedy of overwhelming proportions will come and is already beginning.
While we don’t know exactly what is coming, we do know our duty will change. To keep that good attitude Christians are to be:
Two verses give the benefit of thankfulness and the curse of an unthankful heart.
Thankfulness – gets the peace of God in your heart.
‘And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.’ Colossians 3:15
An unthankful heart brings on vanity and a heart filled with darkness instead of light. It is foolish to not be thankful.
‘Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.’ Romans 1:21
‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.’ Psalm 42:11
‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.’ Proverbs 15:3
Loving toward others the way Christ loves us
‘But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.’ Luke 6:35
Obedient to the teachings of the Bible
Obedience has a blessing for obedience and punishment for lack of obedience.
‘Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.’ Isaiah 42:24
‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:’ Isaiah 1:19
‘Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.’ Psalm 20:7
‘I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.’ Psalm 77:11
And remember the good things that God has done for you and your family.
But this is not the end of the story. These things are the duty of a Christian.
‘So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.’ Luke 17:10
We should not expect a reward for doing our duty or what is required of us. Don’t become puffed up or proud for doing what is required of you. We need to go beyond what duty demands. Do your best to do at least a little more than is required of you.
An interesting parable in the Bible speaks of profitable an unprofitable servants. One buried his money in the ground and did nothing. The others invested the money and made a profit.
‘His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ Matthew 25:23
The servants who received the promotion had different amounts of money to invest. Both made a good effort. Both received what looks like the same reward.
I would guess that the unprofitable servant here was not profitable in anything, doing only enough to get by. He was fearful and lacking in courage. He was probably also lazy. These are things that are overcome through learning to rely on the Lord. In studying the Bible we notice that the big success stories are about unimportant people who were simply obedient. Joshua probably wondered what was going on when he was told to march around the walls of Jericho daily. Then he was told to blow the trumpets. Did he have any idea of what was going on? I don’t know. But he was obedient. He was action based. He did what the Lord told him to do. Then boom! The walls fell down.
Did Moses know God was going to part the Red Sea? I don’t know. He was action based. The outcome wasn’t in his hands. He did what the Lord told Him to do.
How about Gideon who wound up with an army of a few hundred men to fight a giant army? Was he shaking in his boots? Maybe. But he went forward doing what he was told to do. He was action based. He left the outcome to the Lord.
I think that is where Christians often drop the ball. We are looking for a particular outcome with our work. When that outcome does not materialize we start to question what we are doing. It never hurts to question when things aren’t going well. It is not right to base our decisions on how things are going at the moment. Nothing would ever get done if feelings ran the world.
Remember your ‘talents’ or ‘things entrusted to you by God’ begins with yourself. Be faithful with the life God has given you regardless of circumstances. If you attitude needs and adjustment – then give it a good one!
Proverbs 23:7a says, ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ Read in context this is referring to an evil person being nice to get you to join him.’ However, it is true of a committed Christian as well. Or, as my mother in law used to say, ‘What’s in the well comes up in the bucket!’ If you do not have an attitude of thankfulness and cheer, your attitude will be bitterness and sorrow.
If we cannot learn to be content today, we will not be content tomorrow no matter how much our circumstances may change for the better. If our circumstances change for the worse our attitude will become even worse!
To do our duty for our God is not a heavy burden to bear. Matthew 11:28-30 says,
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Come Unto Me – I will give you rest!
the blessed Savior calling the oppressed,
“Oh, ye heavy-laden, come to Me and rest;
Come, no longer tarry, I your load will bear,
Bring Me every burden, bring Me every care.”
Come unto Me, I will give you rest;
Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blest;
I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might;
Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light.
Dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care?
Do unholy feelings struggle in your breast?
Bring your case to Jesus—He will give you rest.
Stumbling toward the pit of hell’s consuming flame;
By the pow’rs of sin deluded and oppressed,
Hear the tender Shepherd, “Come to Me and rest.”
Has a sense of weakness brought distress within?
Christ will sanctify you, if you’ll claim His best;
In the Holy Spirit, He will give you rest.
Dear PZ Readers,
I have a new youtube channel. It is called ‘The Silver Lining’. My first video is about how to wear a wig during chemo. I know that isn’t a subject that will interest most of you – and I thank the Lord for that. However, it would help me get started if you would visit the page, watch a few minutes, and give it a thumbs up.
If you have the time to tweet it or anything that would help in getting more views I would sincerely appreciate it. Also if anyone has a use for the video or would like to link to a cancer web site that is fine.
I am hoping to be well enough to make videos of my articles soon. I also have plans for just everyday things. Some of it will be very light hearted like the video on ‘How to get people to like you’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iEYBfc_Tw8
It is a work in progress. I am hoping to improve lighting and the background. It is nice to be doing something besides vomiting and groaning in pain.
Thank you again for your prayers. God truly bless you and guide you.