To-Do List

Whenever my two older boys come to me to ask me about doing something, I usually make them think about how they ask the question before I give them an answer. For example, sometimes they will ask “Can we have a dessert? or Can we go outside?” When those questions are asked in that particular way, I typically respond accordingly, “I don’t know, can you?” Obviously they can go outside, but that is not how they should ask the question. “May we have dessert?” or “May we go outside?”. They typically catch themselves before finishing the question to reword the question because they know that they will not get an answer from me until they ask the question correctly.

Even in our thinking, sometimes as Christians we think about things that we can do. We can do a lot of things but that doesn’t mean that we actually do them. I want us to focus more on actually doing whatever it is that is on our “can-do” list instead of thinking about “Can we” or “We can”. This list is in no particular order.

  1. Love – Who doesn’t want to be loved more? If we do not love, we are sinning.

1 Thess 3:12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;

We live in a time where people need reassurance. We can think all we want about what people really need but that doesn’t change how we should approach them. John 13:34-35 is abundantly clear. By showing love, people will know that we are disciples of Christ. An easy way for me to understand this principle is thinking about sports and coaching. You cannot coach every kid the same way. Some kids thrive on being the center of attention, being yelled at, and worked hard. Some kids completely shut down when you do this. Not all kids are coachable. As much as it pains me to say this, not all people are Christian material. Some people are dead set in doing what they want to do. We know this is the case because we are told about the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31-32) It is sometimes harder to coach kids who are not fitting the mold of what you are used to. It is sometimes harder to love others who are not fitting the mold of what we are used to. This does not mean that they should be loved any less.

  • Pray – Can we go wrong with prayer? Think about it- pray for yourself, brethren, world leaders, enemies, and even the lost. If we do not pray, we are sinning.

1 Thess 5:17 pray without ceasing;

Without realizing it, we treat prayer as our first and last defense, as we should. For example, people who are applying for a new job. They pray that they can get an interview and then after that interview, they pray that it went well. What about in putting on the whole armor of God? There is no doubt in my mind, that prayer is what helps hold all the pieces together. (Eph 6:10-18)

  • Show no partiality – This is an opportunity of a lifetime for us to show the world the power of the gospel. If we show partiality, we are sinning.

James 2:1,9 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism…But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

We have an opportunity to show a divided world how Christ unites us all. We must be committed to one another in Christ. No matter the ethnicity, race, cultural background, financial status, marital status, gender – in scripture we have example of the division between Jews and Gentiles as being healed through Christ. If we do not seek unity, we lack faith in the gospel.

Rev 22:2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations, and Christians must hold this grace out to all people. Even more, we need to be living demonstrations of it. (Doy Moyer)

  • Focus on Christ – Do we need to guess at what will happen if we take our eyes off of the road while we are driving?

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are easily distracted. There is just no getting around that. Distracted drivers cause more wrecks than any other cause. I know that some will find that hard to believe but it is a harsh reality. The majority of the wrecks I was involved with in extrication/medical, easily 80% of them were caused by phones, eating food/drinking beverages (nonalcoholic), taking their eyes off the road to look at something else. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then here is a quote to consider.

          “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that driving while texting is six times more dangerous than driving drunk. Reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds.”

Imagine the damage that will occur when we take our eyes off of Jesus as we are trying to make our way to Heaven?

For most reading this article, there should be nothing “new” here. It should be a reminder of some things that we ought to be doing and if not, then let’s get to work!

-Lee Elkins