Give me a word, Lord: START RIGHT HERE

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Daniel 11:32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.

My drive to work each day takes about 25 minutes, and I spend that drive getting my mind geared up for the day. In doing so, I keep my radio tuned to American Family Radio, and every time a song comes on that I like, I turn the volume up a little more. By the time I arrive at work, the radio is booming loudly, and I am full of joy and ready to start my work day. Yesterday, as I was driving in to work, a song, Start Right Now, by Casting Crowns came on the radio. As I intently listened to the words as if for the first time, I was overcome with a great need to share the words of this song. Take your time and read these words. Sing along if you want.

We want our coffee in the lobby. We watch our worship on a screen. We got a rock-star preacher who won’t wake us from our dreams. We want our blessings in our pockets. We keep our missions overseas, but for the hurting in our cities would we even cross the street? But we wanna see the heart set free and the tyrants kneel. the walls fall down and our land be healed. But church if we want to see a change in the world out there it’s got to start right here. It’s got to start right now. Lord, I’m starting right here. Lord, I’m starting right now. I’m like the brother of the prodigal who turned his nose and puffed his chest. He didn’t run off like his brother, but his soul was just as dead. What if the church on Sunday was still the church on Monday too? What if we came down from our towers, and walked a mile in someone’s shoes? Hmm ’cause we wanna see the heart set free and the tyrants kneel, the walls fall down and our land be healed. But church if we want to see a change in the world out there, it’s got to start right here. It’s got to start right now. Lord, I’m starting right here. Lord, I’m starting right now. We’re the people who are called by His name. If we surrender all our pride and turn from our ways, He will hear from Heaven and forgive our sin. He will heal our land, but it starts right here. We’re the people who are called by His name. If we surrender all our pride and turn from our ways, He will hear from Heaven and forgive our sin. He will heal our land. It’s got to start right here. It’s got to start right now. Lord, I’m starting right here.
Lord, I’m starting right now.

Our prayer for the longest period of time has been, “Lord, please heal our land.” We pray for healing, but what are we as Christians doing to help bring about the healing? We want everything to be served up to us on a silver platter. We want healing, but we want God to do all of the heavy work. Christianity has turned from one of contribution Christianity to consumer Christianity. People want coffee shops in the churches and worship services on the big screens. People want Rockstar preachers who look great on stage but are careful not to step on any toes, and we want to hold on to our blessings and not share our tithes with the church. We support missions overseas, but we forget those lost ones right here in our own communities. We want changes in our government. We want the hearts of the leaders to be changed. We want walls to fall down and our land to be healed, but basically, we just want God to do it all by Himself. We know that He can. Oh yes, He can, but maybe, just maybe, He is waiting for us to start…right here…right now.

It is indeed well past time for a change, my friends, but that change needs to start within the heart of every single Christian. We have to stop being consumer Christians who want to be served. Consumer Christians feel entitled, and they point fingers at everyone but themselves when there are problems. Consumer Christians focus on what we are going to get out of this relationship with Christ or from our church, and they often have trouble finding a church home. Instead, it is time for us to become contributing Christians! Contributing Christians come to serve. Oh yes, a true Christian has the heart of a servant, and we should each have a desire within us to serve others. There are many ways to serve, and sometimes you just have to find your niche. If you haven’t found it yet, keep searching, but while you are searching, keep serving! Serving others allows others to see Christ in you, and when we serve others, rather than blessing those we are serving, we often find that we are the ones who receive the blessing. Contributing Christians have hearts of gratitude and gratefulness. Rather than feeling entitled, we feel grateful for the blessings that God has so graciously bestowed upon us. Contributing Christians take time to look around for the needs of others, and even ask others what they need. What does the church need? Are the needs of others within the church body being met? Contributing Christians realize that it is not all about “me”, but it is really all about “God and people…all people.” Rather than asking what I will get out of this, a contributing Christian gives without expectation of return trusting completely in God and His plan for their lives. Contributing Christians don’t have trouble finding a home church, but rather they find a church family that is an extension of their own family.

We must keep praying and petitioning for God to heal our land, but I feel within my heart that God wants each and every one of us to be an active part in the healing process. We can’t continue to sit back and consume. It’s time to start contributing. It is time to surrender our pride and turn from our ways. It is time for church on Sunday to still be church on Monday…and every day of the week. It’s time for us to come down from our high towers and walk a mile in someone’s shoes. It’s time to not only contribute to foreign missions, but to make an effort to walk across the street to help someone in need. It’s time to share the gospel. We can’t keep on keeping the Good News to ourselves. It’s time to start right here, right now!

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