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I remember purchasing my first cell phone. I was stunned to find out it came with a two year contract. All the “What if” questions came to my mind. What if there is some terrible tragedy that would happen and I can’t pay? Do they repossess my phone like they would my car? Does a big scary guy come and take my phone right out of my pocket? What if a better phone came out while I was still in my contract? Two years is long time. To be honest with you, I think every time I mention about getting involved in a ministry all the “What ifs” run through your mind as well. What if I am not good enough? What if I say something wrong? What if I don’t like serving in that ministry? Will I get kicked out if I am not good at it? How long do I have to serve? Is this a life sentence? All valid questions. But, we forget Jesus gave us the freedom of a Costco return policy. In John 1, Andrew asked Jesus where he was staying and Jesus replied, “Come and See.” Jesus did not ask for a two year commitment from Andrew. Just a willingness to see what it was all about. Andrew would later follow Jesus’ invitation to a life long apprenticeship, but the first thing he had to do was to see what it was all about. I ask that you follow in Andrew’s footsteps. Be willing to see what serving is all about. You will not be asked to sign a two year commitment. You will not get kicked out of church. All I ask is that you be willing to “Come and See.” It will be like the free samples at Costco. Just try one. If you don’t like, great. If you do, great. Just be willing to see. When Jesus answered Andrew, he wanted to know if Andrew wanted to see. And the only way to find out was to follow Jesus. I pray that you are willing to see what Jesus is doing. All you have to do is show up one time. If you like, great. If you don’t, great.
Just be willing.
There is a powerful scene in the movie "Saving Private Ryan". Tom Hanks' character, Captain Miller, last words to Private Ryan were "Earn This." Can you imagine the amount of pressure and guilt Private Ryan must have had as he witnessed men give up their lives for him? How could you possibly know if you ever measured up? How could you ever know if you ever lived a life worthy of such a sacrifice? But, if you think about it, we are all like Private Ryan. Jesus said there is no greater love for someone than to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus, like Captain Miller's men, laid down their lives. But, Jesus did not tell you to earn it. Why? Because Jesus knew love is not about obligation but volition. He did not die to bring to life a guilt based system. He died for the exact opposite. He died to free you from the shackles of guilt and works. That system is spiritually dead that leads to an internal hamster wheel. Always striving but never arriving. Jesus' death frees you from such a bleak existence. His life and death lead to everlasting joy and purpose. His last words were about what we are supposed to do and how He will be by our side while we do it. He said show others how to live out my life lessons; and, I will be with when you do. Have you ever taken an open book test with the teacher there to answer questions? A test like that would hardly be a test at all. A test like that passes itself. If you can see, Jesus wants you to pass this test! He makes Himself available and gives you the answers. He requires us to take Him at His Word. Will you? Will you show others how live out His life lesson? Or will you take another lap on the hamster wheel of works and guilt?