Five Board games
Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
A Six Pound Welding Book
18 Boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
What in the world do these items have to do with one another? The shrink wrap is a big clue.
These items are currently stacked upon the carpeted floor of my parents’ family room waiting to be packed into our South Africa bound luggage. Of course these items have no idea – how could they? They are inanimate! – of the various feelings of stress and urgency John and I are experiencing as we determine how to pack them into our bags and stay within our luggage weight limits.
These objects are laying on the floor without a clue. However, these items will serve a specific and unique purpose for our family in South Africa. We need them to function and assist us when we return to South Africa – with instruction and education, with ‘nutrition,’ with entertainment, with protection, with service, and more.
So, as I was reading the following verse from Romans 12:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. New International Version, Romans 12:1
My attention was drawn to this phrase in light of those inanimate objects that have no idea of the urgency that is surrounding them:
Therefore, I urge you
Urge comes from the Greek transliterated word, parakalō. Parakalō means that someone comes along side another to beseech, to beg, to call upon, and to encourage.
In the context of Romans 12:1, there are no luggage contents lying upon a family room floor. No, the focus of Paul’s exhortation are people; the followers of Jesus Christ in Rome and throughout the world.
Paul is calling upon Christ followers to serve their God with every ounce of their being – to offer themselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.
If we call ourselves Christ Followers, Paul doesn’t want us to be lying about on our family room floors unaware and disengaged with our role and purpose in this world. There is so much more for us to do than that!
We are urged to take action.
We are being beseeched by our God to meet the needs of widows and orphans.
We are being begged by our God to feed the homeless and the poor.
We are being called upon by our God to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. NIV Matthew 28:19
We are being pleaded by God to lay aside our own desires, to trust, and to follow Him.
Yes, we are being encouraged by our God to look beyond ourselves and thrust our energy, our passions, our strengths, and even our weaknesses towards something far greater than ourselves – his Kingdom work.
What is Kingdom work?
Kingdom work is anything that carries out God’s purposes on earth for the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom to come!
And this Kingdom work is an urgent, glorious work!
Urgent is defined as requiring immediate action to meet a pressing need.
This begs the question. Are we lying around on a family room floor unaware of the pressing needs of those around us, of their need of a Savior in Jesus Christ, and our function and purpose in fulfilling this call and exhortation with them?
We are being urged to action in Paul’s first line of Romans 12.
And the beauty of it is, our God is beside us as He calls. He will always be near to provide His infinite and great, comforting, guiding Presence as He urges us onwards! He goes with us – every step of the way!!!
Will we answer His call or will we choose to continue to lie around?