I don’t watch much TV but when I do there are a few shows that get my time and attention. One genre of Reality TV that I occasionally enjoy are shows where people are searching for a dream property to purchase within their budget. House Hunters, Tiny House Hunters, and my favorite Caribbean Life all interest me, as couples work closely with a motivated realtor to make their real estate dreams come true.
I once heard of a minister out in Ohio that saved up enough money to buy a few inexpensive acres of land. And on that land was a little run-down, weather-beaten farmhouse sitting on the acreage, a sad picture of neglect. The land had not been kept up either, so there were old tree stumps, rusted pieces of machinery, and all sorts of debris strewn here and there, not to mention a fence in great need of repair. The whole seen was a mess.
But during his spare time and vacations, the preacher rolled up his sleeves and got to work. He hauled off junk, repaired the fence, pulled away the stumps, planted new trees, seeded and landscaped the yard. Then he refurbished the old house into a quaint cottage with a new roof, windows, stone walkways etc. Finally while he was giving the house a fresh coat of paint when of the neighbors (who had watched all the renovations from a distance) came over and said, “Well, pastor—looks like you and the Lord have done a pretty fine job on your place here.” The pastor wiped the sweat from his face and replied, “Yeah, I suppose so, but you should have seen it when the Lord had it all to Himself.”
What this story implies is that we are in a partnership with God. And if we neglect, abandon or respond to His world (His creation) with apathy, then it’s likely to experience decay. But if we choose to partner with our creator we can take areas of neglect and dishevelment and make them things of beauty, health, and restoration. In other words we are put on earth to be in partnership with God. We are to be good stewards of the life He has so graciously given us. Rick Warren says it like this in his classic book the Purpose Driven Life “You were put on earth to make a contribution. You weren’t created just to consume resources—to eat, breathe, to take up space. God designed you to make a difference with your life. While many best-selling books offer advice on how to “get” the most out of life, that’s not the reason God made you. You were created to add to life on earth, not just take from it. God wants you to give something back. This is one of God’s purposes for your life, and it is called your “ministry” or your “service.”
I am reminded that the Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…” These good deeds are your service. Whenever you serve others, you are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your life purposes. God wants us to enter into a partnership with Him in using our gifts to serve humanity, to serve the church, to serve in our neighborhoods and circles of influence. The great thing about joining with God to make this world a better place through service is that you don’t need to be a master of many things to make an impact. Often times its more about our availability than our ability…more about our attitude than our aptitude. Nor does partnering with God in service require a high IQ, EQ, or good looks. But it does help if you know a few basic, simple, glorious, majestic, obvious, and unchanging things, and to be so gripped by them that you would be willing to lay down your life in service to advance them. In “real estate” jargon almost anyone can take an old weathered, neglected property and fix it up. It just takes a little ownership, a little concern, a little availability and some “sweat equity.” Mix in some personal responsibility along with a partnership with God, and the results are often impressive beautifications and renovations. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works… “
“You are writing a
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel
According to you?”