LEARNING TO SAY "I WILL" AND MEAN IT
Jesus often said "I will" and He meant it! (1) Jesus said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37) He promised to save all who come to Him. We must come on His terms; not our own terms. Jesus said "I will" to salvation. (2) Jesus said I willĒ to a man with leprosy. "And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him." (Luke 5:13) He also cleanses people of sinful hearts. Jesus said "I will" to cleansing. (3) Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32) We must confess Christ to be saved and after we are saved we must confess Him in this dark world. Jesus said "I will" to confession. (4) Jesus said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19) Jesus will make you a soul winner. Nothing is more powerful than accepting Jesus' "I will" of service and soul winning. (5) Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Jesus said "I will" give rest to those who come to Him; the rest comes to those who labour and are heavy laden for Jesus. When Jesus said "I will" He meant it. There are some things we should say "I will" about and we should truly mean it!
"I will" be an active participant in the work of the Lord. I want to think of God as "My God" and His work in the church as "My work." "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) I will make every possible effort to attend every assembly of the church. I will be certain to attend Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes. I will determine that the Lord and His work are going to be first in your life. What needs to be done? Everything! The possibilities for involvement in the work of the Lord are endless. What skills has God blessed you with? Do what you can for Jesus. If we are willing participants in the Lordís work, we will soon understand that serving the Lord is one of the most enjoyable experiences of a Christianís life. We learn to become a part of something larger than ourselves. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." (Romans 14:7-8)
"I will" invite and bring friends to the church assembly. All of us have someone in our acquaintance that we can influence to come with us to the services of the church. If every member of the Walnut Street Church of Christ would be seri≠ous about this one thing our growth would be phenomenal. Go by and pick up people for the services. Sit with them when they attend. Make them feel at home. Let them feel our love. Intro≠duce your visitor to others. Put forth a special effort to have your visitors in your home. Go to work for God! "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)
"I will" be enthusiastic about Christ and His church. "I will" talk about the good things which go on at the Walnut Street Church of Christ. "I will" talk about the love we share. "I will" talk to my friends about the lessons that are taught in the pulpit and in our Bible classes; I will talk about how these lessons help, inspire and encourage me. "I will" talk about our good elders and deacons; I will talk about our mission work and our great youth work. I will be very careful never to say anything to discourage others. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)
"I will" use my talents for God. If every member of the Walnut Street Church of Christ would use their talents for God many lives could be touched. It is easy to be critical of others when we are guilty of not using our talents. Those who do what they can will be blessed and they will be a blessing to others. But what a terrible fate awaits those who do not use their talents for God! "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:14-30)
"I will" be attentive in everything. Singing is a vital part of our worship. I will be ready to sing and I will sing from my heart during every assembly. I will speak to visitors; I will talk to our children and I will be kind to everyone. I will do any little thing I can to care for the building and to welcome people as they enter. I will do what I can even if it seems like a small thing to others. Jesus praised a woman saying, "She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying." (Mark 14:8) Let us do what we can. Visitors will notice these little things. They will be impressed.
"I will" be responsible for both my familyís attendance and conduct at worship. I will be on time at each assembly. I will help my family be a credit to the Lord and a good influence in their conduct. Our children cannot be expected to conduct themselves properly with≠out parental supervision. "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4) The church will grow when our focus is on getting our families to heaven.
"I will" pray earnestly each day. I will pray for our elders and their work. I will pray for unity. I will pray for lost souls who need Christ. I will pray for those friends and relatives who need the blessings of God. I will also pray that I can grow spiritually. I will pray daily and when payers are offered in the assembly I will pray fervently. I will pray daily for the church, for its members and for its work. We need to pray for one another because we all stand in need of prayer. "I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day." (2 Timothy 1:3)
Jesus gave us a great promise by using the "I will" of the resurrection. "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40) To become a Christian hear the word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) Come to Jesus today if you are lost in your sins! All heaven is interested in your salvation from sin. God is love and He wants you saved! The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Obey Him now!
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037