A Willing Mind and a WorkWE CAN DO
There are two fundamental truths all must learn. Truth number one: you need the Lord. Your sins have separated you from God. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) The only way back to God is through Jesus. The Hebrew writer wrote, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." (Hebrews 2:9) Truth two: the Lord can use you. You need to have a willing mind and find lots of work to do in the kingdom. "There is room in the kingdom, there's a place in God's service and there is work that we all can do."
There is room in the kingdom of God, my brother for the small things that you can do; just a small, kindly deed that may cheer another is the work God has planned for you.
Just a cup of cold water in His name given, may the hope in some heart renew; do not wait to be told, nor by sorrow driven to the work God has planned for you.
There's a place in the service of God for workers who are loyal to Him and true; can't you say to Him now, "I will leave the shirkers, and the work Thou hast planned I'll do."
There is room in the kingdom, there's a place in the service, in the kingdom of God for you. There is room in the kingdom, there’s a place in His service, and there is a work that we all can do. --- J.R Baxter, Jr.
Faithful Christians are those who reach that point of truly being able to say, "Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee." When we give ourselves totally over to the Lord it is then that God can use us. Paul commended the Macedonian Christians who had given themselves to the Lord saying, "For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have." (2 Corinthians 8:12) Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God.
Hannah had a willing mind and she did a great work for God. She had a little boy, whom she named Samuel. She gave him to the Lord to be trained and used by Eli in the service of God. Hannah had been unable to bear children. She made a promise to God. "Then she made a vow and said, "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head." (1 Samuel 1:11) In a touching scene Hannah gave her son to God. "Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, 'O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.' So they worshiped the Lord there." (1 Samuel 1:24-28) There is work you can do in the kingdom. What are you doing or what are you giving to Christ? Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God. Hannah did!
David had a willing mind and he did a great work for God. He had a song in his heart that he could use for God. He also had a sling and a smooth stone. He took his stand before Goliath "in the name of the Lord." "Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." (1 Samuel 17:45) David told Goliath, "the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands." (1 Samuel 17:47) God can accomplish much with little when a person has a willing mind. Just look at David's smooth stone. Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God. David did!
Christians in Macedonia had willing minds and they did a great work for God. These were people who were in "deep poverty." (2 Corinthians 8:2) Even beyond their power they gave to the Lord. "For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing." (2 Corinthians 8:3) They did a great work for God because they first willingly gave themselves to the Lord. "And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God." (2 Corinthians 8:5) Many in their situation, would have said, "I cannot do anything, I am too poor." These brethren knew the principle of using what you have and doing your best. Remember, when we do our best, "God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8) Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God. The Macedonians did!
Gideon had a willing mind and he did a great work for God. Gideon was an instrument raised up by God to deliver his people from Midianite oppressions. He, personally, did not see how he could do anything. He said, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." (Judges 6:15) God could use Gideon and his army of 300 because he had a willing mind. Gideon and his men were willing to follow God's instructions on strategy and weapons. The result was victory for God's people. Gideon was humble and modest. He did great things for God, not for Himself. God also wants your life and love. Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God. Gideon did!
Dorcas had a willing mind and she did a great work for God. Acts 9:36-41 says, "At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, 'Tabitha, arise.' And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive." Dorcas had a willing mind and a sewing needle. She had the ability and willingness to use what she had for God. She made coats and garments for others. When she died, they praised her as a woman "full of good works and charitable deeds which she did." (Acts 9:36) Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God. Dorcas did!
You have a work to do for God. God's work is in your hands. Others can do their work and be rewarded, but only you can do your work. The Lord is counting on you to do what you can, with what you have, where you are, while you can. Your life, your influence, your talents and your abilities are yours to be used for the service of our Master. It is a privilege to become a Christian. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16) Make your life what the Lord wants it to be. Make your life a channel of blessings to others. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9) Those who have a willing mind can do great things for God.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA