Thursday, July 28, 2011

What’s Really Important to You?

We live in a day when our most valuable commodity is time! With schedules that are increasingly hectic, the things we choose to do are the greatest indicator of our individual priorities. Even with busy schedules, I’m convinced we always find time to do what we love! For example:
  • In just a matter of weeks, millions of men will awaken hours prior to the crack of dawn, travel deep into the woods dressed in camouflage and carrying heavy firearms, and scale a tree to spend the next four hours peering over the horizon…all in hopes of bringing home a trophy deer worthy of displaying in the family room.
  • In a totally different scenario, ladies all across the nation will spend Thanksgiving Day cooking, cleaning and hosting family, then collapse from exhaustion into a much needed slumber…and then the following day arrive at stores in the wee hours of the morning to shop for that ever allusive bargain at stores that are open 24-hours a day every other day of the year.
  • During the fall, millions of men, women and children will adjust their schedules and make commitments, financial and otherwise, to attend every game of their favorite high school and/or college football team. Rain or shine, hot or cold, these fans will be in attendance to cheer on their gridiron hopeful! Win, lose or draw, the commit level never wanes and hope blooms eternal for the next game.
You don’t have to be begged to do what you love…it just comes natural! Because of this, if you take a look at where you spend your time you’ll probably see what ranks as most important in your life.

So the question becomes, “How do we determine what’s important?” In Matthew 4, we find Jesus walking along the Sea of Galilee when he encountered two brothers, Peter and Andrew, doing what they loved…fishing. Scripture says that Jesus told them, “Follow Me and I will make you fish for people!” Verse 20 tells us they “Immediately left their nets and followed Him.” As Jesus and his two new disciples continued along the coast, they met James and John who were in a boat with their father repairing their fishing nets. Jesus called them and “Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.”

While there are many lessons we can learn from this passage, one truth is blaringly clear: when Jesus calls us it changes our priorities. There is no doubt that fishing was very important to these first four disciples. It was how they earned their living and, in the case of James and John, probably was a continuation of the family business. Their encounter with Jesus, however, changed everything. Because of God’s call on their lives, their priorities changed forever. One thing is certain: these four guys didn’t abandon their life of fishing because they thought they were volunteering for something. They left because Jesus called them to service.

Webster defines a volunteer as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service.” Our music ministry is not looking for volunteers, but rather those who are called to serve Him! Because of the price that Jesus Christ paid for us, our service to Him is not optional, but rather a genuine response to his grace and love. Because He has gifted us musically and placed a desire to sing within our hearts, we must respond by using those talents to lead our church family in worship on a weekly basis. The truth is, we are called to service…we don’t volunteer. Most importantly, when we view our service as a calling, like the disciples, it changes everything!

There are occasionally good reasons for missing choir, but there are never good excuses! So much of the emotional energy of our worship services at First Baptist Jackson is dependent on our choir and the visual image of a full loft. If God has called you to sing, it should immediately realign your priorities to allow you to faithfully attend rehearsals and lead in worship on Sunday mornings...every week. This means avoiding the temptation to “sit in the congregation just this Sunday” and missing rehearsal at the drop of a hat! If you’re approaching your commitment to choir as a volunteer, then you’re devaluing God’s call on your life and undermining the overall potential impact of our music ministry.

So let me conclude by asking you the question, “Do you consider yourself called or do you volunteer? Your answer to that question will determine how important your commitment to choir really is!

Pursuing the Call,

Lavon

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