OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


               The statement that entitles this article was heard often when this writer was growing up.  Women were entering the workplace and leaving the home.  This left them with less time to take care of the household responsibilities.  Thus, maids (house cleaners) were hired.  It wasn’t long before maids learned that their employers wanted them to do all kinds of chores around the house, including cleaning windows.  This was a laborious task that the maid did not want to do.  She quickly learned that when she was interviewing for a new job to tell her employer:  “I don’t do windows.”  In the movie, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” there is a play upon this concept when a maid was being hired.  This maid, however, had a laundry list of things that she would not do.

               This attitude seems to be prevalent among many Christians.  As children of God, we have been called to be servants.  Jesus set the standard of servanthood while in the upper room with His disciples.  “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel,      and girded himself.  After that he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel where-with he was girded….So after he had washed their feet, and had taken         his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?  Ye call me Master and Lord:  and ye say well; for so              I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:4-17).  Jesus, the Master, did to His disciples what they should have done to one another.  Humbly, He took the lowly position of a servant and washed each of their feet.  He, then, exhorted His apostles to do as He had done to them, that is, serve in any lowly capacity needed.

               As a member of the body of Christ, one quickly learns that there are multitudes of tasks that need to be done.  Many Christians, however, do not enjoy some of these tasks.  They cost a lot of time.  They do not always bring a rush of positive emotions.  Some of them can be difficult and laborious.  They do not put wealth into the pocketbook.  There is often little gratitude expressed for a job well done.  Occasionally, there may be some expense involved.  And, occasionally, there will someone who complains about the efforts that have been put forth.  For these and other reasons, Christians have developed their own lists of things they will not do.  They have become much like the maids who don’t do windows.

               There are some Christians who don’t do Sunday morning Bible class.  Commonly, those who don’t do Bible class involve ¼ to 1/3 of the members of the local congregation.  They do not want to lose one hour of sleep on their day off.  They do not want to have to sit through a 45-minute class listening to a subject that doesn’t interest them.  They get irritated when the teacher stresses lessons that are “too close to home.”  It upsets them when some obnoxious brother or sister continually tries to teach class from their seat.  Thus, they just don’t do Bible class.

               Those who don’t do Bible class need to consider at least two verses from the Bible.  One involves the words of our Lord.  “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).  The other comes from the pen of the apostle Peter.  “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2).  These verses teach us the importance of God’s Word in our lives, and our responsibility to desire the Word with great intensity.  Most brethren who refuse to come to Bible class are poor students of the Word at home as well.  Dear readers, it is imperative that we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18).  Bible classes afford us an opportunity to grow and mature.

               There are others in the Lord’s body who don’t do Sunday evening worship services.  In some congregations, this number consists of half the membership.  This group reasons that the Sunday evening service is not commanded by God, therefore, they are under no obligation to attend.  Apparently, they have better things to do with their time on the Lord’s Day.  Worshipping God two times in one day is just too much.  They see no spiritual benefit in assembling with the saints for a second period of worship to God.

               The problem these individuals have is addressed by Jesus in Matthew 15:8.  “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”  The Lord’s Day is really only the Lord’s hour to these disciples.  Gladness does not fill their heart when it is said:  “Let us go up to the house of the Lord” (Ps. 122:1).  Spiritual food and rich fellowship does not energize these individuals.  Gratitude does not fill their soul, compelling them to bow before their Redeemer at every opportunity.  No, their hearts are far from God.  These brethren would be wise to consider the counsel of Hebrews 3:12:  “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.”

               A third group in many congregations are those who don’t do any programs of the church.  These individuals are never part of a visitation team or involvement group.  The ladies of this group will never attend a ladies’ class or ladies’ day.  The men refuse to go to the men’s breakfast and men’s Bible study group.  They are absent when work days are scheduled.  They are not to be seen when door-knocking campaigns are conducted.  Workshops and seminars are a “no-no” to them.  They never stay for fellowship meals.  They have never attended a wedding, a shower, or a funeral involving one of their brothers or sisters in Christ.  The hospitals and nursing homes are off limits to them.  All these things are too demanding.  Their hectic schedules and busy lives will not allow such religious activity.

               This group has failed to realize that we have been called to be laborers in the Lord’s vineyard.  “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard” (Matt. 20:1).  The requirement of a laborer is that he works.  The programs and activities of the church help the Christian to fulfill his obligation to work in the vineyard.  Church programs help us to discipline our time to accomplish some of the things God desires of us.  When understood in this light, participating in events and programs should bring us great joy.  The Lord wants us to always be doing.  “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise servant, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath” (Luke 12:42-44).

               A maid might have the luxury of setting the guidelines of her job.  A Christian, on the other hand, does not.  When a person obeys the gospel of Christ, he submits himself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  He becomes a bondservant.  The Lord’s will is now his will.  He does not question.  He does not complain.  He does not rationalize and justify his lack of service.  He does not “beg off” his duties.  He does not sit idly on the sidelines.  His life is fully engaged in the Lord’s will until He comes.  “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (Luke 12:43).