[forthright] Unwilling Members

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 07:57:40 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross


For More of Tim Hall's writing
http://www.gracemine.org/


COLUMN: HEAVENLY CONNECTIONS

Unwilling Members 
 by Tim Hall

The problem began almost a week ago. The keyboard on my
laptop takes quite a pounding on an almost daily basis.
Between sermons, articles and e-mail correspondence, a
lot of writing happens at my desk. I like it best when
I can let my fingers fly, recording the thoughts that
come to mind.

For some reason the letter "g" started sticking.
Sometimes it works just as it should; other times it
doesn't quite make contact and no character is
deposited. It has now affected my confidence. Instead
of typing without concentrating on what actually lands
on the screen, I must type deliberately, making sure
the "g" works when called upon.

I know what you’re thinking, but I've been careful
about not having liquids around my keyboard. (I learned
that lesson the hard way about five years ago.) A
friend speculates that it’s probably just dust, or
perhaps crumbs from the munchies that sometimes get too
close. I'll pick up a can of compressed air which will
hopefully clear out the problem. After that, the
scenarios grow more dark.

Only one letter out of 26 in our alphabet, "G" is not
the most frequently used letter, but its absence is
certainly felt. To keep sing from becoming sin, I need
this little fellow. His unwillingness to serve affects
the entire process of writing.

This is a parable, of course, to show the importance of
each member of the Lord’s church. This fact was part of
the truth to which Paul referred in 2 Corinthians
3:2,3: "You are our epistle written in our hearts,
known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle
of Christ, ministered by us …" (NKJV)

The lives of the Christians in Corinth formed a message
that could be read by anyone in the community. But what
happened if one or more Christians chose not to
cooperate? What if, instead of striking a note of
holiness, they left an impression that more resembled
the sinful world? Would not the message of the church
be rendered less powerful than it might otherwise be?

The lesson applies to every Christian. Every key on my
keyboard must be ready to respond, from the commonly
used "e" or "r" to the seldom used "q". In the same
way, every Christian must be ready to add their part to
the message of grace, salvation and holiness. Peter
affirmed this truth: "As each one has received a gift,
minister it to one another, as good stewards of the
manifold grace of God"(1 Peter 4:10).

Whether it be letters on a keyboard or Christians,
readiness to serve is what makes projects go smoothly.
"Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter,
he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful
for the Master, prepared for every good work" (2
Timothy 2:21).

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