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What can you do?

What can you do?

Posted: Friday, October 24, 2008 7:54 am

 The Messenger. 10.23.08

Written by members of the Obion County Ministerial Association

I’m confused. I remember when John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” 

It was a memorable moment when a new, young, promising president of the United States spoke those words. My confusion comes when I observe the opposite in practice. It seems that everyone wants our country to provide low taxes, cheap health care, a solid retirement in our old age and as many benefits as we can get along the way. 

We have forgotten the second part of that phrase: “Ask what you can do.” 

In reality we must do some things for our country. In other words, pay taxes, vote, support, serve, if we expect it to be strong enough to help those who really are in need. The popularity of entitlements has helped bring us to our current financial crisis, and until we are ready to surrender our “gimme” mentality and focus on the good of all, it seems that there is little hope for improvement. 

What can you do for the U.S.A.?

There is another application of this concept that is vital in our churches today. Experience shows that 50-90 percent of the people sitting in our congregations each Sunday have the same philosophy: “What’s in it for me? Pastor, inspire me with the Word. I don’t have time to read it myself. Choir, entertain me, or I will stay home and watch the big productions on TV. Committees, do the Lord’s work for me. My $2 offering, whenever I attend, ought to take care of all those things.” 

But only a few are ready to roll up their sleeves and get busy in ministry to the Lord by serving.

Rick Warren and Max Lucado popularized the phrase, “It’s not about me.” 

It is time for us to wake up and get the big picture. Just as it’s not about what you can get from the U.S.A., it’s not about being blessed in our churches. It is about God. It is about the unsaved and unchurched. It is about the hurting, the aged, the handicapped or the destitute. It’s about being the church on a daily basis.

What can you do? What will you do?

The Rev. Mel Jacobs

Union City First Church of God

415 South Miles Ave.

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