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Walking in Works (11 of 18)
Series: Simple Faith
Good works are an integral part of the Christian's life, but we must approach works with the right heart. Overcoming laziness isn't the only problem when it comes to works. We must also guard against wrong attitudes, over extending ourselves, and turning works into idolatry. Yes, works become idolatry if we are trusting in good works as a means to reach God. Works are not what makes us right with God, but they are the outflow of walking with God.
We'll dig into the Bible's explanation of works, but I'll first start with a story about burn out.
Burn out is the result of missing God's call and overloading ourselves with human effort. For an example, consider this true story. Many years ago a pastor friend of mine came to my house to visit. Let's just call him Pete. When I answered the door, I could tell something was heavy on Pete's mind. We engaged in the typical small talk for a few minutes before we got to the real reason for his visit.
After explaining the stress of being overloaded with responsibilities, Pete said, "I just don't know what to do. I'm so stressed out and burned out, I don't know how to handle it all." He went on to explain the dozens of tasks he had taken on at church. It was a small church going through some growing pains. Like many small churches, it is difficult to fill the labor needs of the programs. Wanting the church to thrive, he took on each need as it arose, and people became very dependent upon him. Pete was trying to make the church succeed through his own efforts.
Once he finished expressing his current dilemma, I said, "Think about your gifts. If you could narrow your calling down to a few words, what do you believe you've been gifted by God to do?"
Without hesitation he said, "I know I've been called to be a discipler and an encourager."
"Perfect! Now let's look at the duties in the church you have taken on. With each task I want you to ask yourse ...
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