Are you helping with the pedaling?

It seems our sons are constantly trying to get one-up on each other whenever they can.

It is especially amusing to me when sometimes the younger brothers successfully dupe their older brothers. One incident of such occurred during one of our vacation trips together in Ocean City, Md.

We had rented bicycles in Cape May, N.J., after the cross-bay ferry boat trip from Cape Lewes, Del. While the rest of us wanted individual bikes, Keithen wanted Micaiah to rent a bike-for-two with him, and, although Micaiah did not necessarily want to, he consented.

We were pedaling through the main part of the town when the double-biker brothers started to pass me. Keithen was chugging hard, gripping the handlebars tightly for torque, slightly bent forward, to acquire as much speed as possible. Sweat was formed on his face from the exertion of pedaling.

But, Micaiah was quite the opposite as his portion of the bike came along side, and there was clear reason why. He was not doing any pedaling at all. He had his feet propped on the frame, and was rather enjoying the sight of his older brother bearing all the burden of pedaling. He smiled knowingly at me as the bike continued to pass me by.

A short time later, Keithen happened to notice their reflection in a store front window, and saw how his younger brother was not contributing to the cause at all. That was the end of that with much public ado and fanfare.

Unfortunately, this biking incident represents a typical picture of the circumstances in many churches. It is evident in all churches that there are a few who are doing all the pedaling, while most are not doing any pedaling at all. In other words, only a few carry the service and work loads in the church, while the rest do not contribute to the mission of Christ at all.

Are you helping with the pedaling?

It rather boils down to “want-to-attitude” and “love-for-Christ-servitude,” which reflects what is in your heart spiritually. The reason this is true is that God equips all saints of the church for the purpose of helping to do some of the pedaling as it involves Christian ministry. So, there is no reason why each cannot take part. No one has an excuse from serving in some capacity.

After all, God endows each believer with at least one spiritual gift specifically for the edification of each congregation, as well as the entire body of Christ. As Paul clarified, the purposes of the spiritual gifts are for the “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for edifying of the body of Christ.” If you do not know what your spiritual gift is, pray to the Lord that He will reveal it to you. Consider what it is that interests you concerning church ministry. Listen to what others may affirm about you.

Furthermore, remember what Christ has done for you. He personally in the flesh as perfect man and perfect God hammered out the course and consequence of salvation when He allowed Himself to become affixed to the Cross where He willingly died on our behalf. His heart was totally into it, because of the self-giving, agape-quality love abiding in Him. He served us with His life. He served us with His death. He is now serving us by way of His Heavenly intercession. Should it not burn in your soul to want to do something in His name that would effectively minister to others in and through the church?

The bottom line is that, as members of the church, God expects that we serve in those ways to which He calls us. It is our responsibility to see that that ministry gets done so that the cause of Christ through the church might be forwarded effectively.

Help with the pedaling!

Keithen was very adamant that he be reimbursed on account of Micaiah’s no-ped participation. While there is more to the story, God has not given a beneficial spiritual truth about it.

The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.