Ours or His???

29 Aug

Many years ago (while I was a Youth Sunday School teacher and a computer programmer by vocation), I was up for anything in the way of serving God.  If my good friend, Seth Buckley, said “Let’s charge Hell and put the fire out with water pistols” I was THERE.  It was in that naivety that I discovered something sad … Something that I believe grieves the very heart of God.  Something that was alive and well in the New Testament church, as it still is.  The ever-present struggle of “Ours vs His.”

The church we were in was in a part of our city that was beginning to urbanize … Many of our members were moving away and out to the suburbs, and as that happened the racial and socio-economic face that of community surrounding the church was changing.  We honestly were not trying to stir up trouble or make a political statement.  We were just approached by the director of a community center which was about 5 blocks from our church.  She asked if we could help.  We had a gym that was unused on Wednesday afternoons, and she had a ton of kids that would be more than glad to use it!!

So, we started … We would play different games with those kids:  Basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, kickball… Pretty much any game that had the word “ball” in its name and maybe a few that didn’t.  After about an hour of playing, we sat down with those kids and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them,  Every week.  It was great while it lasted.  And the devil didn’t like it at all.

The devil didn’t like it so much that he stirred up trouble … People started complaining.  “Why are we letting THOSE kids use our gym??”  “We PAY for that gym … why are THEY using it?”  Without saying it, we knew the skin color of those precious children probably generated the complaints.

What a sad statement about the state of the church…  Because, when it boiled down to it, that event defined the fact that the gym at that church belonged more to the people than to GOD.  We say our buildings belong to Him, but that day, the bottom line was the facilities belonged to the church.  And they were claiming ownership.  And, eventually, they shut us down.

I think about those kids a lot.  I think about running into those kids years later and them talking about Christ and about how they heard about Him in that gym.  And I think it grieves the heart of God when His people try to take ownership of His house and allow their own fears and prejudices to strike a blow for Satan, and break down the kingdom of God.  And I pray Ebenezer NEVER gets there!!!

After all … is it OURS or HIS?

One Response to “Ours or His???”

  1. Arthur Soares August 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    It is a shame that the most segregated day is still Sunday. Simplified the old testament teaching was to give God a tenth, however the new testament teach is simple its all his we are just stewards. When the master returns will we have been good stewards of what he has allowed us to be in charge of? I fall short. I pray we can all give it all over to God allow us to be a conduit to do as Lord wills.

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