Out Of Service
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If you've ever spent a lot of time in the city, you've probably waited for a bus. And sometimes it's cold, you've got a lot of packages, and some weird people are starting to cruise by. Suddenly, you see the dim outline of a bus on the horizon, and Biblically speaking, your heart leapeth within you. Finally, the bus gets close enough for you to read the sign in the window which displays three very discouraging words, "Out Of Service."
If you've needed a vehicle like that and you found that it's out of service, you know how discouraging that is. It's just not available for you to use. Actually, God knows that feeling. He may be wanting to use you as a vehicle for some great things He wants to do, but you've got that sign up "Out Of Service."
The Apostle Paul was at the end of his great run for Jesus when he wrote our word for today from the Word of God. It's in 2 Timothy 4:6-7. Now, he has every right to rest finally, to retire, to leave the battles to someone else. Sure, he could hang out a sign that says "Out Of Service." No way.
He says, "I am already being poured out...I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Here's a picture of an Olympic runner giving it everything he's got to the finish line. Paul isn't going to retire spiritually until he gets retired by his Lord to heaven. And his attitude is a model for every one of us who claims to follow Jesus Christ.
It may be that you've worked hard for the Lord over the years and you've done many of the jobs there are to do and you're tired. But now you're saying, "I served my time." The truth is we don't have enough time to serve the Lord who gave everything for us. We've only got maybe 70 or 80 years! That's not near enough! There's too much to do. There are too few to do it. Please don't hang out an "Out Of Service" sign!
Maybe you're just really busy surviving; you're barely keeping your head above water. You say, "Well, I just don't have time to serve the Lord in this stage of my life. You'll have to get someone else, Lord." You're "out of service," aren't you? But this life - this very brief 70 or 80 years is all we have to do God's work on earth, to build something that we will still have a hundred million years from now. We've only got these few years to make an eternal difference - to give back to Jesus just a little bit of what He has given to us.
This is no time to give up, to slow down. This is no time to postpone serving the Lord. This is no time to say, "Well, I've worked hard enough. I've worked long enough." We don't have enough time left to glorify the Lord who has done so much for us.
I love what it says about David in Acts 13. "David served the Lord's purpose in his generation, and then he fell asleep." You keep pursuing that purpose until you do. God has put us here to live "poured out lives" like Paul said. He said, "I'm already being poured out." You want to finish well, don't you? Well, God has called us to hold nothing back; to never retire from the front lines until God calls us home. God is looking for human vehicles He can use to change some lives. Literally, for heaven's sake, don't pull up in front of Him with a sign that says you are "out of service."
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.