Episode 45: Are You Comfy?

Listen to the show HERE!

-Begin Transcript –

We are not meant to be comfortable when evil is lurking. We are meant to overcome it with good. As long as we are living in a fallen world, we should not be on the sidelines. Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.

Don’t believe the lie that you can’t make a difference, that there’s really nothing of consequence that you can do. Everyone can pray. Everyone can seek out God’s wisdom. And most everyone can speak truth to others in some way.

Don’t be afraid of perception. Don’t be swayed by fear of backlash. Truth has always been the enemy of lies, light the enemy of darkness, and good the enemy of evil. There is much wickedness to be fought, and there is no grand call for you to remain silent and complacent in your comfort zone.

But there IS a call to spiritual warfare, a call to right wrongs and take back what the enemy has stolen from us. So let me ask you, are you comfy? Or are you ready to become something more?

I’m Stace Massengill, and THIS is the Kingdom Hero Show.

– Show Intro –

For several years now, I have attempted to encourage Christians to be more than the sum of their parts – to live up to the name Christian – to make a real difference in the world and in the lives of those around us. As some of you know, this is where the term Kingdom Hero came from. For those of you who may be new to this program, here’s a quick recap…

A few years back when I was producing “the GC” web-series, I did an episode entitled, “Kingdom Heroes.” Some time later, I condensed that episode into a short “67 Seconds of Encouragement” video. Check it out:

So, this gives you the basics – the gist of what it means to be a Kingdom Hero. And this is why I continue to use that terminology today. But how often do we stop to realize the full implications of taking on the name Christian, or Kingdom Hero? The reality of trying to live our lives more and more like Jesus is huge. It’s more than just occasionally doing a good deed, and it’s definitely more than just showing up at church on Sunday.

There are usually a couple of roadblocks that the enemy will throw in our path to prevent us from being all we can be as believers. One is the lie that we as individuals can’t really make that big of a difference. This lie is straight out of the pit of hell, but it appeals to our carnal tendency to be a bystander. That’s where the other big obstacle comes in – complacency. Satan will use these things in concert with one another to keep us from being effective in the kingdom.

We need to get it through our heads that, there are no bystanders in the kingdom of God. Rather, that kingdom is composed 100% of DOERS. If you’re not doing the Lord’s work, then you are useless to the kingdom.

Do you realize that one of the first commands that God gave to mankind was to be fruitful? He told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.” You may say, but that’s talking about procreation. Okay, but it doesn’t only apply to having physical offspring and populating the earth. It goes hand in hand with the Great Commission itself when Jesus speaks of “making disciples of all nations.” See, WE are disciples of Christ, and we are to replicate ourselves by making MORE disciples out of others. This is how we are fruitful, and it’s how we grow the kingdom. And if we’re not fruitful, then what good are we?

All throughout the Gospels, it is made abundantly clear that unfruitfulness is just not the way of things in the kingdom of God. It is repeated several times, but starting with Matthew 3:10…

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

This is a warning to us. It says even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. We are charged as followers of Jesus to do His work – to make disciples – to spread the Gospel message to others – and in so doing, to be fruitful. Is that what we’re doing? Are we DOING anything to grow the kingdom? Are we telling others about Jesus? Are we living our lives in such a way that we are witnessing to those around us? Are we showing them by example how to be like Christ by living out His teachings? If not – if we are not being fruitful in any way – if we’re not even TRYING, then we are spiritually useless. And useless, non-productive branches get cut off and tossed into the fire.

Now, you might say, “Hold on, there! I’m saved! I’m a believer in Jesus. I’m not getting thrown into any fire. That’s crazy talk.” Alright, then. I would point you to Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21. The Lord asked him 3 times, “Do you love me?” And 3 times, Peter answered, “Yes, You KNOW I do!” What did Jesus tell him each time after he claimed to love Him? He told Peter to DO something, didn’t He? “Feed my sheep.” “Feed my lambs.” “Feed my sheep, Peter.” In other words, don’t just SAY you love Jesus – don’t merely CLAIM to believe in Him -but ACT ACCORDINGLY, DO SOMETHING that SHOWS it.

God’s Word doesn’t just call on us to believe, but to serve. And the scriptures illustrate to us time and time again that, in order to serve the Lord, we are to serve others. Jesus didn’t just say, these are my words, believe them. No, He told us plainly to DO his work. He literally commissioned us to continue the work He started in this world. His words in Matthew 28 are clear…

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

He was given all authority in heaven to commission us. He instructs us to GO – not sit idly by while the world spins ’round and ’round. He says to MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE, TEACH – not just to keep His teachings to ourselves. He says others should be able to OBSERVE all He commanded by watching us – so if they’re not seeing Jesus in us, what are they seeing? And He let’s us know that we are NOT ALONE in this work – we’re not on our own, but He is with us, and He will guide us in doing it if we just let Him.

Jesus also gives us a pretty good clue that doing His work here on earth won’t always be all puppies and rainbows. It IS work, after all. But it’s a labor of love. We have to remember that there will be roadblocks. There will be times when doing this work is really tough. People mocked Jesus, so they will mock us. They hated Him, so yeah, some will hate us. Because of our faith in Him, there can definitely be some times of suffering. But in Romans 5, Paul says…

… but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

And further, in Romans 8, he says…

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Yes, there’s real WORK involved in being a disciple of Christ. Ask yourself what may be holding you back from doing more. Are there impediments that you struggle with which keep you from being a mighty warrior for God – from being a Kingdom Hero?

– Break Transcript –

As human beings, we can indeed be creatures of comfort. We like our perfect temperature settings, our comfortable recliners – yeah, believe me, I know. In fact, a few years ago, I was in a furniture store because I needed a some new living room furniture. And I saw this living room set that I just had to have. Was there a recliner? Yes. Did the couch also recline? Yes. Were there cupholders in the recliner, love-seat, AND sofa? Oh, YES! But what really sold me was that the recliners were all POWERED. Yep, just sit down, put your finger on a button, and your seat reclines back for comfort. Tap another button, and the headrest also adjusts for maximum comfort. Still another button illuminates the cupholder. I was in heaven, so-to-speak. And yes, I still own that amazingly comfortable living room set.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. We like our church services in a climate controlled building where we can sit on padded chairs, right? It’s hard to get good sleep if you don’t have a nice comfy bed, right? Comfort is a big selling point on a great many things in our lives, but what can be a problem is when comfort becomes more important to us than things that ultimately matter so much more. Physical comfort isn’t nearly as important as the condition of our souls. Social comfort isn’t as beneficial as risking an awkward moment and potentially reaching a soul for Christ. In this sense, we can limit ourselves as effective soul-winners by choosing instead to remain safe inside our comfort zone.

Too often, our comfort level doesn’t allow for much eternal significance. Frankly, that’s tragic. Think about this for a moment: What if Jesus, the Crown Prince of Heaven, had just decided to remain there in the glorious and magnificent comfort of heaven? What if He hadn’t put all that aside to come to earth as a man? What if God had chosen not to take on flesh and make a way for our redemption? Is that plain enough for ya? How about this – What if there was someone about to die in their sins, and you had a chance to save them? But it required that you step out of your comfy place, wouldn’t you?

That is precisely the work that God has for us – saving souls from hell by reaching them with the message of Christ – and too many of us can’t seem to find it within ourselves to get up out of our comfortable recliners with powered neck rests and illuminated cupholders. Ouch, that hit close to home.

You might say, “But I would never ignore someone in real need.” Really? Well, that’s exactly what we do when we are so preoccupied with staying in our comfort zone that we can’t even SEE the need right in front of us. Or when we try to avoid an socially awkward situation, and in so-doing, avoid the very opportunity to help someone in need. Take the story of the Good Samaritan…

Luke 10

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

In this parable that Jesus told, the man in need was ignored by both a priest and a Levite. They went out of their way to avoid the man, passing by on the opposite side of the street. They didn’t deem that man’s troubles as being more important than their own comfort. They didn’t want to bother with him, so they pretended not to see him. Sounds like awful behavior, especially for supposed men of God like a priest and a Levite. But if we’re honest, that kind of callousness is all too common – yes, even among those of us who call ourselves Christians.

Moreover, the point that Jesus made was that our calling – if we are indeed followers of His teachings and set to inherit eternal life – is to show kindness, mercy, and compassion for others EVEN WHEN it isn’t comfortable to do so. The law that Christ fulfilled – and the greatest commandments He gave – were to LOVE God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to LOVE your neighbor as yourself. The good Samaritan in the story was indicative of the one who shows mercy and is truly a neighbor to the one in need.

And if you look closely at just how above and beyond this Samaritan went, he was also a great example of a Kingdom Hero. He didn’t only NOT ignore the man’s need like the other two men did, he had actual compassion for him. He went straight to him, not around him over on the other side of the street. He saw the need and immediately took action. But he didn’t only care for the man’s wounds, he then put this guy on his own animal and took him over to a lodging place, paid for a room there, and stayed overnight taking care of him. But wait, he didn’t stop there!

The next day, this Samaritan gave the innkeeper some money and had him see to the man’s needs, offering to repay anything above the amount he’d given if necessary. Wow! Who among us would go that far? Would you go that far out of your way? Would you go that far out of your comfort zone to help someone in need? That’s what a Kingdom Hero does, folks. And that’s what we should do. That’s the kind of people we ought to be.

But, it’s easy for us to get so caught up in our own bubble. We often don’t choose to look at anything outside of it. I’ve got places to be, things to do, and I can’t be getting sidetracked with stuff that I don’t have time for. Sound familiar? Are we so busy with our own cares that we think we don’t have time for doing what WE WERE PUT HERE TO DO in the first place?

– Break Transcript –

Finally, I’d like to approach this topic of serving others from a slightly different perspective. It’s the same, really, but just – ya know – different. The proper role of leadership really ought to be rooted in servanthood. I’m talking about a concept called “servant leadership,” and it’s something that too many so-called “leaders” don’t seem to understand. It’s unfortunate that so many who hold public office don’t seem to remember that they work for us. They instead seek to serve themselves and desire power to rule rather than to serve us.

Whether you are in a position of leadership in your job or at church or in some community program, you need to be familiar with this concept. If you’re a boss or supervisor, the best way to lead is through your own example. You need the respect of those you lead if you want them to actually follow you. When I worked as a manager in the food industry, I had to demonstrate my own willingness to get down in the thick of things and work hard if I wanted to inspire others to work hard for me. I also had to win them over by showing genuine concern for their needs. In many ways, I became a servant to them, which inspired them to serve our customers more fervently.

This is a biblical precept. Jesus spoke of the willingness to serve others first as essential to someone who wanted to lead. More than that, He illustrated it with His own actions by being a servant to His Disciples. In the Gospels, we read where He said…

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

In Luke 22, He puts it this way…

26 … let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

We’ve all probably had an overbearing boss or two in the past, right? Maybe you even have one now. There are some that think leading is just bossing people around, telling others what to do while sitting around doing little else themselves. That’s not good leadership. That causes resentment. It doesn’t inspire hard work or good morale. People don’t want to work for someone like that. But now, if you see your boss getting out there and working every bit as hard as he or she expects you to, you’re more inclined to follow that example.

And when you know your leader is someone who actually cares about you and does things to help you succeed, that’s when you know you’ve got a great example to follow. Jesus was like this for His Disciples. Great leaders are like this for those who follow them. And this applies to teachers, pastors, and others who are charged with leading. Serving others is more important than barking out orders. Likewise, we have to be examples to those we hope to reach for Christ. We can’t just tell them to follow Christ – we need to show them how through our own example.

We can’t accomplish the work that Jesus commissioned us to do without serving. And we can’t do that without loving. It’s not enough to simply say we are Christians – we have to demonstrate it by really being Christ-like. Believing in Him is the just the beginning. We are called to live out our faith through our actions. We’re called to serve and reach others with the Gospel. We’re called to go above and beyond, much like the good Samaritan did. And yes, again, we’re called to be Kingdom Heroes and effect real change in the world. We’ll never do that by sitting on the sidelines and watching the world burn. It’s time to leave that comfort zone behind, and get involved in building God’s kingdom.

I’m Stace Massengill, and I’m just saying. Thanks for joining me. Until next time, God bless you!

– End Transcript –

Listen to the show HERE!

Author: stacemassengill

I am a blood-bought saint of God, saved by His amazing Grace! God called me to start Great Commission Ministries online in June of 2011, and that began as a video series called "The GC." After 7 seasons of that web-series, I felt led to expand the ministry to blogs as well as a new video series I called "67 seconds of Encouragement." Eventually, the blogs became a podcast. And the ministry continues to grow from that, currently in the form of The Kingdom Hero Show. My prayer is that this ministry brings hope and encouragement to everyone who finds it. Please share it with others and help spread the Good News of Christ!

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