Sunday, November 09, 2008

Compelled to Serve

Friday, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach early morning Seminary. My daughter was among the students. The class size was quite impressive, actually. I left the experience with something less than optimism in my abilities. You see, I have not recollection of ever having such a difficult time teaching gospel topics. Although the kids were a source of some trouble, other challenges were present as well.

I do not consider myself a teacher. I don’t lecture or preach. My style conforms more closely to that of a conversation instigator. I prefer to ask questions, provoking response and discussion. I did not succeed with this effort Friday. I could not cajole hardly an indecipherable grunt out of the class. What should have been a conversation of Luke 14 which would exceed the 45 minute class period, ended in less than 35 minutes.

Anyway, as just suggested, we covered Luke 14. The main thread that seems to weave through the entire chapter seems to be acting in humility to act immediately on the Lord’s bidding. We should not have to be compelled to come unto Him. Our motivation should not be out of obligation or simply a sense of duty. It should be motivated by humility and love for our Savior.

“A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
Our lives are ever increasingly busy with every minute filled with “important business”. I regularly sit on my hands in Elders Quorum, passing on many opportunities to serve. I’ve got all the great excuses. Oh, I work too far away, I pray you’ll excuse me. I have so little time with my wife and kids, I couldn’t possibly squeeze in the time to do that, I pray you’ll excuse me. I’m too tired in the evenings, I pray you’ll excuse me. I’m certain I could list 10s or 100s of excuses to put off service.

When we choose to pursue life’s other options instead of the blessings associated with living the gospel, our place at the mighty banquet will not go unfilled. How do we place a greater emphasis on the things of God and lesser importance on the worldly treasures?
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