Jesus once told a story about a man and the laborers he hired. He went early in the morning into the marketplace and bargained with his laborers for a day’s work. Late in the afternoon, he returned to the marketplace and found still other workers standing there. To those who were loitering while they should have been working, he asked, “Why do you stand here idle all day?” The answer of those workers was as inadequate as the course they had chosen. They said, “Because no one has hired us”
Perhaps the greatest enemy inside the church today is idleness. If all the members of the church ever did anything at one time, regardless of how small that thing might be, it would be astounding in its effects.
If we all just attended the assembly for one service, most of our buildings would be overflowing and people would be standing in the streets.
If we all gave just one Sunday as we truly have been prospered, the church would have more money to work with than it has had in a long time.
If we all prayed one prayer to God, and really poured ourselves into it, who can know what answer God would give?
If all the members of this congregation should come together just one time and sing just one song, it would never be forgotten by those who heard.
But instead of doing the simple things, the small things that we could do that would bring heaven and earth closer together, the Lord walks in the marketplace and finds here the idlers who are needed in his service. Why do you stand here idle all day?
If you are one of the group who has been idling through these days of opportunity, what will you answer? Have you been idle because nobody came, took you by the arm, led you to a certain duty and said to you, “Do this”? Does it take that for you to serve God?
You know who your friends and neighbors are. Go and talk to them.
You know where the building is and where the church meets and when its services are. Make your way there. Don’t wait for someone to lead you.
You know what the Bible is and how to get one. Read it. There is no substitute for earnest Bible study if we want to understand what God teaches. Preaching is good, but all the preaching in the world will never teach you the truth in the way that a careful personal study will.
There are some hypocrites in the church. There are some liars. There are some worldly people who are covetous and others who are pleasure mad. There are those in the church who don’t live as they should. But all these together would do the church little harm if the members who are not hypocritical and not liars and not covetous and not pleasure mad should suddenly love the Lord enough that they would offer to Him the unstinted service He so rightly calls upon us to give.
Why do you stand here idle?
That is God’s question. What is your answer?