Articles by Stan Dean

Personal Investment

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Who are the people who usually get involved in programs like American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and like organizations? For the most part, people who have a vested interest due to either dealing with such problems personally or being close to someone who is. 

Recently while studying through Mark’s account of the gospel I noted several instances where Jesus was sought by people who went to extraordinary means to get to Him. They probably would have given up, had it not been for their personal interest. For example, there was Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, who fell at the feet of Jesus and begged earnestly for the healing of his twelve-year-old daughter who was at the point of death (Mark 5:22f). Further, there was the Syro-Phoenician woman, a Gentile, who begged Jesus and the apostles persistently to cast out the demon that plagued her daughter (Mark 7:25f). Also, we might consider the woman with the flow of blood who was broke- - but refused to be broken- - and made it her mission to touch the garment of Jesus to be healed (Mark 5:25f). All three of these had far more than a casual concern for their situation.

Several years ago I had the privilege of sitting in on a lecture given by Jim Bill McInteer. I do not remember the title of the lecture, but I will never forget the challenge of one of his points. He asked, “How would you feel if the church where you worshiped were to go out of business? How would it affect your life?” I did not have to do a lot of thinking to conclude that it would break my heart to see such a thing happen. I am sure that most of you share my sentiments and that we would be willing to go to great measures to prevent such a tragic thing from ever happening. Why? Because the church is such a vital part of our lives- - especially our home congregation!

But who are the people who are most likely to get involved in the local church to keep it moving onward and upward? Those who are the brightest and most gifted? Perhaps, but most likely the better answer is: Those who feel a personal indebtedness and appreciation for the salvation they have received through Christ (cf. Romans 1:14-16). So, if you feel somewhat “disconnected” and not as committed to the church as you should be, you need to make a personal investment. Surrender your heart fully to the cause of Christ and the rest of you is sure to follow!

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