Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)
I hated school, so I decided to quit.
Elementary and middle school, I enjoyed, but when I got to high school, a sudden distaste evolved. By the time I reached my senior year, I'd had all I could take. I had no interest in learning, didn't see how any of what I was learning would benefit me, and wanted out. So, I pranced up to my parents and said, "I'm quitting school." Dad didn't take the news well and politely told me that if I quit, I would be going to work. I was okay with that. I had no plans to sit around and do nothing.
After three or four months, my high school dropout status wasn't fun anymore. The job that I found ended, and I was on the unemployment line. I decided that I'd return to school. I couldn't graduate with my class, but I did graduate that summer.
The statistics for high school dropouts are alarming. In the United States alone, 1.2 million students drop out of school annually — one leaving every 26 seconds. An additional 25% don't graduate on time. But school isn't the only place that people drop out from. Church follows on its heels. Among 18- to 22-year-olds, around 70% drop out. The reasons vary: life changes, move to college, work, judgmental Christians, changes in their religious views.
Dropping out of church, however, isn't relegated to this group alone. Others do as well. Some burn out. They take on too much — perhaps because others aren't doing their part. They try to pacify guilt over past mistakes, or because they misunderstand salvation and think that they can work to get it or keep it. Some drop out because they atrophy, like unused muscles.
God doesn't intend or want us to drop out of His work. He saves us by His grace and mercy, creates us as His masterpiece, and wants us to do good works that will disseminate His love across the world. These works don't save us initially or keep us saved thereafter, but they are proof of our faith connection with Him.
When asked, God will give me wisdom to balance my life so that my chances of dropping out of His service will diminish significantly.
Don't drop out on God. With balance, serve Him faithfully to the end of your life.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the privilege of serving You and others. Give us the strength to keep on keeping on in Your work. We pray also for those who have dropped out of their faith, that You would bring them back into the fold. Amen.