We have this wonderful green container at our house that was recently provided by the city. Free of charge, this green waste container is bigger, has better wheels, a nice metal handle, an attached lid that has no problem staying closed and is meant to hold our household recyclables. This can is a lot nicer than any refuse receptacle I’ve ever purchased to sit outside my house.
All I had to do was fill out a piece of paper and sign my name, and now, we get our recyclables picked up from the curb one day a week, just the same as the city picks up our trash. Now, I’ve become a near-model Earthling, separating household garbage into paper/cardboard, plastic, metal and glass.
The kids have become very excited about helping out, too. However, they usually drop everything into the regular kitchen trash can – which because of some sort of “global conscience” I dig through like a foraging squirrel or stray cat to put each piece into its appropriate grocery bag hanging right beside the can. Oh, they’re learning which one what trash goes into, but they are more excited by the luxurious green can sitting outside. When a bag gets full in the kitchen, my oldest boy exclaims, “I’ll take that to the recycler for ya, dad!” Apparently, it is the most thrilling thing in the world to him to save the planet by simply tossing a bagful of recyclables into this enormous green can.
The can isn’t the only thing green going on around us. We can now purchase “green”, “environmentally-friendly” products, making additional efforts to save the world. Saving it for the “next generation” they say. Products made from “all-natural” ingredients, not those old manmade chemicals, set on every store shelf.
As I traveled this can to the edge of the driveway the other morning, God gave me a thought about this so-called simple effort to save the world: We separate trash, dig through trash, make every effort to make sure paper, plastic, metal and glass don’t get thrown in the trash, get our kids involved recycling trash and take the recycling to the necessary place to be processed. We spend more of our personal time handling our trash according to our cultural and environmental wishes, than we do sharing Jesus Christ with those who need Him most.
That’s right! I’m comparing recycling to witnessing. Don’t get me wrong, recycling – I believe – is good for our planet. But what does it do for the souls living on our planet? I proudly wave to passerby-drivers as I roll my “I’m an Earth conscience American” trash to the end of the drive. But when was the last time I shared what Christ has done in my life with someone in my life who needs Him in theirs?
During His ministry on Earth, Jesus said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26 (New International Version).
This was a seriously profound thought, I thought. What good does it do me, if I could recycle everything in the world that can be recycled, If I don’t have Jesus? What good does it do my children if I spend more time scavenging through trash than I spend teaching them and praying with them? What good is it if instead of sharing my experiences of Jesus’ love and forgiveness, I just roll on by someone who is hurting and in need to make sure my can is in the right spot?
It made me wonder, what other things do I put in front of sharing God’s perfect salvation with the people He has put in my life? Even if I’m not speaking about Christ, what do people see when they look at me? Do they think of the sins they have witnessed me committing over the years of my life? Or do they see Christ? Do they see that He has forgiven my sins and helped me to turn my life away from those sins?
I hope and pray that people see the latter of those questions. To those who have known me over the years, and known the life I used to lead: You should know that God has changed me; He has forgiven me of my past, and He is working in my life to make me the man I should be – the man He wants me to be.
God can do the same for you – for all of you who have not accepted Jesus and His forgiveness. If you are weary, if you are weak, if you are worn, or if you just need to know that someone loves you, please know that Jesus Christ loves you. He loved you enough that He would leave His home with God to come to Earth, suffer ridicule, suffer through torture, suffer through death on a cross, all so that He could be resurrected and brought back to the right hand of His father, God. The one and only God. The one and only God who loves you enough that He would allow His Son to go through the horrific events listed in the gospels of the New Testament.
Again, I say, If you are weary, if you are weak, if you are worn, or if you just need to know that someone loves you, Jesus left you a message in His own words. It is just as significant to all of us today as it was when He said it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” – Matthew 11:28-30.
As I wrote in my last writing, Jesus is standing there, asking you to “Come!” – Matthew 14:29. Just, “Come!”
The world, which must rely on recycling and Earth-friendly products to sustain itself will tell you that Jesus doesn’t make sense and that you will be fine on your own. Just do your part and throw it in the green can.
John, a disciple of Christ wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:8, 9.
I swear it to you fellow and madam Earthmates, He has done this for me, and He wants to do this for you!
“Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound that saves a wretch like me.”
Most all of us have heard that song at least once in our lifetime. Well, I’m here to tell you: I’m the wretch that song is talking about.
Jesus forgave me of all of the bad, horrible and atrocious things I have done against Him. He also forgave me for what the world would say are, “little things.” It doesn’t matter if you consider your sin big or small, Jesus will forgive them all.
God, I hope and pray that you will place your spirit upon someone who has read this. I pray that you will give them the courage to call out to you, whether loudly or silently, to call on the name of Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Father, I pray that this ability you have given me to write words glorifies You, and You alone, and brings one of Your children back to your side. Amen!