Pr. Jaynan Clark
29 March 2012
Shocking! I have said the phrase for years (and tried to live it) but I never wrote it down or remember reading it. So now with spell check it put a squiggly under “do” when I wrote the title and replaced it with “due.” So my entire message just changed but got more ‘timely.’
I remember that this phrase used to be kicked around quite a lot. “Do” diligence was to invest totally into the task at hand. At least that is the way I heard it used growing up and applied it myself. I now realize it was perhaps a “temporal” statement, not a directive. For us to “due” diligence now also suggests it is due... “now”... to diligently engage in our callings. “Do” is a different way of saying the “Go” and the “Make” and the “Baptize” and the “Teach” of the Great Commission. Go and Do ... because it is long overdue.
As all of society and even organized religion seems to be swept up in the tsunami of “do” diligence for the devil himself, we must tip our heads back, gasp for air and find a rock to cling to. That rock is the rock of our confession of faith... Jesus is the Christ; the Son of the Living God, the Way, Truth, and Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. Exclusive, absolute, no exceptions ... a breath of fresh air above the tumultuous seas we are drowning in.
We are above our necks in these deadly waters and to scream out that our Lord still the storm is contrary to what He has called us to go and do. He never promised peaceful waters and a relaxing fishing trip. He sent us out two by two to be fishers of men and women for a deadly catch which means a life for a life. Nobody dies easy—not fish out of water and not lost children swept along in the seas of sin. Dying to oneself, self identity, selfish desires is about as contrary today as it ever has been in history. The "American Dream" has morphed into a nightmare of individual rights, “freedoms,” and selfish desires that disregard the neighbor and celebrate the bondage of the self to sin—even childishly refusing to call it sin and instead celebrating and blessing it. “Me, myself, and I” is all I will do "due diligence" for because I reign supreme in this “my life,” that I will “do it my way.” Now multiply that by millions and you have the raging seas we call home.
In the name of acceptance, tolerance, anti-bullying, anti-racism, anti-violence and love, we have made for ourselves a society that is more hateful, intolerant, racist, and violent. Children killing children! The few sexually confused forcing the masses to accept and respect their lifestyle choices publicly—both legally and religiously. Those who believe in God beyond themselves and the love of God in Jesus Christ that upholds commandments, with limits and boundaries, who don’t believe everything is tolerable, acceptable, or good just because some individual finds it pleasurable are called every name in the book in the name of “love” of course. This is insane or worse. The free love of the 60’s has come back and not only bit us in the rear but taken out our jugular, our life line. To call any of this “love” is criminal. Love is vulnerable, dependent, self-denying. Love is witnessed to in the death of Jesus on the cross at the hand of selfish, self-absorbed sinners grabbing for power, control, pleasure and unlimited selfish pursuit then and now. We did it then, we do it now.
This country and many of the mainline Christian churches which once could be called followers of Jesus Christ have been swept along with the temporal tide and are drifting off in the arms of the devil. But the rock of our salvation still stands firm. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. America and Canada are passed being in trouble; they are dying at their own hand. It is painful to not only watch but to be a part of. We have abandoned our foundation, our values, and our faith. Dying to ourselves is the next step. Sure and certain death is ahead but that can and will be good as a resurrection is needed—not a Band-Aid and a quick fix.
In these troubled times, “do” diligence in your discipleship ... it is “due.” Don’t spend too much time trying to get out of the turbulent water or begging God to pull you from it ... consider that this is where the deadliest of catches is to take place. Consider that the One who can even tame the wind and seas took our human form and we hung Him on the cross and killed Him for this moment of time in these stormy seas. He is the air you surface for, He is the rock you cling to, He is the One who called you into the storm to be His disciples reminding you that to follow Him is to deny yourself (not celebrate it!), pick up your cross and follow Him. Your life is His in this great exchange of the cross and the empty tomb so abandon any ships of idolatry for your own safety’s sake and dive in to “do,” “due” diligence as His disciple.