Put Up or Shut Up
The title of this Sunday’s message comes from an old gambling term. To, “put up or shut up” was a reference to putting up your bet for the hand at play or being quiet and folding. It has also been referenced to boxers to putting up their fists and fighting or stop talking and move on.
In either instance the saying remains the same today, rather than just sitting there telling somebody an opinion, thought, bluff, fact, lie, belief or defense…act on it. Put your money where your mouth is, walk the talk and my personal favorite, “To obey is better than sacrifice… (1 Samuel 15:22b)” So much emphasis on the character of Christ is centered around His love for others, however, we tend to disregard His complete and perfect obedience to the will of the Father.
When we look to imitate Christ’s love it is in our sin nature to do so with as little discomfort, pain, and inconvenience as possible. It is an act of God in our lives that leads to a love of others that costs us, that causes us to ‘sacrifice’ of ourselves for another person’s well-being. The first step taken is not one of sacrifice rather, it is one of obedience.
We are not called to follow Jesus when we have all the facts, when our life is in order, or when we have a special experience. We are called to lay down our nets and follow…immediately.
We are not called to forgive our brother when we feel like forgiving them, or they have asked for it, or we deem a certain amount of time has passed. We are called to forgive…immediately
We are not called to love our neighbors when they have earned it, when we have the availability or when it is beneficial. We are called to love them…immediately.
The sacrifice, the feelings, the blessings all follow the obedience. God will not give you faith to obey. You obey and in the obedience your faith will be strengthened.
Take time to read Mark 10:46-52 this week and I look forward to diving deeper into the Lord’s call of discipleship this Sunday.