I drove past a church building out in the countryside. The parking lot was filled, and the cars were spilling out into the adjoining field. Now no evangelist had arrived. No prophet had come to call the board back to humble service under Jesus. The turn out didn’t even indicate an itinerant healer had taken up shop. The big event that drew the crowds was a strawberry social to raise money ($15 per adult)  for the church group which owns the building.

I’ve been to things like this over the years. The food doesn’t lead into a marathon prayer session or hours of teaching. The conversation at the tables doesn’t centre on finding the mission of God for the group (since most of the people there don’t belong to that group). Probably some of the diners have never given their lives over to Jesus, and so unbelievers contribute money to God’s cause. In the Bible such never happens. (Of course, some members may never have converted to Jesus either, so maybe that argument holds no water. And maybe God’s will has never overtaken the group in that building, so maybe that argument falls flat, too.)

But this Sunday the report will come about how much money the social raised, and how many people volunteered their time, or donated food, maybe even how many people ate. Thanks will be given to all who helped in this financial enterprise. All this talk during “worship” where God is to be thanked and praised and obeyed.

And everyone will be pleased. The money helps the congregation to survive. People were busy. In some cases family who never attend worship come to help raise money and so it looks good.

The fact that all this betrays what the Bible describes as the call and mission of people who claim to follow Jesus never enters the scene of this self-congratulatory frenzy.

Look at your life. What in it makes you feel good, look good? Check it against the standard God uses. Does God get the glory? Does it follow God’s orders? “You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good. This is what the Lord requires from you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to live humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 God’s Word).

I’ve been to these fund-raisers before, and in the kitchen, while working to raise money for a roof or pay utility costs, people gossip, slander, complain, brag, lord it over others.

Being busy for the wrong reasons does not serve God.

Instead, do right. Get right. Or else you may come to heaven’s doors and call out, “Sir, sir, open the door for us!” only to encounter a closed door and you hear Jesus answer you, “ ‘I don’t even know who you are!’ So stay awake, because you don’t know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:12-13 God’s Word).

Read all of Matthew 25, and just do it, right.