It is a remarkable thing that as a rule sins of omission trouble us far less than sins of commission, yea oftentimes trouble us not at all. Yet how serious they are.
Is it a light thing to rob God? Yet have we not all robbed God and thought little of it? Is Malachi 3:8-12 any less true now than in the day in which it was written? Do we still not withhold from God His due?
Two of the Lord's most important parables, the parable of the "Talents" and that of the "Pounds" are on this most important point. What did the wicked and slothful servants do in these cases? They did not squander what they had received, but kept it most carefully, and returned it to the owner. Is that so great a fault, surely it was nothing more than a little culpable negligence? But what does the Lord say? "Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." How solemn this is.
The fact is that the moment we come in faith to God, believing that He raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, we also, for salvation, confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. (See Rom. 10:9.)
What does this confession involve? Surely nothing less than this, that we belong to Jesus as our Lord, that all that we are, and all that we have are His absolute property, for him to dispose of at His will. He has a right to us, we are His bond slaves, and our freedom and our joy are the ability and permission to do His will.
Have we accepted this from our hearts? If not, have we not robbed God, yea, and robbed ourselves of the joy and blessing, which might have been our portion?
But all are not called upon to go out and serve, all are not preachers. Quite true, but all are called upon to own the Lord's claims over them, and He has the supreme right to command and we the right to obey. Yet how often do we hear, "Oh! I could not do this or that." Why not? Surely if the Lord called you to it you would be ready? And if the Lord has not called, why think of it at all? Only let us be exercised about this matter, His will is perfection, then let us be ready to do that will, whether it be to stay at home or to go forth; to work with our hands, to do the most menial offices gladly, or to preach or to teach as He pleases, and according to the ability He gives.
But may we not run unsent? Surely, and this is very serious. But not to run when sent is very serious too, as Jonah found: not to trade where God gives the means is very serious, as the servants will find who hide their talent in a napkin.
Every gift is given for use, nothing is given for selfish enjoyment. Unless shared with others it becomes worthless, being shared it is soon doubled. Is it for nothing that God has given us in England such abundant light, truth, and gift above that given to other nations? Can this mean anything less than that we should give that light and truth to those, who have it not?
But do I want all to go abroad? God forbid. Only that we all may do the will of the Lord, whatever that may be, without a murmur or dispute, but with gladness of heart: only that as we think of the multitudes we may be moved with compassion towards them, as our blessed Lord was moved; only that there may be the principle of equality with us, our abundance being a supply for their want, just as when the case is reversed, their abundance may meet our need.
Nevertheless, fields are white to harvest at this time, and from different parts of the world there do come cries for help to gather in that for which others have sown and laboured patiently. The reaper has much less arduous work than the ploughman and the sower, but both will rejoice together.
Thus may we be exercised about our sins of omission, as well as about those of commission. Let us have the true spirit of a servant as in Psalm 122:2, the spirit of a disciple, as in Luke 14:26, 27, 33, the spirit of the good soldier of Jesus Christ, as in 2 Tim. 2:4, and all to please Him, who redeemed us by His precious blood that we may find our supreme joy in being free to do His blessed will.
We have but this one little life to serve Him in the place of His rejection, and how great the loss if we live for self instead of living to Christ. God grant we may not miss the mark as to this.