I grew up at my grandfather's place and he always had a huge garden. One of the things he loved to plant was row after row of potatoes. Therefore I grew up loving potatoes. Even today when I go into a restaurant and order side dishes I usually order two different types of potatoes.
If you grew up on a farm or ever worked around produce, you know there are many different kinds of potatoes. There are sweet potatoes, new potatoes, Irish potatoes, russet potatoes, and the list goes on and on.
Well, since I love potatoes and since I grew up calling them "taters" or "tators" depending on your cultural preference, I thought I would write about the different kinds of "tators"in the church (the body of Christ). Did you know there are at least three kinds of "tators" within the body of Christ.
Some of them are mentioned in the Acts 17:32-34 passage.
Acts 17:32-34 ESV Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, "We will hear you again about this." (33) So Paul went out from their midst. (34) But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
1. TATOR #1: SPECTATOR & HESITATOR
ACTS 17:32 "others said, We will hear thee again of this matter"
You know the spectator and hesitator. They always have good intentions and talk about what they "want" to do but never seem to make it happen. Imagine a football game. On any given Sunday during a football game you will have 80,000 people in dire need of exercise watching 22 people in dire need of rest. Sounds like church life.
The Spectator typically...
***Sits on the sidelines and never gets involved in the game
***Has an excuse why they can't play in the game
***Yells and complains at those who are in the game playing
***Claims to know all about every position of the game although never proves it by playing. (Confesses with mouth but heart is far away).
God doesn't want us to be spectators. He wants us to be involved in the kingdom.
2. TATOR #2: AGITATOR
ACTS 17:32 "Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked."
The Agitator typically...
***Stirs up trouble
***Is a hindrance rather than a blessing or help
*** Makes fun and ridicules those who are competing in the game
***Acts in the role of accuser of the team
God does not want us to be agitators. He has not called us to be mockers of truth but to the ministry of reconciliation.
3. TATOR #3: IMITATOR
ACTS 17:34 "But some men joined him and believed"
Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (2) And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Paul challenged the Ephesian church to be imitators of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are called to be Christ-like in WORD, DEED, & THOUGHT. Make an impact on your world. Let your life bear the testimony of a redeemed life with the light and life of the Gospel actively shining forth. Touch a life, witness to a lost friend, and give to kingdom work.
Don't be afraid of an imitator whose life is godly, and don't be afraid to be an imitator among others.
1 Corinthians 4:16 ESV I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 ESV (6) And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
1 Thessalonians 2:14 ESV (14) For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,
Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, (12) so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.