Archive for August, 2019

Why Should I Go To Church?

August 31, 2019

Today I want to address one of my favorite subjects: going to and membership in a church. Favorite only in the sense that I have heard every excuse in the book for NOT going to church.
I won’t bore you with most of these excuses. In my discussions with people I have acknowledged that God is everywhere in our universe and not just in the church.
Ok so you say, if church is where I can express my faith, my heart for the Lord and for those less fortunate, what church is it that will give me that vehicle?

If you study the early church you will find that they only focused on worship and discipleship of Jesus Christ. Church doctrine is not the same as God’s law. In the book of Jeremiah, it says that God has a special and unique plan for each of us. He cannot fill that plan,however , unless we become open to let Him do His work in us. That establishes a commitment between you and God.

Now, by joining a church, you are putting that commitment on the line and showing God that you are willing to work for Him. Do we see commitment talked about in the Bible? Many times. The Apostle Paul refers to himself,as a “prisoner” in the Lord. In Amos it talks about two people being in agreement with one another.That implies a commitment right there. In Romans it talks about being devoted to each other. You cannot be devoted to anyone for any reason unless you also have a commitment to that person to some degree.

In Romans 12:5 it says “so in Christ we who are many, form one body and each member belongs to the others. In belonging to a church, you are happy because the love of others that Christ put in you has an expression. You are happy because you have fellow believers to share worship and outreach.

I heard about a high school that had a career day . All the seniors came into the gym and each person presented his or her career and invited them to come to their booth at the end of the presentation. The Army,Navy and Coast Guard were there. But one of the last presentations was a Marine. He stepped up to the podium. looked around at the group and said ” I don’t see anyone here who could make it in our program. It is the toughest challenge you could ever face. I don’t think any of you have the guts to become a Marine. If you think you have what it takes , come see me after the presentation”

After the assembly was over, guess which booth had the largest number of inquiries? The Marine was flooded with applicants. You see, we know intuitively the commitment that requires a lot of us will also be the most benefit to us. When the cost and sacrifice and requirement is high to belong to an organization (the church) the payoff always results in a stronger character and a sense of real accomplishment.
I posed the question what church will give you what we have described. I can only tell you that a church that preaches the Bible, that has lively worship, that has small group study opportunities , is mission oriented and provides some social outlet for its members. Sounds like quite a list of requirements but many, many churches fit the requirements.
Before I went into the ministry, my wife and I attended a church that had all those and more. In fact all our social activity involved the church or members of the church. It was the center of our life.
I also want to point out that if you are not sure of the Christian faith and how how you fit into it, going to church and especially being in a small group will develop your understanding and your faith ,,,,,,,,,see you in church! Amen

Is This World Our World?

August 7, 2019

I wonder if you have heard this story::
There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs.
He was hard of hearing and had no radio, he had trouble with eyes, so he read no newspapers,
but he sold good hot dogs.
He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were; He stood on the side of the road and cried ” buy a hot dog mister” And people brought: He increased his meat and bun orders, he brought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.
He finally got his son home from college to help him out, but then something happened. His son said “father,haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspapers? There is a big depression, the European situation is terrible, the domestic situation is worse.”
Whereupon the father thought, “well my son has been to college, he reads the newspapers and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know”
So the father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell his hot dogs.
And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight, “your right, son” the father said to the boy, we are certainly in the middle of a great depression”

How many times are we told in scripture that we are in this world and not of it. How many times are we told to follow the Holy Spirit, to do God’s will. But how many times each day do we listen to the naysayer and follow what the world is telling us and not what God is telling us.
The story is a good example of following the world and not what is right, and what we are called to do and be. It can be depressing if we listen to the loud clatter of those who would tell us how to think, what to do and what to say.
Think back ,how many times EACH DAY do you listen to and react to what you hear and see in this world. If that is your frame of reference, what a negative stressful life it can be. But I like to think that we as Christians and yes I am painting a broad brush, live in the Kingdom and are guided by a God who created us, loves us and wants the best for us.

Over the years,I have run into people who are talented,moral individuals but struggle every day with trying to live in this world and people who are depressed, who are about to give up. These people do not have the hope found in Jesus Christ.
Before you jump all over me for my negative view of this world, we are all here in the world, God put us here. God created this world.But since Adam and Eve we have messed things up. But for all that most of us sinners know we have the redemption found in Jesus Christ. So we relate to those in this world. Hopefully we witness to our great gift of hope and grace and we make the most of it. For we know that this world is only a stopping place, that our place is with Christ in eternity.

So we love life,we love people, and be that beacon of light that can shine in the world. (a lady in one of our churches just passed away and she said every day for us to shine our light in the world)
I love my life,I love the people I meet. I love all the places I have been. I certainly love the fact that God had given me the years that I have lived.

So I would just ask you today…as you live each day,in your devotional and prayer,stay plugged into the Holy Spirit . And above all, listen to what the Spirit says as he guides you. HE will bring you through the fog and storms of this world. And if we do, we can make a difference in this world.We can change attitudes,we can help the suffering and those in need, for that is what Christ calls each of us to do. Amen.