Archive for August, 2020

Is it August already?

August 15, 2020

I recently moved from a small town to a medium sized city. Even though people universally have become more civil to each other, I find that people in the city are either more burdened that those in the more relaxed atmosphere of the small town or they are just in more of a hurry. Oh there have been exceptions.But what I have found that when you first meet them, they display the city attitude, until I respond with respect, interest and a smile. It is no wonder how peoples attitude changes when you are nice to them and are concerned with what is going on in their life. So my conclusion and my point is that if you are nice and treat others with respect and interest, that is the response you will receive.

In this blog I really want to address our commitment to Jesus Christ. So many of us go to church each Sunday and even attend a bible study and participate in the churches outreach programs but in reality are not believers in the sense that they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A lot of pastors (and not enough) give an invitation at the end of their service , inviting people to accept Jesus a their savior. In my time in the pulpit I gave the invitation at each service. I led them through the sinners prayer but I didn’t require them to come forward.
Some in my congregation asked why do you invite then each week to accept Christ as their personal savior when very few seem to acknowledge it. My answer was that they prayed the prayer and the rest is up to God and them.

I was motivated to discuss this topic after I read Ann Graham Lotz analysis of the disciples and their journey as faithful believers.She talked about how they followed
Jesus and did his bidding, helping him with his mission on earth and then she said , this is what happened to them :
Phillip was tied to a pillar and stoned to death
Matthew was nailed to the ground with spikes and beheaded
Jude was beaten to death with sticks and clubs
Simon was tortured and crucified
John , son of Zebedee was tortured and exiled.
Simon was tortured and crucified
James, brother of John was beheaded
James was pushed from the top of a building , then his broken body was
beaten to death
Andrew, Peters brother, hung on a cross for 3 days before dying.
Bartholomew was beaten crucified and skinned alive after being
Thomas was thrown into a fiery furnace then speared with a javelin
Peter was crucified upside down.

Why did they all (with the exception of John) die a gruesome death? Not for saying that Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified but that he had risen from the grave , that he had conquered death and he was alive.

We are all children of God and we are his disciples. What do we say to the non-believers? Are we afraid of the consequence? We may not suffer the same fate as the original disciples but we may be looked down on, we may be persecuted , But if we have given our life to Christ then He commands us to spread the Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Giving our life to Christ means following Him and sharing our love of God. That may mean that we are not popular or accepted but it does mean that we are following the command s of Jesus and He will reward us if not in this world but in the world to come.
May that path be the path for you to meet the Savior some day. Amen