A man wrote to a newspaper editorial page; “I have gone to church for 30 years, have heard 3000 sermons and can’t recall any of them. All have been a waste of time.” This set off a firestorm of responses. Finally, there was one response that cleared the matter up.
Another reader responded; “I have been married for 30 years. My wife has taken good care of me by preparing some 32,000 meals. Some were a chef’s dream while some seemed a little bland. I cannot tell you the full menu of any of the meals or the ingredients, yet they nourished me well giving me the strength to work and take care of my family. I would have died without those meals. She prepared the meals for me, but I accepted and ate her meals. Church kept me alive as well. Without the nourishment I received by going to church, I would be spiritually dead. My pastor and worship leaders prepared God’s word, but I accepted it. They fed my faith which kept me alive. Faith is invisible, yet it allows me to believe the incredible and to receive the seeming impossible.”
Are you going to church just to ‘go to church’? Or, do you go for the meal…God’s word? Going to church does not make you a believer no more than standing in your garage makes you a car. Go to church to fellowship and hear God’s word. Be fed on the message, trust and believe. You will be well fed.
“COME TO ME, LET US BOW DOWN IN WORSHIP, LET US KNEEL BEFORE THE LORD OUR MAKER; FOR HE IS OUR GOD AND WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF HIS PASTURE, THE FLOCK UNDER HIS CARE.” Psalm 95:6-7 NIV
FOOD VENDORS ATTEMPT TO ESTIMATE THE LENGTH OF TIME THEIR PRODUCTS WILL REMAIN FRESH. THEY LABEL THEIR BOXES, CANS AND BOTTLES WITH EXPIRATION DATES. AREN’T YOU GLAD GOD’S LOVE DOES NOT EXPIRE?
INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR DECADES HAVE USED OUR AGE, PAST HEALTH, BODY MEASUREMENTS, USE OF ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO…EVEN THE AGES OF OUR PARENTS AND SIBLINGS TO DETERMINE OUR FUTURE HEALTH AND MORTALITY.
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, I HAVE MOURNED WITH PARENTS EMOTIONALLY DESTROYED BY THE LOSS OF A TEENAGE SON KILLED BY A MOTORIST, A FRIEND’S SISTER WHO WAS PLANNING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER FALLING ILL WITHOUT WARNING AND PASSING WITHIN DAYS OF A RARE DISEASE AND AN AGING PARENT PASSING SLOWLY OF HEART FAILURE. NONE HAD ‘EXPIRES ON’ OR ‘BEST IF USED BY’ STAMPED ON THEM.
YET, WE DO HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE. ONLY GOD KNOWS THE TIME AND SITUATION. ARE YOU PREPARED TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH GOD? SINCE WE DON’T KNOW OUR EXPIRATION DATE, WE NEED TO PUT OUR LIVES IN ORDER DAILY. IT STARTS WITH ASKING GOD TO FORGIVE OUR SINS, TRUSTING AND BELIEVING IN JESUS AND TURNING FROM SIN. ARE YOU BE PREPARED?
“AS NO ONE HAS POWER OVER THE WIND TO CONTAIN IT, SO NO ONE HAS THE POWER OVER THE TIME OF THEIR DEATH.” ECCLESIASTES 8:8a NIV
A COMMITTEE WAS REVIEWING A RESUME AND DISCOVERED IT CONTAINED FALSE INFORMATION. A LADY ON THE COMMITTEE COMMENTED; “IT MAKES YOU WONDER ABOUT PEOPLE!”. HER STATEMENT WAS CLEARLY HEARD BY OTHERS AS A JUDGEMENT. AT THE TIME, IT WAS WELL KNOWN BY ALL WHO KNEW HER, SHE WAS LIVING UNMARRIED WITH A MAN ALMOST DAILY FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS, THOUGH SHE NEVER ADMITTED OR DISCUSSED IT. SHE COULD EASILY SEE THE WRONG IN THE FRAUDULENT RESUME BUT HAD NO PROBLEM IGNORING THE SIN IN HER OWN LIFE.
ARE YOU QUICK TO JUDGE OTHERS? ARE YOU SITTING IN JUDGEMENT OF OTHERS, WHILE YOUR OWN LIFE IS LESS THAN WHOLESOME? DO YOU NOT SEE YOUR OWN SINS? ARE YOU JUDGED OR ARE YOU THE JUDGE AND JURY?
INSTEAD OF JUDGING OTHERS, HELP THEM TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A MINISTER OR COUNSELOR TO REACH OUT TO THOSE IN NEED. MANY HAVE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS, BUT THE MOST NEEDY ARE THOSE WHO NEED SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE. BE SURE TO ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOU OF THE SINS IN YOUR LIFE FIRST. THE MOST DIFFICULT SIN TO SEE IS IN OURSELVES. NOT SEEING THE SIN IN OUR OWN LIFE IS A SIN IN ITSELF. IS IT TIME TO LOOK IN A MIRROR?
“HOW CAN YOU SAY TO YOUR BROTHER,’BROTHER, LET ME TAKE THE SPECK OUT OF YOUR EYE,’ WHEN YOU YOURSELF FAIL TO SEE THE PLANK IN YOUR OWN EYE? YOU HYPOCRITE, FIRST TAKE THE PLANK OUT OF YOUR EYE, AND THEN YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY TO REMOVE THE SPECK FROM YOUR BROTHER’S EYE.” LUKE 6:42 NIV
YEAR AFTER YEAR, A FARMER ALWAYS TOOK TENDER CARE OF HIS ANIMALS. IN APPRECIATION, THE ANIMALS GOT TOGETHER TO DISCUSS HOW THEY COULD REPAY THEIR FARMER. THE COW SAID SHE WOULD GIVE HER MILK FOR HIS MEALS. THE CHICKEN OFFERED TO DONATE HER EGGS IN APPRECIATION. THE MUD COVERED PIG OFFERED HIS BACON FOR THE MEAL.
THE COW AND THE CHICKEN WERE BOTH VERY GENEROUS CONTRIBUTORS. THE PIG WAS NOT JUST A CONTRIBUTOR. THE PIG PROVED HIS ULTIMATE DEVOTION BY OFFERING HIS LIFE IN THANKSGIVING FOR THE CARE THE FARMER HAD GIVEN HIM.
AFTER ALL GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU, ARE YOU PREPARED TO GIVE YOUR LIFE TO GOD? MANY ARE ‘CONTRIBUTORS’, BUT WILL NEVER BE TRULY DEVOTED. OUR ACTIONS ARE NOT A GUARANTEE FOR AN ADMISSION INTO HEAVEN. OUR DEVOTED FAITH AND BELIEF IN JESUS IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL GET US INTO HEAVEN. ARE YOU A CONTRIBUTOR OR ARE YOU DEVOTED…DEVOTED ENOUGH TO GIVE YOUR LIFE TO GOD?
“BUT NOTHING THAT A PERSON OWNS AND DEVOTES TO THE LORD–WHETHER A HUMAN BEING OR AN ANIMAL OR FAMILY LAND–MAY BE SOLD OR REDEEMED; EVERYTHING SO DEVOTED IS MOST HOLY TO THE LORD.” LEVITICUS 27:28 NIV