Preparation

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail that thrilled me to tears.  I received word that someone very near and dear to us will be coming to our area for a visit.  I cannot wait.  As I sat pondering when, where and how of the details a thought came to my mind.  This thought made my heart break.

The thought was this.  You are so excited and eager for this visit; but, I promised to come back and you do not anticipate my coming with that much excitement and joy.  Ouch!  I was convicted to rivers of tears.  It is true that Jesus’ own bride does not even really anticipate His coming.  We have His Word that He will return one day and yet we live like it will never happen.

It is no wonder that we have such a vivid picture in the book of Revelation.  Look at the words in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  We as soul-winners often us this verse as we speak to people.  The truth is that this “door” that Jesus knocks on is the door of His Church.  This is a heart breaking reality.  We are so busy with our programs and stuff that distracts us from the life that Jesus gives us that we do not hear Him knocking at the door.  God please forgive me!

So, how are you doing?

The Church Today

Hummingbird Feeder

The above picture is of my hummingbird feeder.  Do you notice anything about it?  I do not fill it totally up.  As I looked out earlier yesterday I saw one lonely hummingbird feeding.  This humming bird feeder reminds me of today’s Church.

  • It is clean and shines.  Nobody wants to feed at a dirty feeder.  Right?  It is a great testimony when the people love their Church and others enough to keep it clean.  It speaks volumes to those “on the outside”.  A clean Church building communicates loudly that you love God enough to do the small things.  Yet these things are not small in the least.
  • It is mostly empty.  I know there are so-called Churches that boast great numbers in the weekly services.  I am thankful for this if they preach the Word of God as it is to people as they are and do not pervert doctrine.  We need to go to Church to learn and to be taught God’s Word and His Way.  There are too many reasons as to why people do not attend the services.
  • Everything is there that is needed.  When you are in a Church that is God’s Church you have available to you anything you need.  Notice I said “need”.  I did not say want.  You can be born-again there.  You can be encouraged there.  You can be corrected there.
  • It is tailor made for specific ones.  You will not see a sparrow drinking the nectar from this feeder.  It is for hummingbirds.  Only their tiny beak and tongue will fit in the tiny holes in the mock flowers.  When we attend Church the Holy Spirit tailors the message to penetrate our hearts.  Listen closely.
  • It is displayed publicly.  What I mean is that you do not have to hunt for this feeder.  The hummingbirds smell the nectar and it draws them to the feeder.  Our lives need to be like nectar to those who do not know Christ as their Saviour.  We need to draw others and not repel them.

I have listed just a few things that should be found in today’s Church.  If you do not find these things in your Church it might be time to find a Church that has them.  I think it is actually time for you and me to step up and serve the Lord Jesus Christ and try to help implement some of these things so that we can have a Church that please the LORD.

So, how are you doing?

 

Gospel Illustration 3

Today I would like to just share some thoughts from “Cowboy Ken” as he taught in Vacation Bible School.  One thing that caught my attention was what a dogie (pronounced do – gee) is.  These are the calves and cows that dart out of line while the heard is being moved.  The more I think about it the more I seem to compare this to the Church.

As the cattle are being moved they for a line and the cowboys ride along in front, behind and on both sides.  This makes me think of the Pastor and the Deacons of the Church.  The Pastor leads “the herd” from the front as he follows God.  Then the Deacons bring up the sides and the rear.  These Deacons go after the “dodgers” or “dogies”; which is where we get the term dogie.  There are people that are in the Church; but, want to get out most of the time.  They just want enough Church to hopefully ensure they make it into Heaven.

While the cattle are walking together in a line occasionally one of these dogies shoots out to the left or right.  Off goes the cowboy on his faithful steed after this deserter.  This should be how the Deacons and other Church members as well as the Pastor work.  When someone darts out of the Church we need to go after them and let them know they are loved and then let them and the Holy Spirit make the decision whether to come back to the herd.  Look at Matthew 18:12, “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?”  Don’t be a Christian dogey.  Stay put in your “herd” unless God leads you out.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 20

I was reminded the other day about a conversation that I had with a friend a few years ago.  We were talking about Church.  She told me that she thinks about the Church like a spiritual hospital.  It is a birthing place for new Christians and it is a place that Christians come to heal.  I thought that was pretty good.

Today Church attendance is falling faster than the temperature after dark in Indiana winter.  There are a vast array of excuses as to why people move away from Church.  They believe it is not applicable.  They see the Word of God as boring and archaic.  Yet none of these excuses will hold water so to speak with God.  “Why?”, you ask.  Church is commanded and it is not an option.  Look at Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Not only are we being disobedient; but, we really miss out on so much.  Yet, people continue to go their own way and do their own thing, sadly.  They don’t see the wonderful treasure that we have in the Church.  I am thankful for my Church!

So, how are you doing?

A Sad State of Affairs

As I was reading earlier I was struck by a couple verses.  Read with me Nehemiah 1:3-4, “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.  And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,”

As  I was reading these verses I thought about the Church of today.  Some Churches need to take the name “Church” off the building and out of the bulletin.  You say that is pretty harsh.  Yes, it is; but, it is sadly enough the truth.  Some Churches have gone so far from the Bible form of Christianity that you cannot even tell that they are a Church any longer.

You might be asking, “Who’s fault is it?”  I am not here to point fingers; but, you and I are to blame.  Everyone is at fault from the member in the pew to the Pastor.  Everyone stands guilty.  Sadly, we don’t care that we are the problem.  I know this because if we cared that we are the problem we would do something about it.

All most so-called Christians today just want to tip toe through the tulips safely home to Heaven when they die and that is enough for them.  This is why; as the title states, that the Church is in “A Sad State of Affairs”.  We are nothing like what Jesus planned His Church to be.  One day He will set all things straight and we will be sorry for what we have done to contribute to the delinquency of the Church.

So, how are you doing?

Today

I have been down sick for almost a week.  I have been so physically weak that I cannot hardly do anything but lay in bed. Some would say this is due to my ever increasing age.  I have lived a pretty good life.  I have by all means not always done right by no stretch of the imagination.  Most days I have tried to live in such a way that others are better because of me and not bitter.

Yet in the grand scheme of things this means nothing.  It is not whether I do more good than bad.  It matters little that I have not pushed down anyone’s grandma or stolen hubcaps off of a moving car.

So, what does matter? God and my relationship to Him matters most.  My family matters.  My Church matters.  My friends matter.  Today, is the fourteenth (14th) anniversary of my thirtieth (30th) birthday.  A cake made by my wife will be very nice.  A missed opportunity to preach will break my heart; but,  I am too sick to fulfill my commitment.  Cards and well wishes will fill my day (I hope).

The greatest part of today is that I still belong to Jesus.  I am still His child and Heaven is still my eternal destination.  What of you my dear reader?  Do you know for sure if you died right now that Heaven is your eternal destination.  Contact me and let me show you how you can know for sure that if you die today that you will go to Heaven.

So, how are you doing?

Samson Syndrome Is Rampant

The more that I read about Samsom the more I am convicted about his life.  Samson had the potential to be used greatly of God as a judge over Israel.  In turn what Samson became was a great example of “What not to do and how I did it.”

I think that some of the saddest words of scripture are found in the words of Judges 16:30, “And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

Here is a man that found himself in bondage to his enemy and at the end of his life all he could do is commit suicide or be tormented further or killed by his enemies.  I am also afraid that the Church is sliding down the same slippery slope.  Modern Christians are guilty of this too.  We want to be entertained and not edified.  God help us all!

If we do not wake up we will find ourselves in the same place as Samson found himself.  Look at Judges 16:20, “And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.”  That word “wist” means to know.  God had departed from him and he did not even know it.

So, how are you doing?