The way of Jesus Christ is straight. It is a simple message: Jesus Christ died for you and all of us and rose from the dead and wants to be close to you because of His great love for you, who He made from scratch. It is that simple. You accept GmHim and draw close to Him for brilliant life forever or you don’t and keep looking for a valid substitute until you come around. That is it. Yes or no. A simple message. When people make the path complicated or add things or distract, that is no longer God’s will. God’s will for you is so simple, He loves you and wants you close to Him and saved. That is it. It really is that simple. ❤
So my son’s baseball team was invited to one of the team mate’s party. The invitation said 10am, so we get here at 10am and no n one is here. Wondering if we were pranked, we stay a few more minutes and another team mate drove up, wondering where everyone was. Then we knew it wasn’t just us. So we left to get breakfast and come back. Getting back close to 11am, people were here and I am now sitting at the most disorganized and boring party I have ever been to with the rudest hostess. And the bathrooms are locked so she must not have asked the park to unlock the bathrooms. Even with all that, the few kids not scared by all that ugly are making the most of it. Harder on the parents, I think. I say all this because it looks am trend feels shabby. I doubt parents will bring their kids to another of the parties. And it made me think of many of the churches I have attended. Some of them had rude people to greet you, we’re not punctual, we’re disorganized and they are surprised no one comes back. And the stakes are higher, may mean the difference between someone being saved from sin or not. When we are presenting the gospel, we have a responsibility to be a good host, a friendly one with a plan for everyone’s comfort and needs. Presentation may mean the difference in someone staying to hear the good news or leaving for a more welcoming place that may bot teach God’s truth. Just something to think about.
“And now, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the Lord’s teaching will continue to spread quickly and that people will give honor to that teaching, just as happened with you. And pray that we will be protected from stubborn and evil people, because not all people believe. But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One. The Lord makes us feel sure that you are doing and will continue to do the things we told you. May the Lord lead your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s patience.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
“I am not ashamed of the Good News, because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes— to save the Jews first, and then to save non-Jews.” – Romans 1:16
When it works correctly, technology is a wonderful thing that connects people over long distances and allows communication in an age when people no longer enjoy phone communication or have patience enough for the delight of letter writing. We are an age of knowledge and teeny tiny things that can do so much! I wish I had taken stock in batteries before it all began, but hindsight is best. But then there is the other side of technology. The side where people and businesses become so dependent on it that if it fails (and we can all attest to it failing at some point or many points), it creates serious problems and handicaps, if not closing the business down for a while. Personally, technology can hinder our social lives and witness. Of course I am using it now to talk to you and much good can come of our ability to reach people with the Good News that we couldn’t otherwise reach. There is enormous good in that. However, for those of us communicating mostly on our devices and minimally live, we lose that special something g that makes people feel special. No amount of timing can communicate what a smile and a hug can. No matter how much or how detailed we write or talk, we still miss out on the unspoken words, the body language that often tells the real story, the eye contact that affirms you have had the privilege of being acknowledged by another person. We must never underestimate the power of a good talk over coffee or tea and live to communicate God’s love live. Let’s not be so busy that we can’t put our devices down and love on each other. Let us not grow so dependent on them that we shut down live. Our powerful witness and testimony will be lost for the lack of personal relationships if we stop being accessible.
To have a conscience that is clear before the Lord, to act in obedience with what you believe the Holy Spirit is guiding you to do is the absolute best feeling in the world. I just want to celebrate for a moment because I did what no one else in a church did. I stood up for truth. I called sin sin and called a lie a lie and demanded that it be addressed. Other people’s advice was to “pray and trust God to take care of it”. Which is fine and good unless you actually want something to change. Yes, God can do anything He wants to and can work supernaturally to effect change and does so all the time. Most often, though, truth be told, he works through people who obey Him. If your Spirit is telling you to act, you must act. We are responsible for our own consciences. If you are burdened to pray only and not act, then by all means pray and do so diligently. But if you believe with all your heart that God is calling you to pray and act, then by all means, you had better do it. Until I did, I was conflicted. After I stood for truth, I feel at peace and content. Now, we all have sin. We are not supposed to judge others lest we be judged. I get that and agree with that. However, our watered down, impure version of God’s holy church has become so by good people allowing these behaviors to happen. If you don’t call them out in the body of believers, like we are called to do, we are sinning. Sometimes we have to act, pure and simple.
Interacting with the world and spreading the Good News of Christ should have a very strong emphasis on the Good News and not opinions about manner or behaviors. We should tell people what we are for because it matters little what we personally are against. Those interested can read the Bible for themselves and the Holy Spirit will help that person studying to know right and wrong and discern for themselves. However, within the body, we need to keep each other in check sometimes, especially when some are in leadership positions. Screw ups left unaddressed become stumbling blocks for any sharing of the Gospel and hurt the church and it’s body members. And each of us should be wise enough to know that we are humans and humble enough to be approachable if someone sees us doing something that may be harmful to the body of Christ, His church. There is sometimes a laziness, sometimes a fear to act or speak up as to not offend or keep the peace or maintain the status quo. This bothers me. Sometimes we are called to act because it will help in the present and/or the future of the church body. There are times of peace and times of war. We are being waged war against, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, and we will be judged according to how we responded to the call to just pray or to pray and act. There must be accountability. When that goes, so goes the moral standards and so goes any credibility we had left. It is imperative that we obey. It’s not as if anything is owned by anyone anyway. Everything is God’s and it is only through His great goodness and patience that He sustains any of us, especially those who say He isn’t even there. We will all see Him soon, and I for one would love to do so with as clear a conscience as is possible.