“Please don’t force me to be blunt with you when I come there. I am quite sure that I’ll have to challenge those who think we live like people in the world.” II Cor 10:2 (Simple English Bible)
Bob wanted to be active in the church. It’d taken him a long time to come to the Lord and finally, when he was immersed for his sins and gained a new life in Christ, his desire was to do something. The leadership couldn’t quite figure out what to do with Bob. They offered him a job in the coffeeshop on Sunday mornings. He was asked to fetch the doughnuts and fire up the percolators before everyone arrived at the church building. Several requests were for him to carry the church’s basketball team to their games. When summer camp time came around, someone wanted Bob to be a chaperone for a bungalow.
Bob was confused. He wanted a “front line” job. This confused the eldership. When Bob began visiting hospitals, an orphanage and a hospice, he was called into the pastor’s office and informed that he had no official sanction of the church to do this. He was on his own!
There are times when I think we need a Paul to bring a little reality to Christianity. I don’t know exactly what the apostle would’ve said to Bob’s fellow congregants but I have a pretty good idea that it wouldn’t have been pleasant. Perhaps Paul would’ve been asked to tone down is disrespect of the leadership and show a little more love.
We’re here for a reason! We’ve committed ourselves to serve Christ for a reason! We are Christ’s hands and feet for a reason!
Or do you have something more important to do?
“God has said, From the darkness, let the light shine! He made light shine in our hearts, too. This brings us the light of knowing God’s glory, which can be seen in the face of Christ.” II Cor 4:6 (Simple English Bible)
Stubbing my toe at night during the short journey from my warm bed to the bathroom, is a given at least once a week. I try to avoid all the hazards along the way but somehow, in the darkness, my big toe seems to home onto a discarded shoe, book or other object. As much as I try to keep my side of floor free from obstacles, every now and then, one sneaks out of the closet. Will I turn on the light so I can see better? Indeed, the idea has merit but I don’t want to wake my wife nor do I was to subject my eyeballs to the glare. If the light were turned on, would I avoid stubbed toes? Certainly! Then, why don’t I do it?
It’s the same in the world. Many Christians actively participate in sin and rationalize it away. Good excuses appear to be the salve for the conscience; circumstances lend a hand to provide the opportunities to continue sinning. It’s not only the pagan world that shuns the Light: some Christians do, too.
Turn on the Light in your life! Make sure it can be seen like a lighthouse on a rock. Never let it dim, never turn it off.
Someone might need to see it.
“If you don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t take drugs and engage is reckless behavior, you’ll die healthy!” Russian saying.
The youth were restless and didn’t know how to elicit the answer they wanted. It was the usual debate in the church — doing things the old traditional way or permitting them to cut loose. Naturally, the battlelines were drawn along the steep age contour. The older folks were upset and angered by the suggestions of looser morality, experimentation with “minor” drugs and teenage drinking which were suggestion by the younger crowd. Of course, the staid, ironed on, drag of the older generations only seemed stifling and far too restrictive like a straight jacket.
The element of personal risk was explained. God’s instructions in the New Testament were clear. There were strict guidelines of who would not be permitted into Heaven. Immorality, worship of false gods, adultery, perversions, homosexuality, thieves, greed, drunkards, harmful gossipers, etc will all be denied entry (I Cor 6:9-10). It was pointed out that all those behaviors result in a higher risk of injury, disease and death. They weren’t stated by God just because He thought it was a good idea. It was outlined for our health and benefit!
To live a fuller, less risky and healthier lifestyle, all we have to do is listen to our Father. After all, He created us and knows our mental, physical and spiritual limitations!
So, we will all die. Some will die sooner because of bad choices and some will die “healthy”.
Which do you want?