Thursday, November 15

Starving for some food.....

Let my mournful cry and supplication come [near] before You, O Lord; give me understanding (discernment and comprehension) according to Your word [of assurance and promise]. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word! My lips shall pour forth praise [with thanksgiving and renewed trust] when You teach me Your statutes. My tongue shall sing [praise for the fulfillment] of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteous. Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts. I have longed for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight. Let me live that I may praise You, and let Your decrees help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek, inquire for, and demand Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments. Psalm 119:169-176 (AMP)

In a country that has so much, we are a starving people. So far gone in the process of starving that we no longer even want the food placed readily at hand. In a society that was once known for its richness and heritage, we have fallen upon very lean times, with the impending drought at the borders and no preparation to substain us through the painful season.

Thomas Guthrie said, "If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any persons better than Christ, or any indulgence better than the hope of heaven----- Take ALARM!"

I would add if your heart doesn't cry out on a daily basis for Christ to return, you are sinking into the secular world and are in danger or you are simply not being fed substaining meat.

I show a sermon last night that both inspired and disturbed me, incited me to action and pull the effectiveness out of any action that was inspired. It was, unfortunately, a sermon I think is abounding in the church today. The borderline sermon.

You know, that sermon that the Pastor/Teacher/Reverend (whatever you call your leadership) is slamming hard on the absolutes of Truth found in the Bible, but he or she starts pulling the punches........"Now, I'm not trying to say you HAVE to...." or "I am not saying absolutely...." Where a biblical truth is pointed out and then rounded out to remove the sharp edge of conviction. Where it seems a point is driven into our hearts and then quickly removed so that the pain of sin isn't felt for long. Where it seems a minefield is being walked......very carefully. Those sermons.

And these sermons are usually backed up by actions reflective of the 'pulling punches' rather than reaction to the truth. This one sermon said, "Don't become part of the culture." Yet, instead of services next week, the church is closed. Because of the holiday, Thanksgiving. As I am certain many of the larger and more 'seeker-friendly' churches will be. Church has become less important than the secular pursuits we are induated with daily. "If you bulid it, it is possible they will not come."

Instead of being at church, learning and extoling, stepping out into the community or even inviting the community to sup with the congregation, this church is closing that night, because??? well, mostly likely the leadership, the staff, and half the congregation will be gone for visits with family and friends.

I would look at the viewpoint of reduced attendance on that day as a sad, but usual thing.....and still open wide the doors to reach that one soul that is wandering. Seeking to feed that one, not knowing if it would possibly be the Lord come a-visiting or not and really not caring. Fulfilling a need so God can fulfill THE need.

But that's me. I'm not the one to pull punches, even at myself. And I think that the church needs to be absolute in its stance. Not the "by any means possible" but "by the grace of God." Instead of being culturally sensitive, we need to be soul redemptive.

To do that, we need the spiritual meat of God's Word placed upon our lips daily and to be held accountable for that personal responsiblity in our churches on a weekly basis.

Just my thoughts,

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