Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Where do you turn?

Where do you turn?

[ No Other Gospel ] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan

Where do you go for hope? Purpose? Meaning?  Where do you go when times get tough, you struggle, or have problems?  Where do you go for strength, comfort, and encouragement?  We have to turn somewhere.  For some, they turn to alcohol or drugs.  Others turn to hurting themselves or others.  Some turn to a needle, a bottle, or a pill.  Others turn to their own ego, strength, or power.  Some look to one night stands, the internet, and using others.  Others turn to the world, money, position, titles, and control.

The truth is we turn somewhere in both good and bad situations and times.  We turn somewhere or to something or someone when we are looking for healing, forgetting, to bury, or to celebrate something.  The problem with all the things we turn to in this world whether its ourselves, someone else, a substance, activity, event, or thrill, they all are temporary at best and only mask the pain, hide the hurt, fill the void, or make us feel good for a bit. Then back to reality and possible more problems because of where you turn.

We were designed by a creator and that creator is God.  God created us and therefore is the only one who can give us purpose, hope, meaning, and value.  God is the only one that can heal us, protect us, comfort us, give us strength, or unconditional love.  God is the only one who understands our needs, feels our pains or joys, and knows what we need and how we need it.   God is the one who created us with feelings, emotions, expressions, and needs.  Therefore, creator knows His creation in both good and bad times, in both need and want, and both happy and sad circumstances.

God knows our strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams, struggles and temptations, and our past, present, and future.  God knows all, is all, and is everywhere all the time.  He is God after all, and He created me and you, so creator knows His creation.

There is no problem, struggle, temptation, or sin that God can't help you overcome.  There is no past to big for God to forgive.  There is no tragedy, depression, sadness, or pain that God can't give us hope, comfort, compassion, love, and strength to endure.  There is nothing on this earth that brings joy, peace, and hope like an honest and sincere relationship with the creator.

But what happens?  We don't turn to God, we don't stay in touch daily by talking to God in prayer.  We don't study, learn, and grow because we don't take time or make effort to read and study God's Word He gives us alone or in our church.  We don't tap into the gift of the Holy Spirit, that God gives all baptized believers so we have an unlimited resource in God's Spirit that we neglect to use to draw strength, guidance, and power.  We aren't faithful to God's church in attendance or involvement, so we are disconnected and out of touch with God and because of that the body(church) suffers, but you also suffer  because you are not attached or connected to the body.

So I ask you again today,  Where do you turn?  No matter the situation, no matter the issues, and no matter what turn to God.  Let God be the first and only place you turn.  No thing, no person, and nothing in this world will take the place of God, so stop trying to fit the round peg in the square hole and turn to God in all things in all ways and for all times. 

Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What's it gonna take?

What's it gonna take?

What motivates you?  for some, it's money, for others, it's power.  Some, it might be recognition or the limelight or others it could be trophies and awards?  But, what about your faith? What motivates you?  As a Pastor of a church, I can tell you that not all the supposed members or Christians at your church are motivated to attend, serve, give, or be involved.  It's a sad fact in many churches.

Something at sometime motivated you to give your life to Christ.  To ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, you confessed His name as son of God and Lord of your life, you were baptized and given the Holy Spirit, and you received grace, mercy, forgiveness, and hope in that moment, but what happened or changed?

You used to attend faithfully, serve faithfully, give generously, be involved, and actively being the church and now what? You attend sporadically and aren't consistent.  You don't attend any bible studies? You don't volunteer or serve in any place, and you seldom give of yourself or you time let alone financially.  What happened?

I know different things cause different people to be this way, but the bottom line is they are all excuses and those excuses don't match up to the gift God gave you through His son Jesus Christ.  He deserves your worship, attention, service, giving, attendance, involvement, gifts, time, abilities, and you!  There is no excuse to not living or being a Christian if you claim to be one and there is no excuse for missing Church or not being involved in your local church if you are supposed to be a member.

We make lots of excuses and blame a lot of people why we don't like our church or serve or go like we used to.  We make a lot of excuses about being busy, or working too hard, or the kids, or the job, or your age, or something, but the truth is there isn't a legitimate or good enough excuse you can give God to why you aren't "being the church" or worshipping or serving Him like you are called to do.

I've been there, many of us have been there, and we don't need to stay there and we need to avoid allowing ourselves to get in a place where our faith and our church commitment becomes a thing of the past.  We are risking, jeopardizing, and gambling with our eternity.  Do we seriously think we will stand before the Almighty God someday after what He has done for us and given us through Jesus Christ and think our selfish, lame, no good excuses for not being a faithful Christian or member of His Church body are going to be accepted by Him?

So the question i'm asking today is, "What's it gonna take?" What's it gonna take for you to get serious about your faith and be and remain faithful? I think a God creating me,  a Jesus dying for me, and a Holy Spirit given to me should be enough to motivate us to be faithful.  That's not counting the Bible He gave us and the Church He established for us and all the other blessings and benefits that come from being a Child of God. 

We need to start seriously evaluating our priorities, routines, schedules, and lives and see if God is truly first in our lives. We need to remove and get rid of all excuses we make and give and get off our backsides and get back to worshipping, serving, giving, leading, being involved, sharing our faith, and all the things we should be doing because we Love God and love others and for all the things God has done for us!

I pray that God is enough to motivate me and you to live for Him and remain faithful to Him and His church. 

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.