At the End of the Day…Obeying God in the Little Things

For one who is at times amazingly slow on the uptake…or painfully slow when it comes to learning lessons…I’m grateful that God continues to work with me. That He doesn’t give up. But instead He takes the time to pound home the message into this hard head of mine.

It seems as if one of the areas of frequent and successful attack from the enemy lately is with regards to time. Time…where I’m busy from the moment I get up bright and early…even before the dawn of the morn. To the moment my head hits to pillow much too late at night for one who rises early.

Six days a week…my alarm clock wakes me up just a little before 4 AM. Most days…I struggle with getting out of bed when I first hear the alarm. Due in part because I head off to bed, ever so late. That little sin doesn’t seem like much does it…in the scheme of things. When in fact…it’s quite impactful.

Not only with the obvious consequence of being tired all the time, but I find it hard to concentrate because I’m so tired. The time I do spend working on projects may take longer because I’m not able to give 100% …because I’m tired. I get distracted easily…led from one task to another simply because it catches my eye.

That’s the practical everyday consequences. More import than those is the consequence that impacts my relationship with God. By time I head off to bed…I find it hard to spend a lot of time in prayer or devote time to reading my Bible. That is why I think this time thing is an effective instrument of the enemy. He is quite crafty…and will do whatever he has to do to distract the Christian from what God has called them to do.

So even now…I will heed God’s to me…to obey Him and head off to bed. Albeit…a titch later than I intended. Nighty, night!

A Little Something

Today we learned a little something,
About God,
Now…let me tell you why I weep.

When I hear quotes from the wisdom of man,
In place of godly counsel from the Word of God,
Then I weep.

When I hear stories about some man made superhero,
Instead of Bible history…tales of men transformed by the power of God,
Then I weep.

When I hear scripture overly simplified,
Rather than digging deep into the bountiful treasure of the Word of God,
Then I weep.

When I see the church swept downstream into today’s culture,
Instead of offering the Way to come up higher,
Then I weep.

When I forget that my salvation is a work of God,
Not of man…whose works are as filthy rags,
Then I weep.

When I see the church effortlessly float downstream,
Instead of exercising faith building study in the Word of God,
Then I weep.

When I partake of cotton candy that melts in my mouth,
Instead of chewing on the meat of God’s word,
Then I weep.

When I see interest waning,
Instead of excitement building at the study of God’s Word,
Then I weep.

When I neglect the Word of God,
Set it aside for something more palatable to my weakened and sinful mind,
Then I weep.

When I, in ignorance, neglect God’s character and lay aside His instruction,
I unknowingly strip God of His power in my life,
Then I weep.

When I fail to learn and abide by what God says is right,
And I unwittingly invite sin to creep its way back into my life,
Then I weep.

When I allow my life to be ordinary,
An example to none,
Then I weep.

When I choose to live,
A settled for life,
Then I weep.

When I think I’m saved,
But my life is not changed, transformed by the power of Holy Spirit,
Then I weep.

When I allow the light within me to be dimmed,
My life not salty, lacking in savor and good for nothing,
Then I weep.

When I’m indwelt by the Holy Spirit,
But not daily filled to live by the power of God,
Then I weep.

When I strip God of His power,
Quench the Spirit’s work within me because of easy and lazy unbelief,
Then I weep.

When I fail to learn about God,
His mighty and transforming work in the lives of sinful man,
Then I weep.

When I neglect the work of His hands,
Forgetting His deeds of old and His ability and desire to do the same today,
Then I weep.

When I forget that by His Word that He spoke everything into existence,
When I’m hard pressed to tell you the Ten Commandments, much less live by them,
Then I weep.

When I don’t know of God’s faithfulness,
And forget about His deliverance of Israel time and time again,
Then I weep.

When I think that Jesus came to show us how to live,
Instead of to die, the only worthy propitiation for my sins,
Then I weep.

Today we learned a little something about God,
Today I fear that instead…we learned that God is a little something,
Thus today I weep.

By Susan Bunts
June 24, 2007

This poem is dedicated to those with whom I share a passionate concern about the church today and the body of Christ. Donna and Jay Hoyt…you two come to mind first and foremost. Thank you for your uncompromising faithful love of the Word of God…and the souls of men…so that all may come to repentance. It should be noted that the title of this poem is inspired by comments by Beth Moore that when we do a “little study about God”, we instead make God a “little something”.

I find myself increasingly distressed by today’s church. One that settles for the stories of man, instead of the diligently studying of God’s Word. I fear that we are being influenced by today’s culture rather than impacting the culture around us for Christ. No longer are our lives transformed by the power of God. If we continue to settle for stories of men rather then insist on being taught and diligently studying the Word of God, then we will continue to live ordinary and ineffective lives. Our lives and our work will come to naught unless we are transformed by the Word of God and the work Holy Spirit within us. Only then we can be mighty instruments in the hand of a holy, righteous, just and powerful God. God…Who is an all consuming fire.

When we live the settled for life, when we try to live life based upon our own power, instead of yielding to Christ Jesus within, we will not impact the culture in any effective way. Unsaved persons will see nothing desirous in our lives that will cause them to seek Jesus. When I’m doing the same thing as the unbeliever sitting next to me…that doesn’t speak well of my religion.

I weep at the “settled for” Christian life. I believe that when I get to heaven, I will be grieved as I look at the lost opportunities and look at a life that was far from victorious.

I see the church today…along with our culture….trying to bring God down to our level. Our churches almost apologetically ask parishioners to turn in their Bible to the passage that they will be studying. Topical sermons can’t take the place of genuine Bible study. Don’t get me wrong…because one of my favorite Pastors, Charles Stanley, is a topical preacher. When he preaches you are getting fed the Word of God…and it’s not dumbed down. But I wonder…how many Pastors preach topical sermons…because of the challenge that straight Bible study presents?

It’s odd…but I think it both funny and sad when Pastors say “if you have your Bible with you, please turn to page…”. For Pete’s sakes…if you are at church or a Bible study…you should have your Bible with you. Yes…there may be some new folks that don’t have their Bible with them…visitors who didn’t bring their Bible or persons who don’t know Christ. But the church should have Bibles on hand for them to use and participate with.

I think of my own dear beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski…if you left your Bible at home or forgot it…you can be sure you’d get a verbal swat upside the head. Chiding in a good natured and playful fashion…but one that was also serious. He was someone to hold our feet to the fire. If not our Pastor…then pray tell whom?

I think we’ve forgotten how awesome is our God. He is holy…so much so that the angels proclaim “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” He can not be contained, nor tamed. Try as we might…He will not be brought down to our level. He is all powerful…one little word from Him…and it is so.

It’s easy to forget the awesome magnificence of God…when I fail to study His word. It’s also convenient…because if I don’t know what His word says…then I’m okay with living however I want to. The conviction of the Holy Spirit isn’t quite as loud when I don’t study God’s Word. It also means I don’t have to speak up when I see someone around me living a life that is sinful before God. I’m not obligated to warn them…if I don’t know what God says in His word. After all…speaking God’s word…to someone living in sin can make for some uncomfortable times. But my discomfort in doing so, is momentary in relation to the possible eternal consequences that person may face if they die without accepting Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for their sins.

I find myself grieved when I look at the state the church today…especially in the American culture. If I this sinful wretch of a human being feels that way…what must God feel?

We have been given a treasure beyond measure…the Word of God. It is eternal…as are the souls of men. Ought I not be treating both with the seriousness and reverence that Jesus Christ does?

Obedience Yes…Happiness No

Sometimes I stumble across a website where I admire the author’s work. Perhaps I feel a connection because we have similar backgrounds or maybe we are going though a certain stage in our lives and God uses their work to touch me. One such person is Janna at Bread Crumbs. I love to read her work…and she always evokes much thought when I read her blog/devotional. She is open and transparent…has a high or proper view of God and is spot on in her theology. She loves God…and people too.

On a recent visit to her blog…found an article in which she talked about her occasional struggle about not wanting to go to church on Sunday. When struck by that temptation…she did in fact go to church out of obedience to God. She put God first, not her feelings.

Occasionally I’ve done the same thing. I wake up on Sunday morning…and for whatever reason…I’m not feeling good…or I’m too tired…and I think “Gee wiz…I don’t feel like going to church today.” But when I lay back down I can’t fall asleep. I’m restless and try as I may…sleep evades me. So I get up, get ready and go to church. Each time when I’ve struggled with that desire and but choose instead to obey God instead…I am thankful that I did. Choosing to obey God’s command that we not forsake the assembling of one another.

The few times I’ve allowed the part of me that wants to withdrawal and stay home to win…I find it very empty. I don’t have my emotional and spiritual tanks filled for the week ahead. Even if I listen to a ministry or two on the TV or radio…it’s not the same as being in church.

The people on the TV or radio don’t know me…they don’t care about me…and they don’t hold me accountable. There is no interaction with those I care about. No hugs from Al…no bugging Mike, Norm and Merilynne at the tape table. There is no Ruth and prayer team to greet Kindred members and follow up on the prayer requests that they’ve so diligently prayed for. There are no hugs for my favorite Kindred girls Ramona and Lisa…and no updates from Doreen on the latest happenings at the Apple household. The worship is just not as sweet unless it’s in person when led by the likes of David, Lou, Kristal and Dave. I’m not moved as much by some anonymous choir as I am when I see my beloved Kindred choir raising their voices in praise to Christ Jesus.

Bottom line…I’m not spiritually equipped for the battle ahead. I don’t enjoy the time…in fact I feel guilty. Not guilt from God per say….but guilt because I knew the right thing to do…but intentionally chose to override the right thing…and replace it with that which is wrong. Those times I’ve chosen to stay home…not because I’m sick…but just because I don’t feel like going to church are the times where I’ve put myself over God. When I have a high view of Susan…which is in essence a low view of God which allows me to put my will over and above God’s will?

I think that when Satan tires the hardest to keep me from church is the time I need to be there the most. Those times when God has a message that He has prepared for me. Something special…to minister to or correct me when and where I need it most.

I find it amusing and self deceptive when I hear a Christian’s taking a wrong action and then try to justify it by saying “But God wants me to be happy!” The truth be told…that’s not accurate. God desires our obedience over our happiness any day of the week.

That’s not to say that God does not want us to be happy. To be more precise…God desires that we will have joy in the Him. When our joy is in the Lord…happiness may be a result thereof. But more importantly…when we delight ourselves in God…we will more likely be obedient to His will and calling on our lives. He desires that we put Him first…that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind soul and strength. The second is like unto it…that we love others as ourselves. It’s hard to do that when I only watching TV preachers or listening to ministries on the radio.

When I do that…I do have joy and peace with God…and indeed that contentment and happiness is not dependent on my circumstances.

Not only do we deprive ourselves of fellowship with other believers when we fail to go to church…but we are not a contributing member to our local body of Christ when we stay home.

Don’t get me wrong…I love the amazing resources that are available to the church of Christ today. We have an amazing plethora of ministries available to Christians and others today. Most definitely we should partake…but not if it means that we will forsake the assembling of one another in corporate worship of Jesus Christ.

Obedience to God’s word will spare us from suffering the result of our sin and living in regret. No matter what hard times we encounter…we have the unbroken fellowship of God and fellow Christians when we walk in obedience to Christ.

God desires our obedience over us being happy. He wants us to have joy…to take joy and delight in Him…our Lord Christ Jesus. A natural by product of that joy of the Lord will be living lives that are clean and don’t bear the weight and burden of sin from bad choices outside of God’s will for our lives.

No where have I seen God declare that he wishes for me to be happy. Especially being happy at the expense of obedience to His word. But I do see instruction from God that I am to delight in Him and obey Him. Through His grace and mercy and my obedience to His call I will one day enter into the joy of my master.

Daily I can choose…obedience God and His word…or choose Susan’s happiness as I put my feelings over and above Christ. One will result in joy, peace and eternal rewards that will never fade. One will result in temporary happiness that easily fades and is dependent upon my circumstances and whims of my fickle feelings.

Uhhh…”choose this day Whom you will serve!” The Lord or me…will I choose wisely today? Will I recognize my choices for what they are? If I choose to serve me and my feelings…how am I any different than the rest of an unbelieving world?

I need to be mindful…on my own power I will always choose me. But through the power of the Holy Spirit living within me…when I yield to Him…I will choose wisely. “Choose this day Whom you will serve!” Lord I choose You!

6/10/07 At the End of the Day…the Center of God’s Will

“God…I want to be at the center of Your will. Dead center…spot on. If this is not Your desire than I pray that You will close the door so hard that I can not mistake Your will. I pray that I will desire Your will for my life so much that I will hear only Your words and not my own desire. God…I would rather be on the road that You designed for me…a road not of my own choosing with you…than to be on the road I want to be on but without You.”

Those words were my prayer over the last few days and weeks as I applied for a new job and awaited word on the results. I found myself at absolute peace…and was comfortable with the thought of someone else getting the job instead of me. Yet…I desired a change and was hopeful that this would be what God has called me to.

But I knew…no matter what…if it wasn’t God’s will…I didn’t want it. I want Jesus walking with me daily…not me wandering off on some wild trek that looks appealing to my flesh.

So when I got the call and the offer I was at peace. Somewhat excited…but mostly at peace. It wasn’t something to boast or brag about…except to rejoice in God’s faithfulness to me through a difficult year.

I’m excited for a number of reasons…including the opportunity to learn a new area of the business. To continue to learn and grow. I also feel that God has a definite calling on me regarding this job. What exactly that call is…I don’t know…but He does and He will reveal it in His perfect timing. But I’m mindful that there is no greater risk of failure than now…right after I have had a success. I risk being prideful and believing that my success has to do with me and something that I did…instead of knowing that this was a work of God.

So it is with fear and trembling that I will step into this new role…cognizant that it is imperative that I walk in a manner that will bring praise, honor and glory to Christ Jesus. This group of people doesn’t know me…and it’s a place where I don’t have an established track record. I may have been employed for almost 23 years continually with the same company…bought out several times over…but these folks are new to me and I to them.

I give Jesus praise for the work He has done. I ask Him to help me to do excellent work and finish my current job strong. To leave with a good record as far as the work and people go.

I’ve learned a lot being in this place I didn’t want to be. It’s revealed things in me…both good and not so good. I’ve learned how important it is to have a good attitude…even in the midst of difficult times or when you daily have curve balls thrown at you. I’ve learned the importance of working diligently…no matter what my neighbor does. I’m accountable to God for me…not them. I’ve learned that stress will take it’s toll on my body…and that I need to take better care of my body, mind, soul and spirit. I’ve learned that while I may have a few health challenges…to be thankful that in the scheme of things…it’s minor and a condition that I can do something about it. I’ve learned to be thankful for having health insurance. In all my years of employment…I’ve gone to the doctor more this last year than the proceeding 22 years. I’ve learned that I’ve still got far to go. That it seems too hard and unachievable and that I’d better be on my knees in prayer seeking wisdom, guidance and strength.

I’ve been reminded about a core principal that I’ve had and known over the years…and that is to pray for my enemies. When I have someone difficult…that I don’t like or someone who has caused me a boat load of hurt…that there is only one remedy…and that is prayer. Not prayer that God will smite them…but instead to pray for them. Pray for their needs, cares, woes and concerns. To give over to God my hurt and bitterness over past hurts so that I might forgive. Do I walk a perfect walk…and struggle no more? Yeah right…uhhhh…not even. But I have improved and do work through this process quicker than before. Thank You Lord!

I’ve learned that I want to pursue God and follow hard after His lead in my life. I’ve learned that I need more sleep…thus an abrupt close to this article…as my body beckons that I arise and turn off the computer and head to bed…which I will do.

Good night to you all…wishing you evening grace as you follow in the wake of God’s will.

6/4/07 At the End of the Day…What a Difference a Year Makes

This year on June 1st, I found myself again at a crossroads…only this time…I’m filled with peace and a desire to follow hard after God and His will.

Last year…well that’s a different story. It had been months and months of uncertainty. Our company had been bought out and the team I was once a part of…most of the folks had job interviews and knew one way or the other if they had a job. Some received offers and others received a painful phone call that they would not be offered a job. They set their face forward and moved on into an uncertain future.

My exact fate was still uncertain. I had multiple interviews…and no answers. No thumbs up…or down. And then a phone call came and I was invited to travel far away for a big interview. I was hopeful. After all why in the world would they fly someone that far that they wouldn’t consider seriously for the job? The trip was your basic trip from you know where…but in the midst of it…God strengthened me, upheld me and enabled me to get through that day…and the many months to come.

As odd as it sounds…I never got an official word from those that interviewed me. The job remained open for months and months. Each time it posted…I reapplied. But it all came to naught.

During this time…I was emotionally torn up. I knew what I wanted…but I couldn’t see my way clear to make it happen. As I look back with the wisdom of hindsight…I can see clearly that God had closed that door. What God has closed…can never be opened. But I didn’t quite get that then.

I thought perhaps it was a test of perseverance…and God just wanted to make sure that I was going to trust Him…and believe Him…no matter what. That I wasn’t going to look at my circumstances but instead look to Him who would fight for me.

I guess that was indeed the test. But proving grounds were different that I could have ever imagined. I never got that which I had so desperately sought and desired. The question is…would I preserve in my faith and trust God in the midst of deep disappointment? Would I trust God…even as I asked why…even when answers were not forth coming? Trust God as He led me on a path I didn’t want to travel? Was I going to look to Him and not my circumstances to determine my love for God? Was I…did I? Uhhh…not exactly.

It was much different than I would have ever imagined. I was ready to persevere to get that which I wanted. But I wasn’t ready…it never crossed my mind that I would have to preserver in my faith as I got that which I did not desire.

It was an awful time…a time of great loss…a time that I made all the worse because I didn’t fully trust God. I didn’t trust the God who created the universe and everything in it by merely speaking His powerful Word. I didn’t fully believe…with a deep down personal faith…that God works all things together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I valued my hopes and dreams over and above His plan for my life.

To quote Elf…I was a cotton headed ninny muggings! Here, here…I’ll second that.

Despite my roller coaster…wobbly faith…my God was faithful. He showed me His tender mercies…and poured out His grace upon me. Before my path…he brought people…who would help make the unbearable, bearable. Those who would share a kindness or two even as I bore the emotional wounds from that of a friend. It’s those wounds that cut the deepest…and take the longest to heal. But God brought the salve of friendship to heal those wounds. Slowly but surely…those scars have mended. On occasion they are a bit tender still…and if I choose to dwell on them…they are still visible. But when I’m busy and set upon the work God has called me to do…they seem so very distant, small and even unimportant.

So as this June 1st rolled around and I found myself once again waiting to see if God is would open up a door on a new job opportunity…I was pleasantly surprised to feel an absolute peace.

My prayer is not…God get me out of here…or help me get that job. Instead…my prayer is God…please make Your will known to me. If this is not Your will…please I beg You make it ever so clear…so I don’t go down that wrong road. Shut that door…with a load bang that even a slower learner like me can’t mistake for a no. Please God…reveal Your will for me in this situation.

I am not anxious…and would feel a genuine peace if someone else got the job I applied for. In looking at the circumstances…it looks like God may be leading this way. But I don’t want to read something into it that’s not there.

I want to follow hard after God. I want to be dead center in the middle of His will for my life. Better that I be on a path not of my own choosing with God…and on my own path alone.

So here I wait to see what God is going to do. Is this just a test to see if I will choose wisely? Will I trust God this time around? Or will I seek to bring about what I want no matter what God wants?

It doesn’t matter if this is a test…or if God opening the door to move me in a different direction. It doesn’t matter…because all I want is His will…not my own.

I do pray that if another person gets this job…that I will be joyful for them.

When I look back and see why I experienced closed doors last year…I know why He closed them. I understand now…I get it. Yet I’m mindful that while God may use our wrong actions to bring about His predetermined plan…He will also hold each of us accountable for our choices and actions. Just as He did on the nations he allowed to come up against Israel. It didn’t negate their responsibility and consequences…even when God used it as part of His plan.

There is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will. I wonder what this last year would have been like if God’s will had been my overriding desire and determined purpose?

If per chance God opens up this new avenue…I’m very aware that this is just a tool and a means that He will use for His purposes and plan. May I praise God…no matter what happens!

6/3/07 – At the End of the Day…The Sweet Spot

It’s hard to say…which is my favorite. Is it the worship music when we sing praises to our Savior? Or is it hearing the word of God taught uncompromisingly…and powerfully? Powerful…like a two edged sword, able to divide soul and spirit. Or is it the fellowship with this body of believers I’ve come to love so very much? The answer is yes…yes whole heartedly to all three. I can’t choose.

But I must confess…the thing that stays with me is when we as a congregation hit that sweet spot. When we’ve been singing songs of praise. Our voices blended together in sweet harmony…and suddenly the band stops playing their instruments. But their voices sing loud and clear as we the congregation join with them…unified in praise to our beloved Savior Christ Jesus.

That is the sweet spot…the thing I carry with me throughout the week. I may find myself humming the song…or even singing softly in unexpected places.

To me…this is a small reflection of what heaven will be like. In fellowship with beloved believers…part of the body of Christ…unified in love and praise for our Savior…our Alpha and Omega…King of kings and Lord of Lords…Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today’s sweet spot has left me singing “How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God. How great is our God…”

How Great is Our Lord
Lyrics by Christ Tomlin

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end

Beginning and the end
The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son

The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb
Name above all names

Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

If it’s Wednesday…this must be Kindred…or Surely God was in this place!

Well alrighty…I admit it…this post is a wee bit late. You see I wrote it right after Bible Study a week and a half ago…but didn’t quite put my finishing touches on it. With a busy week…I didn’t make the time to go back and finish it up. So this may be a day late…but goodness knows with God’s word you can never be a dollar short.

On Wednesday evening May 20th, Dave Dunn continued in our study in the book of Revelation…finishing up with the last letter to the seven churches…the church of Laodicea. With the six preceding churches…Jesus had both commendation and condemnation…except for the church of Philadelphia. Jesus praised them for their patient endurance in the midst of a city that had become the synagogue of Satan.

Laodicea on the other hand was only worthy of condemnation from Jesus. This was not a church that had merely gotten off track. There is no remnant mentioned who remained faithful. No…they had become so wretched that Jesus said he would spew them out of his mouth. The people of the church at Laodicea were not saved. Instead they had become a part of the culture they lived in…oblivious of their precarious unsaved state. It disgust Jesus…and made Him want to vomit. They were not salt and light to a lost and dying world. They relied upon their wealth to make them acceptable to their fellow man and to God. Only thing is…God doesn’t play our games.

There is but one cure for our sin…and that is the cleansing blood of the Lamb…Christ Jesus. There is nothing that I can do in and of myself to save myself or be worthy or deserving of that salvation. Not only am I poor in spirit…but I am morally and spiritually bankrupt, unable to save myself…I’m dead in my sins. There is but one requirement…that is to receive the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. When I do that…I am born again…a new creation in Christ. As I grow in Christ…I will bear fruit.

The church of Laodicea bears a striking resemblance some churches today. Churches that blend into the culture…so much so that there is precious little to distinguish them from the culture they are surrounded by. Churches that think it best to tone down that Gospel message so as to not given offence to any visitors who might be insulted by a message that speaks of sin, repentance and salvation. Churches where Bibles are few and far between…but don’t worry because they will flash the passage on the screen in todays easy to understand versions of the Bible. Didn’t study the passage…don’t be concerned…because the message is chock full of stories, amusing antidotes and quotes from the famous people…and nary a Biblical character is to be found.

The very medicine that the unsaved visitor needs to hear when they happen upon such a church on Sunday…is the very message they will be deprived of. We’d rather not offend them…than to look at the eternal consequence if they fail to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. We don’t weigh in the balance…an uncomfortable moment we might feel when sharing the Gospel with a sinner…compared to the eternal, unending suffering they will endure if they die without accepting Christ.

Reading about Jesus condemnation of the church of Laodicea…makes me pause…and examine myself. The Laodiceans depended upon their wealth …and not on God. They thought that they didn’t need anything…not even from God. After all they had everything they needed….or so they thought. They had things…wealth and perhaps even the praises of men…but they didn’t have salvation.

I am cautioned that the deceitfulness of riches can creep in…even in my own life. When I have too much money…I don’t have to seek God’s will and wait for His timing to answer my prayers and take care of my needs. I can do it myself. I can comfort myself with thoughts that God has blessed me with all sorts of material possessions because I’m a good person…instead of reading the Word of God to see if my actions line up with His revealed will and plan. I can seek after what I want instead of seeking to know God better through His word and through prayer.

This particular Wednesday night concluded in an unusual fashion. Unbeknownst to most of us…we had a visitor towards the back of the room. After Dave had concluded his message the gentleman stood up to encourage us that the power of God’s word…is able to take a Laodicea type Christian…and transform them from being dead in his sins to alive in Christ. He talked about the power of Jesus Christ and the Word of God that had changed his life.

He went on to share that each year he reads through the Bible and each year he gets a new Bible. He has a dream that one day when he’s old and gray…his children and grandchildren will look upon his library shelves and see numerous Bibles. He’ll be able to tell them what God did in his life to transform him…and encourage them to read the Bible for themselves and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.

Our visitor was not only new to our class and church…but he was from out of state and in the area on business travel. He went on to share that he felt convicted because earlier in the day…when presented with the opportunity to tell a fellow businessman that he had found this great little church on a hillside with a cross shining in the night…he remained silent. He was regretful that he didn’t invite his friend to accompany him. He was refreshingly open and transparent in his faith walk.

As he shared his story…I too fell under the conviction of the Holy Spirit when I recalled that I had failed to take an opportunity to pray with a co-worker when we stopped for lunch following an errand we were on. She knows full well I’m a Christian…and I’ve even shared some CD’s with her. But when it came down to it…I took the easy way…or the comfortable way…rather than obey Christ. I choose compromise over doing the right thing.

I pray that in the future…I will have the courage to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. “Take”…as in purposefully, willfully and knowingly choosing to do that which is right, courageous and part of God’s perfect will. Will I? I pray…amen…so be it Lord Jesus!