Time for a Change

Last weekend there was some mumbling, grumbling and complaining going on as people got up early to make it to church on time.  Ordinarily getting up early is not a big deal, but with the time change springing forward one hour, people seem to feel the effects more than falling back one hour. 
 
I found myself complaining, but even before the words left my mouth, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
 
God brought to mind the millions of people around the world who are not able to worship freely.  They wouldn’t grumble and complain because they had to get up early.  Instead they would be praising God that they would get to join their brothers and sisters in Christ in worshipping Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and diligently study God’s word. 
 
Praise God…for the churches that preach and teach the full counsel of God’s word.  Those congregations are fed a veritable banquet and feast on God’s word each week. 

When we get home how many of us set our Bible down, only to be picked up again when we are heading out the door to church the next Sunday?  May we be mindful of the millions of people who would love to hold the Bible in their hands and read it with their own eyes. 
 
If we knew that tomorrow laws would be passed that would forbid us to attend church would there be an outcry from God’s people?  Would we flock to church in record numbers?  If we knew our Bibles would be taken away from us, outlawed or banned, how would we treat God’s Word? 

May we live in light of the precious gifts we have been given by God.  May we not take lightly our freedom to worship and read our Bible.

Broken

Am I broken,
Over churches who compromise,
Fail to teach the Word of God?

Am I grieved,
When churches aim to please seekers,
Instead of feeding the flock?

Do I cry,
When my Savior,
Has been made a mockery to an unbelieving world?

Do I sorrow,
Over pastors who seek to entertain,
With feel good messages?

Do I question,
Pastors who desire to grow numbers,
Rather than grow character?

Do I turn off,
Not even listen,
To pastors who dare not utter the word “sinner”?

Am I appalled,
When a pastor changes a hymn,
From “wretch”, to “saved a soul like me”?

Do I tolerate,
The pastor who embraces a Muslim,
And proclaims we that worship the same God?

Do I confront heresy,
When those in the pulpit,
Deny the trinity, the virgin birth, even Jesus Christ our Lord?

Am I embarrassed,
By those who claim to be a “man of God”,
Yet are ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Or do I diligently seek,
Listen attentively,
For the Bible, the inerrant Word of God?

Is the Bible my measure,
To discern,
If one is truly in the faith?

Do I thank God,
Fall upon my knees,
For the uncompromised preaching of the Word of God?

Do I allow,
The full counsel of His Word,
To rebuke, correct, instruct me in righteousness?

Am I overcome,
With gratitude…do I loudly proclaim,
I am a sinner, saved by grace, not of works, least I boast?

By Susan Bunts
February 17, 2008

Broken

Am I broken,
Over churches who compromise,
Fail to teach the Word of God?

Am I grieved,
When churches aim to please seekers,
Instead of feeding the flock?

Do I cry,
When my Savior,
Has been made a mockery to an unbelieving world?

Do I sorrow,
Over pastors who seek to entertain,
With feel good messages?

Do I question,
Pastors who desire to grow numbers,
Rather than grow character?

Do I turn off,
Not even listen,
To pastors who dare not utter the word “sinner”?

Am I appalled,
When a pastor changes a hymn,
From “wretch”, to “saved a soul like me”?

Do I tolerate,
The pastor who embraces a Muslim,
And proclaims we that worship the same God?

Do I confront heresy,
When those in the pulpit,
Deny the trinity, the virgin birth, even Jesus Christ our Lord?

Am I embarrassed,
By those who claim to be a “man of God”,
Yet are ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Or do I diligently seek,
Listen attentively,
For the Bible, the inerrant Word of God?

Is the Bible my measure,
To discern,
If one is truly in the faith?

Do I thank God,
Fall upon my knees,
For the uncompromised preaching of the Word of God?

Do I allow,
The full counsel of His Word,
To rebuke, correct, instruct me in righteousness?

Am I overcome,
With gratitude…do I loudly proclaim,
I am a sinner, saved by grace, not of works, least I boast?

By Susan Bunts
February 17, 2008

The Reluctant Gospel

How easily I compromise,
When failing to share the only Cure,
With those lost in their sin…bound for hell.

Reluctant…I don’t want to offend,
The Gospel message seems so narrow a path,
So I don’t share, lest they think I’m judgmental.

How ironic…if they had cancer,
I would be so eager to share the good news,
Medicine that would spare their terminal prognosis.

Whether they believe in no God or many,
Create a god of their own making,
Or deceive themselves that they are god.

Do I lack confidence,
Because I fail to know the Truth,
Or do I study God’s Word so I might know?

Not my own words,
Nor my own wisdom,
But the Truth from the infallible Word of God.

We are lost in our sin,
Unable to save ourselves,
Our own works…will never bring righteousness.

There is only One Way,
He Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life,
We can only come unto the Father by Him alone.

Instead I draw back…fail to share the truth,
After all I am no scholar or theologian,
I might not be able to answer all their questions or challenges.

So instead I stand back,
Let them go forth to eternity,
Lost…soon to share that which God created for Satan and his demons.

How pray tell is that walking in love?
Like letting one walk off a cliff,
Only to fall to their most certain death.

Those lost in their sin will pay the eternal price.
Will I choose to remain silent?
Or share the life giving message…salvation is found in Christ Jesus alone?

By Susan Bunts
September 16, 2007

The above poem was inspired by today’s sermon from guest speaker Kevin Lewis. Kevin addressed a concern, near and dear to his heart…the Christian church is influenced by today’s secular society and is weak and lacking in their Bible knowledge. So much so that we are ineffective in sharing the Gospel message with those who are perishing…lost in their sin. Kevin got down to basics as we started to delve into “Jesus Christ …the Only Way to Eternal Life”.

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?