Monday, March 14, 2011
Bits and Pieces from Sunday's Lesson
Good Evening to All!
You know, I got to thinking yesterday about how lucky I am. I feel that I am truly blessed. I have a church that I love to attend. Not just like, or "feel obligated to go to" but actually get excited to attend and REALLY miss it when I'm unable to go to a service for some reason.
I have been to A LOT of churches in my time, and I have NEVER felt about ANY of them the way I do this one.
We have an ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL Pastor and his family and an excellent adult Sunday School teachers who can teach at the drop of a hat whenever the Pastor needs them. You were introduced to one about a week ago, Brother Carl Ford. He and our Pastor, Brother Hardin make coming to Sunday School and church FUN. The whole church family lis loving and fun to be around and I have bonded with some very special ladies a bit older than I and they have taught me a lot about the "Christian walk" by their example.
Now don't get me wrong. I learned something from every church I attended, but I didn't feel like I was being given the tools I needed or that I was being "fed" the spiritual food I needed to be sustained in this life.
I've been to some churches where the services are what I would call dry. The words were coming out, but the "river wasn't flowing", at least in my direction. I am the type that has to enjoy what I am hearing (yes, even when the Lord is chastising me, or convicting my soul for something I should or shouldn't be doing I can still enjoy it, because I am learning), or it won't stick.
Let me give you a few examples from yesterday's Sunday school and Church:
Brother Ford taught Sunday School. He said he had been reading a book about "situational ethics", which he explained were ethics which "varied" depending on the situation at the time. Of course he disagreed totally, as the author brought up the fact that everything had to do with love, because God is love. This last statement was true of course. The thing of it is, he was trying to say that even our laws had to be dealt with according to the situation. Anyway, Brother Ford started his message about "Situational Christianity". I understood this a lot more. There are too many people who call themselves Christians, but "change" according to their surroundings. For example, a person goes to church every Sunday, and works with other Christians. When he is around these people he works with, he talks about the Bible, God, moral and ethical things. It just so happens you walk by his desk one day and he is on the phone speaking in a not so Christian light. In other words being one way around your Christian friends, but trying to fit in or get ahead by acting and talking like other people who you happen to get around that don't act like Christians. (I used to call this type of people, Part-time Christians). The thing is now, I know there is no such thing. Either you are a Christian and you walk the walk and talk the talk, or your not. There is no middle ground. Middle-ground is what Jesus called luke-warm, and He says that's a BIG no-no. According to Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus said,"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert (be) cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Another word for being luke-warm is "wishy-washy" (that's my definition for it).
A person either lives for God or they don't. There is no middle ground. I don't mean to sound harsh, but the latter days are here, and people need to wake up and smell the coffee. READ YOUR BIBLE. A lot of what people think is acceptable because they don't go out and steal, kill, or do any other huge crime is so misguided. I know! I used to be that way, until I sat down and started reading, I got in a church where the Gospel wasn't "watered down" because the preachers were afraid to offend someone because they might leave the church. My husband had that reaction. One day our pastor (not our present one) made the comment that he was going to speak the truth and if people didn't like it, they didn't have to attend church there. My husband got offended and won't go back. The thing is if my husband wasn't feeling convicted about what was being said, he would not have gotten upset. The preacher did not say it in a mean way. He just meant that he wasn't going to "tickle peoples ears" and tell them just what they wanted to hear to keep them in church. He was going to preach the truth.
Our present Pastor feels the same way and has made it plain that he wasn't going to preach anything except the truth, and it wasn't going to be "watered down". I appreciate that. I WANT TO HEAR what God wants me to know. My toes have been stepped on more than once, and I truly appreciate it because that's how I learn.
Another statement that Brother Ford made that I thought was so cute was when He was talking about his little grandson. He was talking about Love and how it had to be tough some times. I hope I'm getting this straight, but he said something about his grandson ( who is 4) running outside and down the street. He went after him and the way Brother Ford put it was, "the board of education met the seat of understanding". I thought that was great. He may have been using that as just an analogy for tough love, but I thought it was cute. Our children need discipline so they can learn that if you tell them something several times and they don't "hear" you, that they will have to "feel" the consequences.
Another saying which was said that I liked is "We must stand for something" (talking about our walk with God and not giving in to pressures) or we will fall for anything."
WAKE UP! John 14:15 KJV says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments".
IN PLAIN ENGLISH: According to the Message Bible: "If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you".
I honestly don't think that could be made any plainer. If you love God, and want to spend an eternity with Him in heaven, then abide by John 14:15 and do as He tells you. ( I say "you", but I'm always speaking to myself as well).
I am really enjoying this post, because I always enjoy talking about the Lord or my church family. Don't let anyone fool you. IT is important to surround yourself with loving, caring Christians if you expect to keep your eyes on God and obtain your goal of getting to heaven. The devil makes it easy to fall, because he is constantly in your ear telling you it won't matter, you can do this just once. It's just a little sin, God forgive EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. He won't send you below.
Don't be deceived. He is going to have to send people there that don't follow the path to Him, because NO SIN IS ALLOWED IN HEAVEN. (That's another post). Anyway, keep your eye on the prize, and get there the easiest way possible and that is by being around people who will help you stay on the straight and narrow, by walking the walk AND talking the talk. Learn by example.
Challenge answers for last night's post:
1. Jesus (Luke 1:35-2:7)
2. James, Joses, Simon, and Judas/Judah (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3)
3. Lazarus (John 11:1-2)
4. c) Benjamin (Philippians 3:5)
5. d) no know relation (Acts 5, Acts 16)
6. b) Mary (Acts 12;12)
7. b) Barnabas (Acts15:36-40, Colossians 4:10)
8. a) Jewish and Greek (Acts 16:1)
9. d) nephew (Acts 23:12-35)
10. b) Stephanas' (1 Corinthians 16:15)
I hope you enjoyed the Challenge and did well! More next Sunday.
A quick note: I have just realized that whenever I do my posts early and pre-schedule them, for some reason the comments are shut off. I apologize and will check more closely next time. Luckily I caught this only 30 minutes after it posted, so I hope no one tried to comment that quickly.
Have a Wonderful evening and May God Bless!