Jana Magruder, Director of Kids Ministry Publishing of LifeWay has written an insightful article entitles Why Kids Need to See Their Parents Serve. I learned to serve the church and Christ from the model of my own parents and their example of servant’ hearts spoke louder than any speech. Read Jana’s article here.
Frank Sosienski was a postman in Louisville, Kentucky, who didn’t want to deliver some of his mail. Perhaps it was the hot summertime, like we’re experiencing now. Maybe the mail was heavy; maybe he wanted to quit his route just a little early each day. In any case, there were eventually complaints about mail not arriving, and they traced the problem back to Frank. When the postal authorities investigated, they found the mail that was missing. Most of it was in Frank’s attic. You see, over a six-year period he stashed away 15 tons of other people’s mail. They discovered over 1200 bags of undelivered mail in Frank Sosienski’s attic.
While much of that might have been “junk mail,” we are still shocked that a person whose life is defined by the motto that declares a clear dedication to a task can so easily walk away from his commitment. Yet I wonder if we know that this is how we look to our Lord? We have made a commitment that, no matter the cost, we will follow Jesus. And then, when trouble or inconvenience or hardship or just a better offer comes along, we hide our commitment in the attic and go live however we choose.
It is easy to lose heart and grow weary in well doing. But we must remember that we have been called to an important task, one that affects many others in its wake. Let’s “stay at the stuff” of delivering the message God sent us to bring, remembering that at the end of the day
… a lost world is waiting to hear.
What is God saying to you? I know that, for some, that is either a deeply personal question or one that sounds too “spooky” to take seriously. Yet God is a God of communication. He continuously speaks… but do we continuously listen? Sometimes we are too busy to hear. Oftentimes, in our noise-drenched society, we are too noisy to hear. And other times, we are too stubborn to hear.
The first reason is a sin of misplaced priority. The second reason is a sin of distraction. The third is a sin of rebellion. All rob us of blessings, wisdom, and leadership that God longs to give His children. Like Elijah the prophet, sometimes we miss God’s voice because we think it will come in some dramatic way like a bolt of lightning, or, in Elijah’s case, like an earthquake or a hurricane. But we must learn, as Elijah the prophet did, that God’s voice comes in “quiet stillness,” out of the deepest recesses of our heart, in places where only we and God can meet.
Do you ever listen for the voice spoken from within your own heart? Every voice we hear in our minds is not a voice of truth, and is not even necessarily a voice that needs to be paid attention to. And yet, in the chaos of our days, in the despair of difficult nights, in seasons of doubt and fear… God speaks.
The question is, “will we listen to what the Spirit is saying..?”
In his book The Way of a Worshiper, the author gives the following definition of repentance:
Repentance is not a once-in-a- lifetime commitment. It’s not simply an apology with a promise to do better.
Repentance is a whole new lifestyle.
Repentance is a determination to change the way we live – to stop, turn around, and head in a new direction.
Repentance is cooperating with God in the transformation of our character.
Repentance is a heart posture that is reflected in the choices we make.
Repentance is an act of worship.
Repentance is not something that happens once at our conversion to new life in Christ. It is a mindset, a determination, to continue to turn from sin and to turn toward God from this point on until Christ comes back or we die. Repentance is an act of worship, according to the above definition.
But, like worship itself, it is an action that never ends.
June 26, 2015 will go into the history books as the day America changed. For those who celebrate same-sex marriage, it was a day of celebration. For the opponents of same sex relationships, it was a day America took another downward turn morally. While no one seemed really surprised by the SCOTUS ruling, I have heard and read some things that seem to point to despair among believers and supporters of traditional marriage.
So for them, I write the following. Here are some things the Supreme Court could not change on Friday:
(1) God rule is still sovereign. He is still in control. He did not find the ruling Friday to be a surprise. He is not Twittering His opinion today. God still rules and reigns. “God is on His throne…He is seated in the heavenly places.” (Psalm 11:4) God has not lost control of the universe. He still turns the hearts of kings and leaders in the way He wants them to go. God is sovereign. He rules. He reigns. He is still the King.
A.W. Tozer said “What we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Remember that God still rules.
(2) God’s Word still stands. It has not changed. “Heaven and earth will pass away. My Word shall not pass away” Jesus reminds us. The Word of God says that homosexual behavior is wrong. It is wrong. Always. Whether in a “loving, monogamous relationship,” a pseudo-“marriage” or a random encounter. It is wrong. It’s not wrong to love anybody. You can love whoever you want to love. But you can’t have sex with anybody you want to. That’s sin, whether hetero-or homosexual, whether you are living with another person in a same sex or even a heterosexual relationship and having sex with them outside of Biblically defined marriage…It is wrong. The Bible still calls it sin.
(3) God’s opinion still wins. God’s opinion plus nothing=a majority. God’s opinion on the subject must be the one we consult. God does not change. He is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” God’s opinion… God’s definition of marriage did not change Friday. It never has. It never will. Jesus said “from the beginning God made them male and female….” And marriage was created with that in mind. (Matthew 19). The SCOTUS did not invent marriage. Government can’t reinvent marriage in its essence. They cannot change marriage. They cannot define marriage. They cannot control our teaching about marriage. And the majority of people deciding they like something doesn’t mean their opinion wins. God’s kingdom is not a democracy.
(4) God’s mission still continues There is nothing new happening in this ruling… nothing different in our culture regarding the homosexual agenda… that the church has not had to face before. (1 Corinthians 6:9-12) We are not worse off than we’ve ever been. Many of the letters written making up our New Testament were written to help the church deal with a fallen culture. Homosexuality is just a symptom of the illness. The illness itself is simply sin. “All have sinned….” A Puritan writer said “The seeds of every sin are within the heart of every person.” There are no new sins. And sin always leads to the same outcome unless we are redeemed: Death.
This ruling should spur us on to “love and good works,” to intensify our efforts to see the world won for Jesus, and to remind us clearly that the time is at hand and the coming of Christ is drawing near. We must redouble our efforts to preach the Gospel to the nations….
No matter what the culture does.