As all of you know I go places that most people don’t. I told them at Bible Study when we were asked what was our purpose, that I was their conscience. There was an audible and collective gasp in the room and then total silence for about five seconds. Now those of you who have ever had to give a speech or have been interviewed know that second can and do seem like minutes. So with that being said, here goes today’s food for thought. America was built on Christian values. The very core of our existence is on Christian Values. Sure there have been many who have tried to squash those values because they either didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand or refused to understand there is a greater Creator. We were not just zapped into being. Madeline O’Hare comes to mind. For those of you too young to remember go look her up. There are others, but I will let that dog lie for the moment. On every side, Christians since the beginning of the Lord’s Church have been persecuted, maligned, put down and even at times killed. ( See the Middle East). And yet when tragedy strikes people come out in droves with their hidden faith. Take 9/11. Now, we are in yet another event. That being so different, that churches have chosen to not assembly (well with the exception of a few). in order to keep their faithful safe. I respect that, I understand it.But, I have an observation. It is this, throughout the Bible, God’s people have been tested. As they were tested their faith grew stronger, Remember the furnace of fire, the Lion’s Den just to name a few. We are now in that arena. We are being tested. It is so easy to say we have faith when the ship is sitting on a calm sea. It is to easy to say that we trust in our Creator when the sun is shinning and the sea is like glass. It is so easy to say we have faith when the Captain is steering the sea and not sleeping. However….. When there are storms and the ship is broken apart and we are set adrift each to his own devices, my question is this how much faith do we have? Do we really believe that our Captain will carry us to safety and if we do, once on that dry shore do we continue to have a strong faith or do we say, “Thanks” and move on in our life without putting our ship back together in order to go out and fish again. Attending worship is like that ship that is now broken apart. We no longer go to a place to worship, we watch it on live Facebook. How comfortable will we be when the doors are opened again? Will we make the effort to get dressed to get in our cars and make that drive to meet with those of like minds? Or will we say, I can watch it here, I will go next week. See where I am going with this. See how soon we forget that we have strength in numbers. That we need that physical closeness with each other in order to grow. I have thought about this often, thought about how much I miss gathering with like minds. How much I starve for that. I cannot wait to be with them. To sing with them, to read scripture with them to study with them. We are like sheep that have been scattered. Separately we are vulnerable to the wolves. I guess what I am asking is that each of you examine yourself and ask yourself, what will I do when the doors are once again opened. Yes, it is just a building, but it is a place where we come together in strength. #faith, #God,#prayer, #strengthinnumbers
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
13 That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
For those of you who do not know this is the third chapter of Ecclesiates 3:1-13
This chapter says it all – There is a time for everything a season for every activity under the heavens. That includes being born, dying, planting and uprooting. A time to kill, to heal to tear down and to build. A time to weep a time to laugh – to mourn and to dance, and the list goes on.
This chapter has so much meaning if one just stops and thinks about it.
With the toxic environment we are now living in, the chapter more than ever rings true. Fear will kill a person much quicker than any disease; it causes the blood pressure to rise, the heart to beat out of control, the lungs to run in overdrive and the mind to explode with “What if’s”.
We as humans are our own worst enemy. We panic when we listen to the Media and Politicians, because we believe that what they say is gospel, and yet we refuse to believe what we are told in the Bible. The only non-lying source around. We put our faith in the human condition instead of the Almighty God in heaven.
We foolishly believe that man is in control and we refuse to believe that God is all knowing. We rely on our own devices instead of putting our faith to work when we are tested. We are great at talking the talk and slack at walking the walk. We allow fear and the unknown to dictate our lives instead of our faith in God. We talk about God’s will and how he answers prayers, then turn around and panic when we are hit with trials from the Devil. We spout how great our faith is and then put it on a shelf when the Devil gives us more than we think we can handle.
At a time in life when we as God’s children should be banding together, praying, singing and standing strong, we are hiding behind the doors of our fear. Yes, God gave us common sense, but he also told us to have faith – even when it is tested. Job lost everything, but never once did he lose his faith. Ester was asked to Approach the King on behalf of her people, that meant death if he did not acknowledge her, never once did she lose her faith. Joseph was sold by his brothers, yet never once did he lose his faith. Abraham was told to sacrifice his son and when his sone asked where the sacrifice was, Abraham said God will provide. Never once did he lose his faith.
We are at a crossroad in our faith. Do we allow this panic to shake our faith, or do we stand strong and allow God to show his power? Do we believe the hype, or do we turn to the one who has all the answers?
I can only answer for myself; it is up to each of you to answer for yourself in your heart. Do you just talk the talk, or do you have the courage to walk the walk? I can only answer for myself; you have to answer for yourself.
I have the faith in God that he has the long-range plan, that he knows all and that nothing is going to happen or not happen that is not in that plan. That includes a time to be born, a time to die. I challenge each of you to examine your lives to think about these things and to ask yourself the hard questions. Is your faith something you put on like a coat on Sunday or is it something you wear every day? If the answer is a Sunday thing – you might want to re-evaluate your life.