Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 1, 2019

Thought For The Week July 7, 2019

I received an interesting article from one of our church members this week that I want to pass on to everyone.  The article was anonymous but it certainly is worthy of prayerful consideration.  I’ll share it all with you and then make a comment.

“I grew up a preacher’s kid and was involved in church until my mid-20s.   However, as I grew older and, in my mind, wiser, I started to see behind the curtain a bit.  And what I saw, I didn’t like.  Over time, I stopped attending church.

“I didn’t like the hypocrisy of seeing people say one thing, yet do another.  I didn’t like the legalism or judgmental attitude of others.  Over time, I settled into a mindset that I could have a great walk with God and a relationship with Jesus as long as I kept my quiet time and my prayer life alive.  Are you currently at this point?

“Occasionally, I would venture out and visit a church here and there.  But I never felt completely comfortable with one aspect or another.  There was always something that kept me away.  I used all kinds of excuses.  I was tired after a long week of work or I needed to spend time with my family.  But I never used these excuses when it was something I wanted to do, like work out at the gym or take a vacation.  Basically, I had used one excuse or another to not get involved in any church.

“Then it hit me! I finally came to realize and understand that behind my own curtain, I was a hypocrite too.  Yes, you read it right!  Behind my own curtain, I was judging others for their attitudes and their behavior and I was exactly like them.

“Here’s the truth: everyone is a hypocrite.  Everyone is a sinner who has issues.  Every church has issues.  You know why?  Because churches are run by humans, and humans are hypocrites (aka sinners).  However, at this point in my life there was a HUGE difference between them and me.  They were at least trying to serve God and build the Kingdom.

“Being out of church really started to weigh on me.  I knew I had to adjust my attitude, get right with God, and get involved.  Today, I’m actively involved in my church.  Sure, I still see people doing and saying things that I don’t necessarily agree with.  I’m also 100 percent sure others say the exact same thing about me.

“I want to encourage you to stop the excuses.  It’s time to get right with God and it’s time to get involved in a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church.”

The part of this short article that really hit me was where the author said that he was as hypocritical and judgmental as anyone in the church but the big difference was that they were at least trying to serve God and build the kingdom.

Did it ever occur to you that we are all people who have been saved by grace, who sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) fall back into our old sinful patterns and act like we haven’t been changed by Jesus?  Did it ever occur to you that a significant part of walking with the Lord is submitting to His authority so that He can gradually change us into what He wants us to be?  And did it ever occur to you that the best place for any of us to truly experience the process of change (sanctification) is in vital connection to a local church where we can “try to serve God and build the kingdom”?

Friends, the fact that you are reading this “thought” kind of tells me that you are connected to either our local church or another one somewhere else.  But do you make excuses for irregular or sporadic attendance or for not really getting involved in activities at the church that promote your spiritual growth (like serving in ministry or attending a Life Group)?  Those excuses hold as little water as the author’s excuses for never attending a church.

I agree with whoever wrote this little article.  It is time to stop making excuses for those things we do that prevent or hamper our contribution to our own spiritual growth and to that of others (when you are missing someone who needs you misses out).  So what’s been your excuse?  Does it hold water?  Just a thought.

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