May 7, 2017
Rescue and Refuge
Have you ever been rescued? I cannot count how many times my brother has saved me from hurting myself physically. Furthermore, I cannot count how many times my Marines literally saved my life. At some point, we’ve all experienced those “life saver” moments when people have taken the time to insert themselves in our lives to lessen a burden, comfort us, bail us out financially, give us life altering advice, cover a shift at work, etc.
I was recently reading a blog in which a young lady stated that she desired to belong to something greater than herself. She wanted to be something other than self-indulgent. The words on her page screamed out HELP. In other words, she needed to be rescued, she needed Christ in her life so she would know what true love, peace, friendship, happiness, and joy looked like. As people who have been rescued by Christ, these are the attributes which we should exhibit at all times, no matter the circumstance or situation. It is a marker of New Testament Christianity. It shows people that there is something different about Christians than the average person in the world.
Secondly, this young lady blogged because she needed an outlet a refuge. Isn’t interesting that she had nowhere to go physically? What if she did belong to the Church? Would she be as open with her brothers and sisters as she was on the blog? In an ever increasing “everything is alright with me don’t bother” culture, WE must make sure the Gastonia church of Christ is a place of refuge; this MUST be a place where WE can come open, exposed, wounded, without fear of rejection or unbiblical judgement.
If the Gastonia church of Christ is to grow, if God is to be glorified, if WE are molding ourselves into disciples who imitate Jesus, WE will be a place of rescue and refuge.
April 30, 2017
We Live in an Amazing Time
I know the title might raise some eyebrows, but I wholeheartedly believe it to be true. While some will note the morality of the country, the chaos going on within the country and around the world, “amazing” in the context of this bulletin article is a great thing! Here is why we live in an amazing time:
1. Christianity during Chaos - While the world isn’t in all-out-anarchy or war, but there are varying degrees of uncertainty within the current political and economic conditions. Christianity provides ultimate hope and security even if both the political and economic frameworks collapse.
2. Unbelief = Opportunity - We also live in a society that is becoming more and more secular and skeptical. In a way, this shouldn’t surprise us because New Testament Christians have always been in the minority. However, this also gives us an amazing opportunity to talk to people who don’t believe, and they aren’t hard to find!
While these are just two main points regarding how amazing the times are, let us be people who seek to stand firm on God’s promises when the waves of uncertainty and even chaos come crashing down. Let us also be a people who are willing to engage and talk about the hope that we have within us to those around us.
(from the weekly Church Bulletin)
Gastonia Church of Christ
April 23, 2017
I can remember when the first GPS systems for cars were introduced. It was a magnificent achievement! No longer would we need maps, protractors, and pencils for vacations; all we had to do was punch in the address of the destination and ride! Never again to get lost.
While this great invention has served me well over the years, I must admit, there are times where, even with GPS I’ve gotten lost. I can remember leaving from Denver to Utah with ah group friends for a mission trip and, not long into the trip (while I was driving) we were lost. I heard a loud obnoxious voice saying, “REROUTING! REOUTING! REOUTING!” Finally, someone asked, “Are you going to listen to that thing or keep ignoring it!?” The problem was, everyone else could see that I was ignoring that which was glaringly obvious, we were lost, there as a solution, and I wasn’t moving. I didn’t want to admit that I had gotten myself and the whole crew lost an hour into our trip. But for us to get back on the right route, I’d have to shift my frame of mind from, “it doesn’t matter what that things says I’m staying here” to “Ok, just admit it and follow the directions.”
The same holds true for disciples of Jesus. We all have moments or seasons in life where we find ourselves away from where God wants us; whether that is holding on to matters of opinion as if they were scripturally based, leading a double life, having an addiction, struggling with family, struggling at work, etc. We compound the issue when we stubbornly hold the position of “nothing is wrong” all the while God screams “Reroute! Reroute! Reroute!” Even disciples need to shift in their walk with God. My prayer is that this morning, if you need to make a discipleshift you do so, and follow God’s Positioning System (GPS).