Are you sick of it? Get rid of it! If you're not sure what I mean, tune in. There are times when hope is needed before further exposing the deeds of darkness.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
I remember very well what I was doing the morning of September 11th, 2001. I will probably never forget that dark day and the aftermath as long as I live. Even today, my emotions still get the better of me when I think of the lives lost for no more reason than they didn't share the terrorists' religion. That day, my thinking changed.
It wasn't politics that changed. How I saw and now see my mission changed. Given the statistics, most of the people who died that day found themselves facing judgment and Hell. The pain of that truth burns in me to this day. This truth strikes me over and over again. I'm hard pressed to look at a large crowd of people and not feel the pang of sorrow for the lost. I was grateful for my sunglasses when I was attending a game at Dozer Field, our local farm team baseball stadium. Looking at the gathered fans, I couldn't help but wonder how many would be in Hell if terrorists attacked the game. My eyes reddened with tears and I kept my thoughts to myself to keep those tears from flowing.
In this ever darkening world, our opportunities to share Jesus and help our friends and neighbors escape from this fate are growing fewer and fewer. On that day thirteen years ago, my whole perspective changed. I felt the pain that the Lord feels when one of his creations goes to Hell when He offers the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus. Those pains, both the memory and their reoccurrence inform everything I do for the Kingdom. No matter what I preach, I strive to work a salvation message into it. If anyone there has never met Jesus and received His gift, they need the opportunity.
I stopped being bashful about sharing my faith at work. It's more than just people I work with knowing I'm a Christian, I sprinkle as much of the Word as possible into conversations (usually without a Scripture reference) and be as kind and loving as possible to everyone. It's not always easy and I've been ridiculed for it and even faced some (albeit minor) persecution.
I'm not trying to make myself somehow better than anyone else. I'm only relating my response to the attacks and how it's changed my life and my drive to see as many people hear about Jesus as I can while they're still able and I'm still able to share.
I have also paid a lot of attention to what has happened to the church in the aftermath. Immediately after the attack, church attendance swelled to more than double what it was beforehand. Unfortunately, it didn't last. I could list a lot of possible reasons for the dropoff to less than it was prior but most of them would be speculation. All I can think is that whatever those people were seeking, they didn't find.
The times today are even more perilous than they were back then. As the Body of Christ, we need to be ready when this type of attack happens again as it likely will. It may even be worse than the first with more lives lost and more damage to the property. We need to be ready for the sea of people that will turn to us like they only do in a crisis.
What will they need? That hasn't changed. It's the same thing that people have always needed in dark times; hope, compassion, and some answers. The Church of Jesus Christ is uniquely positioned to share the truth in love in such circumstances. We have the hope that is in Him alone, the love of God made manifest, and real answers from the Word of God as to why people do what they do. We can offer it. We have the Holy Spirit available to us to give us the words to say if we only seek Him. He will guide us and empower us to touch lives and bring healing to their pain.
Honor the heroes of that dark day, remember the slain. Mourn for the loss. Remember, it can happen again and remember that Jesus is the answer to the pain. He came to heal, to free, and to bind the wounds of the broken hearted. He comforts the grieving.
Monday, September 8, 2014
In these days, what message do we really need from the pulpit? While all teaching on the Word is of value, it's possible that not all of it should come from the pulpit. We need to consider what the world really needs not what we want to teach.