Faith and Patience

Our Church is currently searching for a Pastor, and in our Wednesday night message, someone commented that our Church’s faith and patience may be being tested now since we have been searching for five months, for such a long time.  And my argument is maybe five months is not a long time to God.  Maybe God is trying to teach us something, maybe he is trying to teach us patience and faith.  Maybe, if we found a preacher in the near future and it took six and half months or seven months or even less than a year, maybe that is a blessing because it didn’t take years.  I think it depends if you look at the glass half empty or half full. 

Our Church has always had a Preacher either filling in or in view-of-a-call so there has been a preacher preaching every Sunday and I firmly believe that God has used or Church for inexperienced Preachers to gain experience.  We’ve truly been blessed with the different sermons from the different Preachers filling in.  And meeting with the Pulpit Committee is a blessing in itself too.  We have developed a camaraderie that we will miss when we do fill the position, we joked that we may continue to meet even after we find a Pastor. 

God puts us through trials and tribulations and tests our faith to teach us, for us to grow as Christians.  “God’s ultimate purpose for us is to grow more and more into the image of His Son” (Got Questions.Org 2002-2020)

“This is the goal of the Christian, and everything in life, including the trials and tribulations, is designed to enable us to reach that goal. It is part of the process of sanctification.” (Got Questions.Org 2002-2020)

Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknew he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Holman KJV Study Bible 2015)    

“Trials develop godly character, and that enables us to rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character and hope.” (Got Questions.Org 2002-2020)

Through all of God’s trials and tribulations, we overcome adversity and it makes us stronger in our walk with Christ. 

I watched the movie Overcomer a few days ago and I highly recommend it to you.

“And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (Holman KJV Study Bible 2015) 

Are you an Overcomer? 

Handing Out Donuts

Our old preacher started a ritual where he and some of the Church congregation would hand out donut holes to people at a local gas station.  It was a good ice breaker, a way to invite people to our Church, it was also a way to talk to people that may not know Jesus Christ, and it was a way to let people know we care about them.

Our Church has been without a preacher since the end of August.  We’ve formed a pastoral committee and have been searching for the preacher the Lord has picked out for us.  We’ve been praying for God’s will.  It has been a very fulfilling endeavor; we understand we are at God’s mercy and he will provide when the time is right.

As servants of God, we are supposed to go out and tell Jesus Christ’s story of good news.

Today’s Sunday school lesson was about “The Banquet”.  Have you ever invited people over for a gathering and they cancelled on you or just didn’t show up?  It’s disappointing to prepare a big feast or schedule a party and no one show up.  That’s what happened at the Great Supper a meal was prepared, and the guests all had excuses to why they couldn’t attend. 

One person said, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it:  I pray thee have me excused.” (Holman KJV Study Bible) 

Another excuse was “I have bought five yolk of oxen, and I must go to prove them:  I pray thee have me excused.” (Holman KJV Study Bible)

Another stated” I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come.” (Holman KJV Study Bible)

Luke 14:21 “So that servant came and shewed his lord these things.  Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, go out quickly and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt and the blind.” 

Luke 14:22 “And the servant said, Lord it is done as thou has commanded, and yet there is room.”

Luke 14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, go out into the highway and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house be filled.”

Since the people invited had other things to do with their time, they went into the streets and invited the common people into their house to fill it up.  As Christians, we should also not discriminate.  We should want to tell our story to anyone and everyone that will listen after all there is not better deed than to lead someone to Christ. 

Can you imagine being invited to sit with Jesus and eat at his table?  How could anyone refuse such an offer?  How many times will Jesus ask us to do work for him?  And how many times can we refuse to do what God asks us to do?  How many times are we going to make excuses to not accept Jesus into our hearts?  We may say next time, or next week, but the reality is there may not be a next time or a next Sunday.  If God asks you to hand out donuts, then hand out donuts.    

Sleeping Too Close to the Getting in Spot

Our Sunday school teacher told the Sunday school a story the other day and I wanted to share it with you.

He said, one night a small child rolled out of bed and landed on the floor. His Mom came in and picked the child up off the ground and consoled him and after the boy was calmed down put him back in bed. The Mom asked why did you fall out of bed and the boy thought about it for a while and after a minute or so said, well I guess I went to sleep too close to the getting in spot.

Our Sunday school teacher compared that to us as Christians. He said sometimes if we aren’t careful after getting saved, we may grow stagnant and go to sleep too close to the getting in spot. We think we are saved now and we don’t need to put forth any effort in our relationship with God. We’re good, we’re saved, right?

God already knows everything about us, he made us, but what do we know about God? I think the least we can do for giving his only son to die on the Cross for us, so we can be saved by God’s grace and go to Heaven is to spend some time and effort on our relationship with him. How do we get to know God, by meditating in our Bible (not just reading it), praying, and going to Church, to name a few and to be as close in our lives as possible to live like Jesus, yes Jesus was perfect and we are not, but we should strive to live like Jesus and to love like Jesus after all being a Christian is about loving others.

The Sunday school teacher also shared a story about sharing a garden with his neighbors and they would plant the garden, harvest the garden and share the crops from the garden. He said the men were all God fearing Christians, but he noticed one of the neighbor’s brothers stopped going to Church because he was afraid God would call on him to be a preacher like his other brothers.

It’s sad that some of us are afraid to step outside of our comfort zone to serve the Lord, whether that is being a Sunday school teacher, leading the music in our Church, preaching, serving on the pulpit committee, being a deacon, or all the other positions that are required for a Church to be successful. Aren’t we supposed to serve God?

Be careful not to go to sleep too close to the getting in spot and step out of your comfort zone to help your Church by serving God.