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Posts Tagged ‘malnourished Christians’

Behind the wheel for hours, I had driven by fields of ripe-for-harvest DSCF2553crops, from corn, to beans, to wheat, and I was starved. There were numerous exits along the interstate, but the only available food was greasy, fried, junk.

Yuck. Succumb to Crisco or hold out for healthy?

Ever had to make that decision on a trip?

Hungry and the only eatable morsel was junk food. Food that makes arteries slam shut, adds extra pounds in unmentionable places, and doesn’t begin to satisfy our bodies needs.

Instant everything has taken over our nation and we have learned to crave. From food, to technology, to fad clothing, to gorgeous homes, and fancy cars. Yes, even to instant religion. We crave the newest and best of the world’s junk, in spite of the cost. And we want it right now.

But we are starving. Spiritually.

Historic Churches 0018We come to the sanctuary on Sunday morning hungry for comfort. Hungry for meaning and hungry for help with an unending list of trials and problems. And we sit for an hour, maybe two, attempting to cram our souls with enough spiritual fast food to last the next seven days—we hope.

Then Monday arrives and the rumblings in our soul match the rumblings in our tummies and we look for anything to satisfy the emptiness. To quell the loneliness. To rescue us from the jam we’re in.

Monday evening football and prime-time soaps creep in. Spiritual junk food snacks. And if that’s not available, surfing the web offers mind-numbing entertainment to snuff the hungry growl. We sit before the screened idols, running out of evening, with no time to sit before the God of all creation to feed on His Word. We fall asleep with our bellies and our souls and our minds filled with the junk food of the world, but never satisfied. And we wake up Tuesday morning to begin the process. Again and again and again. ‘Til next Sunday.

The challenge for the twice-born children of God is to provide those DSCF2559who come to the sanctuary with the necessary meat of His Word and not the deceptive—I’m okay,  you’re okay—social gospel message—useless blubber that makes us happy for the moment but fades when we must face life in the jungle of this world.

 We need spiritual protein, vitamins, and minerals found only in the principles and precepts of the Word in order to build-up our souls in His love, His strength, and His power.

Unfortunately many in the church are anemic, ineffective, powerless Christians. Christians who are not making wise dietetic choices. Christians who rely on the deceptions of the world instead of on the promise of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, given by the Spirit of God, when we seek and ask Jesus.

That’s why many churches are in decline, not experiencing a great DSCF2556harvest. The fields of our neighborhoods, cities and nation are white, beyond ripe, but we’re not prepared to reap. We’re too busy about ourselves, our families, our lives.

We are powerless to kick that lifestyle habit of junk. Only God can transform our life and only as we daily surrender to the authority and sovereignty of Jesus Christ as Lord.

Ah, but we don’t like to surrender. To anything.

Do you remember when we used to sing, At The Cross—“Alas and did my Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die. Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?”

That hymn has had the misfortune of a face-lift. A scourging, if you will. We now sing about those people as sinners—not worms. And the reference is to a group, not an individual. To me. To you.

Yet in Psalm 22:6 King David referred to himself as “a worm, and not a man.” Are we better than this King—a man the scripture identifies as “a man after God’s own heart?”

In this age of every kind of correctness, the world teaches we must never refer to ourselves or anyone else as a worm. That would damage our self-esteem. And therein lies the heart of the matter—pride.

Jesus was nailed to a splintered cross where He hung, broken, and bleeding. Men gambled to win his clothes as His blood splattered  in puddles on the ground. Did He or anyone else consider His self-esteem?

God turned His back on His only Son, as this Passover Lamb took, in His own perfect body, the sin and evil of everyone for all ages—past, present, and future.

And He hung there and died.

God’s Lamb.

So that you and I might live.

The next few verses indicate Isaac Watts comprehended the grace and love and power Christ exhibited on that bloody cross when he penned these words in 1707:

“Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity, grace unknown and love beyond degree. Well

 might the sun in darkness hide and shut His glories in, when God,

 the mighty Maker, died for man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face while His dear cross appears,

dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe;

Here, Lord, I give myself away, ‘tis all that I can do.”

 

All that I can do? Oh no. I can serve on the Board of Deacons, I can teach a Sunday School class, I can serve in the women’s ministry. I can—I can—I can—. Exhibit pride? Me, a worm? Never.

Unless we learn to humble, rather than exalt ourselves, blush and remember His cross, and our hearts dissolve in thankfulness that brings tears, we will continue to clench our fists and scream “mine” rather than “Thine.”

As long as we care more about coming back to the sanctuary next Sunday morning to chant the same seven-words-twelve-times-praise-chorus-performance, loud and long, in rock-star-fashion, more than we long to seek His face and more than we long for the coming of our Lord Jesus and His kingdom, there will be no power. No urgency. And no abundant harvest.DSCF2541

And the harvest we were instructed to reap for the Kingdom will lie rotted in the fields of this earth, left to be reaped at the end of the age, by the angel’s sickle and cast into the winepress of the wrath of God. (Revelation 14:17-20 NAS).

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:35-39 NAS).

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