Pastor’s Corner – “HE FINDS US”
There is a section in Luke 12:35-53 where we are told to live life with watchfulness. Read that. In this teaching by Jesus, He tells us that there will be people who know what is right and even know what God wants them to be a part of and yet, they do their own thing. We are told as believers to seek out God’s will and to be living out God’s will when our Jesus returns. Jesus pulls no punches here when he declares that he will bring about division (Luke vs 51). People who follow Jesus will have division of some sort in our lives. We don’t like that because we are taught that we are to never lose the thought that the Kingdom is for everyone. This sounds harsh, but Jesus squashes that here. Jesus knows the Scriptures, so He knew that His Father loves everyone, but not everyone would wake up and be a part of His Body (AKA – The Church). I have been studying on what God has had me say many things in this church as your Pastor. I have preached and taught that Jesus will have hearers and thus doers of the Word and non-hearers and thus the stagnant. The journey to follow Jesus is a struggle. We don’t want tension or struggle. I just want to remind you that comfort is good for everyone. Rest and comfort go hand in hand but keeping church at some “healthy” distance to simply be comfortable will stagnate you. A friend of mine had a pond dug out with no freshwater access to it. So, it stagnated. Even though it had water it looks well, but it became something, dead. Coming and deciding to get involved here, is your fresh water. Your Spirit will teem with new life and excitement. I confess, I love my bed, heck I love my couch. I would love to just stay there when I get home, but the truth is that when my Jesus returns, that is not where I want Him to find me. That is not where I want Him to find you.
I’ll see you in worship on Sunday,
Jesus was often found smack dab in the middle of God’s gathered people, AKA Worship. We know he preached and honored the traditions of the church (the Passover journey each year for example). So, if physically gathering meant a great deal to Jesus, it should mean a great deal to each of us if we are really following Jesus. The church gathers. Notice that I did not say that it watches from the couch each week. Online worship should only be for the disabled and even then, we as a church, should try to get them to the power of physical worship. We should want to love each other so much that we insist on seeing each other in the church. Insist on it.
Welton Gaddy in his jewel of a book titled, “The Gift of Worship” said that he himself “watched people’s spiritual lives shrivel because of a lack of the good experiences of corporate worship.” He continued with this, “A church musician friend of mine became disgusted with the pressure to perform and to please congregations. He quit. Another friend, a preacher, ran out of power- will power and spiritual power. He also quit. Eventually, I came to understand that apart from regular experiences of corporate worship (just physical gathering to be fed and honor God), choirs (or praise teams) can forget why they are singing, and ministers can lose sight of why they are ministering”. From time to time, I will take a Sunday, get someone to preach for me here, and will go and just worship somewhere. Over the years I have picked big churches and small churches. When I get away, I often come back refreshed, and I remember why I do what I do. I also remember the importance of gathering with my church family.
More people are worshipping online now. While it works for someone on a vacation or a shut-in, I do feel we neglect the Jesus model of physical church attendance.
Regular church attendance should be more than two Sundays a month. It’s hard to be fed green grass if you’re not consistently where it grows. When I visit over churches, I am reminded of something my old pastor said one time, “Grass isn’t green somewhere else, it’s greener where you water it consistently”.
I’ll see you Sunday. Yes, in worship.
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Pastor’s Corner – “Lakeview Rising”
Sometimes it can seem that everyone else is doing better than you. Everywhere you seem to look people appear happier, more successful, wealthier, healthier, stronger, further along, and more assured.
But if we spend our lives wanting to be someone else, we will always be a pale version of who we were made to be. Remember this: comparison is a thief. This thief is in the mind, and it seeks to steal your joy. Lining ourselves up against other people is a one-way ticket to anxiety and failure. Thankfully, there is a better way. We are called to see ourselves as pilgrims here on earth, the ones who are just passing through with a clear calling on our lives. Our All-Saints service reminded us of all of this. We are to make sure that we move away from any view of comparison.
I was reading in Philippians Chapter 2. It calls this generation warped and crooked. (NIV) The message version focuses on our purpose, or our being sent out.
Go into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message in the night. (MSG)
If you want a better life, focus on God and not on comparisons.
Live a life of integrity, power, calm, and love. Give strength to the weak and support the sick. Bind up the injured. Search for the lost and show people your kindness. This is our way. This is our purpose. This is Lakeview Rising.
Until the nets are full,