the view from the pew 7-23-16

Sometimes it’s the sleepies,

sometimes it’s someone on a lawnmower outside (duh, of course),

sometimes it’s an interesting face,

sometimes it’s a child howling at the moon,

sometimes it’s a funky hat,

sometimes it’s the candle ready to go out,

sometimes it’s the argument in the car,

or sometimes it’s the arthritis that distracts a church-goer from the worship service.

In my case it was the arthritis in my shoulders giving me the business, making it difficult to focus on Pastor’s message. It was a three part sermon but I only captured the part about teens and their frustrations with ‘how do I really know that I am saved?’. The gist of what I caught was that in Christ alone are we in Christ. There is no amount of this, that, these, those or anothers we can do to either be in Him in the first place or to be more in Him once we are His. Teenagers, on a scale of 0-100, rate about a 99% on the degree of difficulty scale understanding this. The rest of us score about a 98% believing that the more we give,

the more time we spend packing goods for missions,

the louder, longer, better we sing than our pew mates,

the more church boards we serve,

the days we spend working VBS,

teaching Sunday School,

working the nursery,

picking up doughnuts,

serving coffee,

leading a Bible study,

delivering meals,

helping the elderly with tasks around the home,

or just uttering encouraging words to the next person doesn’t get us better rooms in His mansion but that these are just a few of the works The Holy Ghost provides for us, not out of duty, but to do as Christ did/does/will do for us.

Matthew 25:37-40
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

But you don’t have to make a big deal about doing acts of kindness. Just doing them as a part of who you are (in Christ) is what is enough. Do you want to talk to that person about Jesus? Sure, go ahead. But if you don’t, or forget to, or don’t feel comfortable yet, or don’t have the opportunity, well, maybe next time. Did you help your neighbor with his load? What you did at that moment is exactly what was needed. Did Jesus help you with your load? Did He help you at the exact time you needed? Did He step in and have a chat at the same time? Yes, no, maybe? Even if He went on His way you can be absolutely certain that next time you pray to Him or lay your opened Bible across your lap, He’ll be there listening to you and showing you what He knows you need. You never leave empty with Him.

Isaiah 55:10-11

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

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