Then and Now; The Messenger

I heard an elderly man say a number of years ago that every day is a good day. If you don’t believe it try missing one. It didn’t take long for me to realize what he meant. There is only one alternative to living and that is dying. So today was a good day. No, it was a great day! When you get to start the day with a group of men who love the Lord and are willing to open up and share with each other the burdens on their heart, it just doesn’t get any better than that. I am so thankful for the weekly bible study we have because it is such an encouragement for me. Thanks to all of you who participate and may God richly bless each of you.

This week as we begin to take a look at the “Christian” world we live in today, I believe a good starting point would be see what has happened to the role of the pastor, preacher, teacher, evangelist, etc., for he is God’s messenger. First of all, please note that I said he. It seems to be becoming more and more acceptable for a woman to serve in that position (pastor) and I cannot find a scriptural basis for it anywhere in God’s Word. Mind you, there is an important role that a woman plays in God’s design for His church, but it certainly is not to be in a leadership position over the men.

The second point I would like to make is how it has become a full-time paid position in a church. As a matter of fact, there are so many paid positions in many churches today that they have really turned into a business, with a large payroll, insurance, retirement, vacation pay, holiday pay and on and on and on. No wonder there are so many men who pursue it as a career not a calling by God. It has become financially lucrative if they can land at a large church with plenty of money from folks who mostly want to feel good about themselves, not see focused on seeing the kingdom of God be advanced. I know I sound a bit negative but if you stop and think about it, there is a lot of truth in what I’ve said. I remember a time when the pastor of a church was paid out of the Sunday offering a certain percentage and most of the time it was hardly enough for gas money. Preachers who were called by God would be preaching whether they got paid for it or not. Sometimes even, their pay may have been a gallon of fresh milk or a dozen eggs or a chicken. Yes, I realize that we live in a much more prosperous time but I think you get the idea. God’s messenger then were much different from what we see now. They would always rely on a word from God to share as the message instead of some canned sermon. Very seldom did they use notes and the truth of the matter is many of them could read or write. They would have their wife or someone read the Word to them and let the Holy Spirit take it from their. But that was then and this is now. Which do you prefer? I long to see a revival that brings folks back to the days when Christianity was real in the life of the church and the pastor. Gimme that old-time religion is fast becoming my theme song. I pray that the revival begins with me!!!

Next week we will shift to the message and how it has been changed to suit man’s own interests. I hope you stick with me and please feel free to offer any comments whether pro or con.

God bless each of you.

Then and Now; The Preview

It’s hard to believe that another week has come and gone. Every day, at the appointed time,  the sun came up. Then, at the appointed time, it disappeared below the horizon. Just like it has since the beginning of time. Just like God intended when He placed it in position. It is a simple reminder that our Creator God is the same today as He was yesterday and a sure indicator that He will be the same tomorrow as He is today. He is still in control and He never changes.

With that in mind the question becomes “Why is the world in the mess it’s in today?” The answer is simple. Man. Man’s desire to be his own boss, to do his own thing, to go his own way. When a person choose’s to leave God out of their lives the result is going to ultimately be chaos, confusion and a lack of direction.

In like manner, when the focus of a church is redirected to something other than what God intended, the results are the same. That church loses its ability to be a shining light to the community it serves and impact the world for Jesus. That’s why we see such a change in the “Christian” way of life today. However, as we all know, the church is made up of a group of believers. Man. Therefore, the choices made by man are the reason the church is in the mess it’s in. So, all things considered, in the next few posts we will take a look at some of the individual changes that have occurred and compare today’s results to those of the past. Hopefully, this will allow us to make better choices which will result in positive changes for the future.

Have a great day in the Lord tomorrow and a blessed week. God bless each of you.

 

Then and Now

Good evening to all. Becky and I are celebrating our 46th anniversary tomorrow and so we took a short trip this afternoon over to Michie, Tennessee and had dinner at the Top Of The River restaurant there. What a seafood platter I had! It is known as the world’s largest seafood platter and it actually took up a fourth of the four seat table we were at. I have a picture of it if you don’t believe me. I believe it could have fed at least three people and still have some left. Brought most of it home where I know it will be devoured by some of the grandkids tomorrow. And I had a wonderful time with my wife as we traveled and talked. God sure blessed me when He set her apart to be my mate for life!

Started the morning today with our weekly bible study and it was a great time of fellowship as we shared together. One of the guys shared his personal testimony of how God saved him about 3 years ago and what a change it had made in his life. As an added bonus he had the opportunity to lead a teenage boy to Christ at a recent youth camp. He is really pumped and walking on air. What an encouragement it was to the rest of us today!

As I have studied and contemplated about what to write this week, there has been one thing that I keep coming back to. Through a series of several routine events in my life this past week it has really sunk in how different the “Christian” way of life has become from what I remember as a young convert in the sixties. As a matter of fact it is almost unrecognizable for me on many occasions. There is a sharp contrast to how I see a lot of “Christians” live today to what I experienced as a young man. I realize that I came from a home and background that was rooted in total trust in God’s promises and an unwavering commitment to following Him in complete obedience. There was no room for compromise in anything that was contrary to the Word of God no matter what the social pressures of the day were. My, what a change in today’s time!

Over the next few weeks we will take a look at a number of those changes that I think are apparent and discuss what effect they have had on the spiritual condition of the church today. As usual, most of it will be my opinion but I will endeavor to back it up with scripture. It could get interesting and I would love to have any comments that you would like to share with me and the others that read this post. I am a strong believer in the phrase “iron sharpens iron” because I continually experience it as I’m around other believer’s who are in God’s Word on a regular basis. So hold on for the ride!

As a way of announcement, our group Reassurance will be ministering through music at the Forrest Hills Baptist Church tomorrow evening. The service starts at 6:00 PM and runs until 7:00 PM. If you don’t have a church home at this time or your church doesn’t have Sunday evening services, you are welcome to join us tomorrow evening. I truly believe you will receive a blessing because we are always blessed when we share with others of like mind and faith.

Until next week, may God richly bless you and those you love and keep a hedge of protection around them.

David

Vacation Ended

Good evening to all. Hope your week has been a good. We arrived back home from our vacation about 9:30 this evening and we just finished unpacking everything. We had a wonderful time with the entire family and God blessed us greatly with His travel mercies. Over 1600 miles and no incidents to report. Heavy traffic in the Houston area on our way down to Galveston Beach and storms with heavy rain today as we made our way back up I-59 from New Orleans to Meridian, MS and then home from there. But God is good and we all arrived safely back home. Thanks to all of you that prayed for us as we traveled.

I have no special words tonight but will be back on track with the post next week. I thank all of you for taking the time to read it and a special thanks to those that comment. I also want to remind everyone of the bible study we have at Keller Hospital every Saturday morning at 7:30. It really is a blessing to me to be able to share with others of like mind and faith. Everyone is welcome.

God bless each of you until the next post.

David