5-6-2018 Be All WE Can Be



MAY 6, 2018


I did some exploring this week along the St Joseph River in St Joe County between Sturgis and Three Rivers. My goal was to check out boat landings so when the wind blows me off the lake, I can fish the narrower more tree protected St Joe River. Besides, the St Joe really has some decent size fish in it so that’s a bonus. As I think of the time and volume of $2.99 per gallon gas I spent I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself that it’s amazing what we will sacrifice for the things we truly enjoy.


I can’t help but make a comparison to the church today. Church attendance used to be family time. In the church of my childhood, it was nothing to see Great Grandparents, Grandparents, Parents, and children all in a single pew row. And if you couldn’t fit in one row the kids would sit in the pew in front of them so if they got fidgety one of the adults could thump them smartly on the back of the noggin and set them straight. For most families, north and south, being in worship on Sunday morning was a necessity. Not because it was a “culture thing”. But because it was a “priority thing”, often at a sacrifice.


I’m not sure I can put a date to it, but somewhere along the way all that changed. Instead of following God’s Word and taking responsibility for training up our children in the way he or she should go we opted to send them off so strangers could do the training. Unfortunately, the training our children received was “the way of the world” rather than “the way of the Lord”. Being in church became a matter of “if it’s convenient” rather than “THE priority” …it was no longer sought with a sacrificial heart.


In an effort to remain relevant (isn’t that sad) churches began to alter services in an effort to “attract more people”. Seeker sensitive services were implemented where nothing offensive (like sin and hell) was proclaimed or if it was it was, it was done with “sensitivity” so the unsaved wouldn’t be offended by the Word. Now, I may be missing something, but how do you explain to someone that without recognizing that it’s sin (which is offensive to God) that separates them from God? That coming to terms with the fact that sin through conviction of the Holy Spirit is necessary to recognize their lostness. That it’s that conviction that leads to true repentance, which means turning from sin, because where they are is damning, and that they aren’t good enough to earn forgiveness. Therefore, there is only one way to eternal salvation… by receiving the free gift of salvation through Christ… how can that be shared in a non-offensive way to a “me first” society? Especially when the unsaved think God’s Word is not relevant and outdated to begin with.


1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB)
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


1 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.


Listen, I know, it’s tempting at this point to go off on tangents and dive into music types, preaching styles, how the pastor or congregation dresses, the order of service and etc. PLEASE DON’T GO THERE! IF YOU DO, YOUV’E COMPLETELY MISSED MY POINT.


This is NOT about what WE need to do to please OURSELVES… it’s about what YOU and I need to do to please GOD and draw closer to Him. It’s about confronting every excuse under the sun that is used to NOT be where and what we should be, to develop the greatest relationship with God one can possibly develop, and be used of Him to His glory.


Hebrews 10:23-25 (NASB)
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


As Joshua proclaimed…


Joshua 24:15 (NASB)
15 "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: …; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."


Just my thought and my commitment…will you join me?

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry