Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Backup



  I was recently watching a show that gave the chilling scene. It was dashcam footage of a police officer making a seemingly routine traffic stop.  The officer, after asking to man to step outside the vehicle and go to the safer side of the highway, begins to ask some routine questions. The man’s response is odd given the situation so the officer asks if he can search him. He agrees but right as the officer looks down, the man draws a firearm and unload several rounds point-blank in the officer chest.   Because of the position of the camera, you gracefully don’t see the aftermath, yet you hear the cries of the officer for help. It was an unnerving series of events.

 However, the officer did have a great advantage. He had backup. As soon as he goes down other a dispatcher on his radio hears his cry. Other officers in the area are alerted. Quickly one arrives and starts immediate aid. More arrive and secure the area. Others search for the suspect. The police on the scene realize time is of the essence so they load the wounded man in their care and rush him to hospital.  He not only survives but the man that did this heinous act is caught.

An outcome they could only have happened because there was someone watching out for him.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
Hebrews 13:17 

 The church functions in the same manner. Routine life can turn spiritual shootout in a heartbeat. Without some watching over us, it can be easy to get caught in temptation and spiritual danger without anyone to help us.

 That why we should be so thankful for our leaders. It might seem at times to be easier to go it alone. Less hassle, fewer rules, less compromise. However, do we really want to be alone when evil strikes with someone we trust to watch our back?  
 There are evil men, dangerous diversion and snares of every sort out there. Don’t try to go it alone.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

What Did You Learn Today?




  If you think learning is weighted to the side of the instructor you probably are not going to learn much no matter how good the instruction is.


  We say it like this, ‘I didn’t get anything out of that sermons’ or ‘the teacher is too boring to keep my attention’, or ‘that person just can’t relate to the audience’. They are all are ways of saying the same thing. The failure to learn is not the fault of the learner

  However, let’s consider this scripture:

A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.
Proverbs 14:6

  Notice the difference?  Those that are quick to judge the process never seem to find anything at all. But for those wanting to learn, there is plenty to find. If we are too busy judging the lesson, it removes the possibility of getting the lesson (James 4:11).

  Don’t think I’m saying there are not needed improvement in our teaching, there absolutely are! What I’m trying to get at is that if we really want to learn, we can get something out of about any lesson. There is still nutrition in untasty meals.

  Instead of wasting everything let’s try to get out what we can. It may be a lot more than we think!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Filling Their Shoes



 You probably heard the adage ‘Don’t judge someone till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes’. The idea is that when we place ourselves in someone else situation it might change our perceptive on how we think about them. The Bible encourages this for us but it goes even farther; it asks us too put ourselves in their stocks.

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.
Hebrews 13:3

  The text of Hebrews here says for us to put ourselves in the state of prisoners. That might be hard to do. It is easier for us to think of a prisoner as someone who is getting the fate they deserve. That might be the case. Of course in this time frame, the folks in prison could have done nothing more wrong than being a Christian. Still the temptation is to shy away from in that state rather than put yourself in their place.

  It doesn’t just happen to people in literal prisons it happens to those in metaphorical ones as well. People that are homebound because of ill health. Folks trapped in bad relationship and situations. People treated with suspicion because of their race or background. Those locked into a cycle of poverty. Before we forget, relegate or dismiss them, maybe we should ask ourselves what we would do if we were in the same boat as them?

 Judgment is easy. Fair judgment is more difficult.  Let try to remember those that might in tough situations with some proper discernment.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

No One Expected The Spanish Influenza




  From 1918 till 1920, about 75 million people died on the flu. The epidemic was a global one but the disease was known by a regional moniker, the Spanish flu. It didn’t start there nor was Spain hit particularly harder than any other nation, so why did it get the name?

  The reason was World War 1. The combatants in WWI didn't report on how badly the flu had hit their nations. Not wanting their enemies to know how sick they were nor did they want their own people, they instead censored the reports. Spain neutral in the conflict had no reason to hide the truth, so it looked as if it was being hit harder than the rest. So it became known as “Spanish Flu”.
  
  Often times those that are authentic in their behavior are relegated as oddballs. For example, those that confess their sin are looked down on when in truth there are many of those setting in silent judgment there that have the same if not worse sins. People that admit to faults are seen as weak when in truth that openness to one's errors make them stronger as they to fix their problems rather than just ignore them. People that act as if they have it all together are often just good at hiding all the holes in their lives.

  Christians are called to live open lives (James 5:16, I John 1:9, Matthew 5:16). This might open the door for some to criticize us. However, that should not make us think the problem is us. Remember most of the time people are accusing you of something or besmirching your actions, it usually more a reflection of them than you.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Dirty Laundry



  There is an old saying about not hanging your dirty laundry in public. What it means it’s unwise to take your grievances to a public forum. It’s a habit however, that with the rise of social media has become all too common. This phrase doesn’t have a biblical basis but the meaning sure does.

  In 1st Corinthians 6, Paul is outraged that the church has allowed it personal disputes among its members to spill into pagan courts. Paul’s flabbergasted that they don’t find a brother arbitrate the matter rather than go to unbelievers. He says it better to be wronged than bring reproach to the church.

Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
1st Corinthians 6:7 

  It might not be in a court of law but the court of public opinion we take our grievances. Still, the same principles apply. People will have differences and disagreement over things. It is tempting to want to garner support for our side by telling others. But that does more than just ‘win’ our case. It can ruin our reputation, damage the church and dishonor the name of the God we serve.

  It would be a shame to be ‘right’ about something but wrong the Lord in the process.