Sunday, October 23, 2011

Become an Action Hero!

Dear Readers,

Kids emulate sports and action heroes. They practice incessantly the same moves as their heroes.

At the workplace there is an ongoing call to take action to get work accomplished to produce a product or service to make money.

As a parent sometimes we get stern with our son or daughter when we perceive they are becoming lackadaisical about taking action toward completing school work, chores, or a career pursuit.

One of my pastors about twenty years ago lamented the fact that he was up in front of the church Sunday after Sunday pitching what he felt were meaningful sermons. But one Sunday he threw us a changeup when he urged us to not focus on just the words of the sermon, but to “do something!”

God used Jeremiah to talk a little about action. It starts in Jeremiah 31 and carries over to Jeremiah 32 (NIV). Jeremiah the prophet wrote in 31:33: “This is the covenant I will make to the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law into their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.”

God goes on in chapter 32:38-39: “They will be my people and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action….”

The message of Jeremiah is that when we are called by God, He puts His law in our minds, gives us singleness of heart, then He directly gives us action to take. This truly is the best way to become an “Action Hero”!

See you next time,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Staggering Toward Slaughter

Dear Readers

"Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?"
Proverbs 25:11-12

The topic "staggering toward slaughter" seems pretty morbid. It sounds like a meat slaughter house with cattle going toward their doom without realizing it. I don't like thinking about where my meat comes from and how it got on a plate in front of me. I likely think the meat industry also does not want consumers thinking too much about it. It might affect the sale of meat.

What was Solomon trying to say? Proverbs 1:1-3 state that Solomon wrote Proverbs to Israel to help them in "gaining wisdom and instruction" and to learn how to proceed "doing what is right and just and fair".

I can't read Solomon's mind but I will make a logical guess what he was trying to say. He was concerned about the Israelites and their relationship to God. He perhaps likened them to cattle that were unable to perceive that doom awaited them.

My Dad, now deceased, grew up in the Amish church, and my family and I are involved with Mission to Amish People (MAP). Amish people, and people of many other denominations, emphasize works and following rules. Acceptance of God and salvation by faith in His Son Jesus Christ is oftentimes not a point of emphasis. I myself grew up in a Mennonite church and was baptized and taken in as a member when I was about fourteen years old, but I know I was not saved by faith in Jesus Christ.

First question: Can many of these dear and beloved Amish people, others, and myself before I was saved by faith in Jesus Christ, be likened to cattle staggering toward slaughter?

Second question: Is Satan behind the staggering, and does he want people to think about the fact that they might be headed toward slaughter?

Third question: What is our role to "hold back" persons headed toward slaughter?

Fourth question: What is God's perspective on us if we do not make an effort to "hold back" persons staggering toward slaughter?

See you next time,