En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

  • Grab My Button!

    BWS tips button
    <a href="http://dadsdevoted.com"><img src="http://i496.photobucket.com/albums/rr323/baileytribe/blog/blckwhite_button.jpg" alt="BWS tips button" width="125" height="125" /></a><div style="border: 1px solid #DDD; margin: auto; padding: 5px 10px; background: #F8F8F8 none repeat scroll 0pt 0pt; overflow: auto; height: 100px; line-height: 1.5em;">***</div>

Low Moral Enthusiasm-Todays Church!

Posted by Scott on July 3, 2008

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. –Colossians 3:23

Were some watcher or holy one from the bright world above to come among us for a time with the power to diagnose the spiritual ills of church people there is one entry which I am quite sure would appear on the vast majority of his reports: Definite evidence of chronic spiritual lassitude; level of moral enthusiasm extremely low….

It is true that there is a lot of religious activity among us. Inter- church basketball tournaments, religious splash parties followed by devotions, week-end camping trips with a Bible quiz around the fire, Sunday school picnics, building fund drives and ministerial breakfasts are with us in unbelievable numbers, and they are carried on with typical American gusto. It is when we enter the sacred precincts of the heart’s personal religion that we suddenly lose all enthusiasm.

So we find this strange and contradictory situation: a world of noisy, headlong religious activity carried on without moral energy or spiritual fervor. Of God and Men, 3,4.

“In the busyness of spiritual leadership and church activity, keep me, Lord, from boredom or burn-out. Help me to stay personally fresh in my enthusiasm for You, so that in turn I can pass that genuine enthusiasm on to the people with whom I minister. Amen.”

-A.W. Tozer 2008

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Low Moral Enthusiasm-Todays Church!”

  1. Love the Tozer quote! Great post.

  2. Scott said

    Pete,

    Tozer is great. I get his daily devotions and they are timely and wonderful.

    In Christ,
    Scott

  3. DorisAnn said

    In this day and age churches can have wonderful popular guest speakers, rock stars, athletes, and any type of activity where the “show” will bring in a crowd, but the leadership forgets to bring in God and why people are actually there.

    If those they pull in to see the show have nothing to offer in monetary or physical substance to the church, the church and the leadership do not care if they ever come back.

    Personally, I do not care what it takes to bring people into a gathering place to hear the word of God. However, those that are leading should have Christ as the priority reason for doing so.

    RESPONSE: I DO CARE IMMENSELY WHAT CHURCHES DO TO GET PEOPLE INTO A GATHERING PLACE. OUR GOD IS A GOD OF ORDER NOT “ANYTHING” GOES. TOO MANY CHURCHES ARE USING THIS KIND OF PROGRAMMING THAT IS ENTERTAINING NON-BELIEVERS INTO HELL. IT IS NOT OUR PLACE TO ATTRACT THEM WITH WORLDLY WAYS. IT IS OUR JOB TO PROVIDE A LIFE STYLE OF HOLINESS BEFORE GOD THAT THE WORLD CAN SEE AND A PLACE OF WORSHIP FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO WORSHIP GOD COLLECTIVELY…ALONG WITH CONSISTANT GROWTH IN THE WORD OF GOD. THE CHURCH IS NOT A PLACE TO BRING THE LOST NECESSARILY TO GET SAVED…THE CHURCH WAS STARTED FOR THE BELIEVERS NOT NON-BELIEVERS. THE CHURCH IS FOR THE BELIEVERS TO POOL TOGETHER FOR ENCOURAGEMENT AND WORSHIP. A NON-BELIEVER CANNOT WORSHIP GOD…THEY HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT NON-BELEIVERS ARE NOT WELCOME, BECAUSE THAT WOULD NOT BE TRUE. HOWEVER, DO NOT GEAR THE CHURCH AROUND NON-BELIEVERS AND LET THE NON-BELIEVING WORLD DICTATE HOW THE CHURCHES RUN THEIR PROGRAMS. THIS IS A DEATH WISH FOR ANY CHURCH AND UNBIBLICAL. ONLY A TRUE BELIEVER CAN WORSHIP GOD. SO, I DO NOT AGREE WITH “DO NOT CARE WHAT IT TAKES MENTALITY”.

    Our churches no longer care for those that are in need especially with in their own congregations. They would rather collect money and show how they are using it to bring children across the world to God. I would like proof that most of this money actually goes to those kids. Even more so, I would like to see the mission money that churches collect start by helping their own people in their own congregations and communities with this mission money.

    Instead, they turn their backs on those in need, and ship the money supposedly off to some distant land. I wish that our churches would bring Christ back into their churches, and put God first. He stated that we are to love Him first and foremost with everything we have and then our neighbors like ourselves. It is heartbreaking to know for sure that most churches do not do this.

    Take this Cross?

    By the light of a full moon, the Lord Jesus led His disciples thorough the narrow streets of Jerusalem where they slipped out the town gate and down to the Brook Kidron. At this time of the year, the Brook Kidron was flooded with water. The temple sacrifices had been made, and the brook was filled with the blood of literally thousands of lambs. As the blood of those lambs streamed down to the Brook Kidron, the brook reflects RED in the light of the full moon, where Jesus crossed the brook with His disciples. Just across Brook Kidron, they approached that special garden place known as Gethsemane where our Lord would bow down and speak privately and personally to His loving Father God.

    Jerusalem was a very crowded city and property was worth a premium price. Many of the wealthy of Jerusalem would go outside of the city on the slopes of the Mt. of Olives and own a private garden spot. The Gethsemane garden may have been a spot that was owned by one of the wealthy friends of the Lord Jesus. Maybe it had been owned by Joseph, the rich man from Arimathea. However, it was special garden that Jesus would go from time to time for rest and restoration and prayer.

    Judas Iscariot was quite aware of where this precious garden was located. It was a place where Jesus had taken him along with the other disciples to pray with Him. The word Gethsemane means oil press. There is no doubt that there was an olive press there where the olives would be crushed and the oil would flow, such as did the tears and sweat from our Lord and Savior as He entered the garden knowing about what was about to happen in His near future as he knelt to pray in that garden.

    As the moon and the stars shown down on the Lord Jesus as He enters into Gethsemane, the oil press, where He Himself will be crushed like an olive and the oil of salvation, His precious blood, would begin to flow for our salvation.

    It is significant that the night before He went to the cross, He goes into a garden. It was in a garden Adam found that his own human will was more important to him than his God’s. A Garden is where Adam ate of the forbidden fruit which would create a reaction that would make pain, suffering and death inevitable to the human race upon the earth. Yet, as the moon and stars looked down upon the Lord Jesus, our Lord Jesus Christ went to His Father in reverent prayer and gave up His own will to the Will of His father, to restore us if we believe in Him, to have eternal life.

    How would you have felt as you followed the Lord Jesus into the garden of Gethsemane… ?

    The Bible tells us it was an enclosed garden. We will never be able to understand, on this side of Heaven, what Jesus endured that night as He went into the garden of Gethsemane, anticipating the future events that were about to unfold. His prayer to His Father was so intense and full of His emotion that He began to sweat drops of blood. Yet, it is there in the garden where He gave up His will to His Father.

    Let us take our shoes off our feet and walk where Jesus walked, for if we dare to enter the garden of Gethsemane with our precious Lord and savior, we need to understand that we will be walking on Holy ground.

    Let us walk with our heads bowed and our hearts crushed as we follow our Lord Jesus into Gethsemane.

    —– GETHSEMANE’S TRAUMA

    We can think of the trauma Jesus experienced at Gethsemane as the same trauma that we can experience here on this earth. We hear about the trauma that is endured by those who suffer as victims from violent crimes such as rape, murder, and robberies and abuse. Yet only the person who survived the actual trauma and our Lord Jesus Christ could possibly understand the depth of the pain and suffering that the victim actually has gone through.

    The very passage from the bible where Jesus asks His beloved father, “Why have You forsaken Me?” can be the closest comparison to the depth of sorrow and the pain and the sheer fear that victims must feel when in the midst of the trauma that they are enduring at the time. They must wonder from the very depths of their crushed hearts and Spirits where God is during the horrifying incident that they have fallen victim to.

    We do have examples of such incidences in our precious word of God of those who have fallen prey to such horrific things. Jesus Christ being the one that we can take the deepest understanding from.

    Unfortunately, Judas Iscariot was a supposed loving friend of Jesus. How many women and children suffer from the hands of the ones that supposedly love them? It has to be close to the same pain that our wonderful loving savior suffered when He was kissed by Judas before being carried away to His torture and death. The sorrow and pain from the betrayal of a friend would be enough to put a normal person into a falling pit of depression and despair.

    Yet, our loving Christ did not even have the time to think about that particular emotional pain. That emotional pain was to be followed by the cruelest physical suffering endured by any human as He was carried off from that garden of prayer to be tortured, tormented and ultimately put to death on the cross, due to the betrayal of a man thought to be His loving friend.

    The fact that God was born a man and allowed us to do this to Him is the ultimate action of love. The magnificent One, who knows all things, understood the need for this traumatic sacrifice to happen so that we could spend eternity with Him. This act of love is beyond human words, and beyond any human emotions. Love in action is recreated through us with God’s hopes that our hearts would change as we live here on this earth to love Him with all of our hearts, minds, and souls, others as ourselves, and ultimately live with Him forever.

    However, the torture and the demise of those that are victimized, especially in their own households by someone that they love, do not have the same resurrection ending that the life of Jesus Christ does. What people do not realize is that 74% of all Texans have themselves, a family member or a friend have experienced some type of domestic violence. The percentage of those that know someone from some traumatic crime is even higher.

    How would you feel if you were to walk in these same footsteps of Jesus? Reflect upon the betrayal, the false accusations, the suffering, and the ultimate separation from God the Father, and then physical death that our precious Lord endured.

    How would you feel if you put your feet in the shoes of the women and children that suffer from the hands of the ones that supposedly love them? How would you feel if your feet were in the shoes of someone who just survived some horrific violent crime?

    It has to be close to the same pain that Jesus felt that night at Gethsemane. Friends can be present, authorities can be present, even other family members can be present, just as they were with Jesus, yet the suffering and pain continues. Their escape is not any different than what our wonderful savior Jesus endured on that cross.

    Many women who suffer from abusive hands end up in shelters which are a thirty day stay. The family is forced to live in one room with in a refurbished house, if there is even room at the local shelter.
    When the thirty days are gone, the family is then directed to live in section eight, or
    public housing where they may have even worse situations in the neighborhoods around them than what they had just left in their own homes. Many have to go back to the house where the abuse took place to eat, or to raise their children. It may be the lesser of two evils. There they at least know to some degree what signs to look out for before the abuse takes place, and do not have to worry about the unknowns from a neighborhood filled with those that they do not know.

    The women’s shelters tell women that do not want to live in public housing that they need to go back home, keep a credit card hidden, and some bags packed for quick escape and stay in the house until they are capable of supporting themselves and their children. What they tend to forget is the abuser is manipulative just as Judas Iscariot was, and is capable of accomplishing his next punishment without any obvious signs from the outside. The women have to hide the keys to their cars, their purses, and money in order to even get to work. In many cases they are harassed by their abusers in such ways that these women end up losing the jobs over and over again.

    You cannot tell who these men are or what they are like from watching them. Just as no one could tell that Judas Iscariot was the one that would betray Jesus. The manipulation and false identity and great out ward face make it impossible to pick these men out from a crowd. At times it may be easier to pick out a violent criminal than those that create such havoc in their own homes. However, in both instances, the faces of either of these traitors are difficult to see among a crowd.

    Crime, especially violent crime can leave its victims paralyzed, unable to work, and sometimes unable to leave their homes. What was once thought to be a problem with our vets returning from war, is now known to be a demon that plagues those who were lucky enough to survive any traumatic crime they encountered. This demon is called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. It manifests itself in a number of different ways. Sometimes these survivors relive the trauma over and over again in some form of hallucination, or in nightmares.

    If we are made in the image of God, there is no doubt that God does not forget what happened to Him as He came in our human form to this earth and as He suffered and died on that cross. Something we in our human nature chose to do to Him. He was a perfect man who only did great things and taught love and repentance so that people could have more fulfilling lives as He walked among us in human form. We may be forgiven, thanks to the cross that He carried and died upon, but there is no doubt He does not forget the pain that we placed upon Him while He was here. This same pain may never leave for the surviving trauma victim as well. It can get better with time, and those that have survived trauma can learn to live again. Yet, in some situations, it never leaves, haunting the traumatized individual for an entire life time on this earth.

    Unless we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of these people who survived such things, our hearts will never reach out beyond our comfort zone and love these people the way God so loves us.

    At times it has to be hard to place ourselves in the situations that people have lived through. Sometimes it has to seem easier to deny and look away from those who have suffered such horrific pain, and suffering in such ways. At times it may be easier to look away in hopes that it will never happen to us. However, when we examine the depths of our human hearts could this be one of the reasons that people also deny Jesus and what He went through?

    Pain and suffering may be a part of life, but it is healed through the love and patience that is given by people with a true heart that care for them and with the love of God, as Jesus Christ Himself commanded us to love. Just as Jesus loved us and suffered all of the injustices that He endured before the cross, and on that cross, we are to carry the cross as well. We are not just to carry the cross for Jesus….but for each other.

    So look deep within and ask yourself, whose cross will you carry today?

    RESPONSE: I HOPE YOU ARE CARRYING YOUR CROSS. THIS WHAT CHRIST ASKED YOU TO DO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: