Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Stand Fast! Last time we visited, we were discussing the contrast between Spiritual "Stand Fasts" and perpetual fussers; those who are only happy when they are involved in a fuss whether personal or Spiritual. This person may have a period of happiness brought on by the usual things/experiences, or they can have a "Spiritual Spasm" when it is positive, but no Joy. And,,,, their highs are invariably followed by whining and fretting and ultimately rehearsing being wronged, as this is their default mode. This person consciously chooses complaining over prayer every time. There is always something wrong with a person or policy which results in - wait for it, --- using perceived shortcomings in others to justify Disobedience. This describes a disturbingly large number of American Church goers today.
Nugget: When we who name the name of Jesus are Spiritually unstable, (and it can happen to any of us), we are being conformed to - and loose all credibility with - The World. The world is looking for something Stable. Someone or a group who actually do not return evil for evil; who have true palpable hope in bad situations; who pray w/out ceasing; who in all situations (good and bad) give thanks; who have an outward focus rather than selfishness, or an "I'm gonna get mine" world view.
Nugget: When a man places all his eggs in a basket claiming: "This is stable. This will endure", God will come along and wreck it just to show us it is not. "God grant us the ability to persevere before the world; To stand like rock, or a tree planted by You Lord, the Living Water." "How preacher?" Well, in John 17, as Jesus prayed and sweat drops of blood, the meat of His prayer is that we (you and I) would be in a state of Unity. Might be important then. In Philippians 4 we find Paul pleading that the congregation might embrace and upbraid two women who were perpetual trouble makers. The worldly temptation would be to pull a Barney Fife and "Nip it nip it nipit", but from a heavenly perspective, "They will know we are Christians by our love, one for another". Jesus says in the John 17 text that If we cannot be unified, the world will not believe that God sent Him. That's pretty telling. Combine this with the list of things that God cannot stomach in Proverbs 6, one of which is - "Those who sow discord in the Church". Again, in John 17 Jesus prays to the Father - "that they may be one as we are one". Question: Do you suppose Jesus' prayers are answered? Then the emphasis is not to labor to achieve unity- but rather to "keep" the unity already achieved in Christ. If you constantly struggle with Unity, you better check your papers (citizenship). We'll take some positive steps for a remedy next week. God bless.