Easter Attenders Are Not Bad People, Lesson 14, 50@50

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Lesson 14

Easter attenders are not bad people.

I guess I have been to church most Easter Sunday’s in my life. I remember the trips to downtown Tuscaloosa to get Easter clothes (there were no malls). I have often heard Christians talk about people that only go to church on Easter and usually it is in a negative way. At some point in my life I am sure I joined in on the judgmental conversation and for that I ask forgiveness. Some regular church attenders will say, “If they are not going to come the rest of the year why do they come on Easter.” I have also heard those that have decided they will not even attend on Easter say, “If I’m not going to go the rest of the year, I’m not going to be hypocritical and go only on Easter.” I think both are wrong in their judgment. Here is what I have learn in watching Easter attendance swell in the church.

  1. Most people really believe their is a God.
  2. Most people really believe Christ Jesus was an actual person who walked on earth, died on the cross for the sin of humanity and rose from the grave 3 days later.
  3. Most people really believe they should worship Jesus Christ.
  4. Most people know what church they would attend.
  5. Most people know that church should be part of their life and family.
  6. Many people will be in church for Easter that feel real uncomfortable.

So, for all you regular church attender. Have grace, mercy and love ready in your heart as they come to your church this Easter. If you show them the love of Christ, who knows, they might come back before next Easter.

You are welcome at Harvest Church even if you will not be back until next year.

 

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Is Christianity Wearing You Out? Lesson 13

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Lesson 13

Wrong Motives Create Tired Lives

I can say I have lost my focus more times than I really want to admit. It watching the move Won’t Back Down this weekend I heard something like, “What are you going to exchange this one life you have for?” That will make you think. A life is about years and years are about months and months are about days and days are about hours and hours are about minutes and minutes are about seconds (you also get a free education by reading my blog). There are 86,400 seconds in a day. How I live each second is prompted by some motive.

This past week in prep for Sunday’s sermon and reflecting back on the previous weeks sermons God revealed a powerful truth to me, at least powerful for me. We are going through the beatitudes and this week were were looking at “merciful” (Mt. 5:7). God taught me:

Many Christians try to start here. They try to start here because this is where Christianity become visible. They try to live out merciful lives. They seek to love, forgive, heal, give, etc. They do it because they know they should. But if you have not been through the process of poverty in spirit, mourning, meekness and hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy will wear you out; it will make you tired. The reason is that the motivation is wrong. We find ourselves seeking to show mercy in an effort to be obedient because we know we should be obedient. The motivation for mercy has to be motivated from a seed planted in your soul and spirit at the time you experienced poverty of spirit and finds itself ready to bloom in “hungering and thirsting for righteousness”. If you have never came to the place to realize the gravity of your sin (Rom 6:23) you will never see other people’s sin correctly. You will find yourself judgmental instead of compassionate, bitter instead of forgiving, hurting instead of healing, greedy instead of giving. You will live saying “I Can’t!” instead of saying “I Care!”.

You are tired because you are not feeding on Jesus and His righteousness. You are not spending time with Him in His Word and prayer. So, you get caught up in doing all the right things for all the wrong reason.

How will you spend your 86,400 seconds today? What will motivate you?

50 Quotes That Have Stuck With Me – #3

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Beauty is the battleground on which God and Satan war for the souls of men.

(author unknown)

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Think about it. We are presented with the beauty of God everyday and Satan is trying to slip us counterfeits.

God presents truth, His Son, His Spirit,  inner integrity, character, love, grace upon grace, mercy, humility and more to us as He wages war with Satan. He offers us real lasting beauty.

Satan presents greed, revenge, hatred, rejection, sex, drugs, alcohol, power and more and then covers them with lies to make them look good. He offers beauty that rots and ruins us.

Who is winning the battle for your soul? 

You can find other items in The 50 at 50 Series by clicking the links below.

Quote # 1    Quote #2   Lesson #1     Lesson #2     Lesson #3

I was at the end, then it snapped!

Have you gotten to the end of your rope and then it snapped? Have you ever been on an elevator and it felt like the cable slipped a little? You know that out of control feeling. You remember how the pit of your stomach felt? When you think you are standing on solid ground and it gives way it causes many things to happen. Your arms reach for something to grab. Your knees buckle. Your butt tightens up. Your mouth make a noise. Fear causes many responses.

When this happens in real life, the reflexes are often the same. When your at the end of your rope, then it snaps! The bottom falls out. How far is it to the end of yourself? How far will you have to fall until you realize that you need help? How far before you realize you have nothing that is going to make it better? As one of Steven Curtis Chapman’s songs puts it, “when you hit the bottom and the bottom gives way”.

I/We really need Jesus. We need his grace because we will only survive if He gives us what we cannot get on our own. We need his mercy because He is the only one that has taken what we deserve and does not give it to us. He is the only one who will accept me just as I am.

When I live in His sufficiency, I find life. When I live in my sufficiency, I find struggle.

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, (2 Cor 3:5, ESV)