Sunday, December 30, 2018


Click the "READ MORE" button below to see what I said:

I have already thought quite a lot about the year to come. Of course I do not know what is to happen in 2019, but each one of you has a part in my thoughts. I have enjoyed being the pastor here for the past four years, and as far as I know, this will continue into the fifth year.

However, there are some extenuating circumstances involved with all of this. What happens actually in the New Year depends mostly on all of you and your own commitment to God.

I would ask each of you to do this: take a look at your life to see if you can see any spiritual growth that has taken place in your life over the past couple of years. Some of you should definitely see it, because I see it in you. For others however, I am not so sure.

If you truly are a believer in Christ but are not growing in your relationship with him, then you must ask yourself why your relationship has become stagnant. Imagine having a child who is not growing physically over a period of a couple of years. Would you not be very worried and try to find out the reason why there was no growth and development?

It is no different in our lives with Christ. If you are not growing, then you must find out why.

I do not want you to think that I am putting all of you in the same category. I know that you each row your own boat and that each of you is in your own place in your lives. Indeed, and as I have said, I have seen very healthy spiritual growth in some. But these are things that you should at least ask yourselves.

I may be wrong and I hope that I am, but I sometimes think that some have not actually thrown off their old lives as they lived them before they came to know Christ. I want to tell you that it is extremely important to do this if we are to follow Jesus. We cannot live as we did in our past lives and think that God will bless us in the present.

Another thing about this lifestyle of trying to follow Jesus and still live in the world is that you can never be happy living it. You cannot draw the same amusement from the ways of the world as you did in the past, because you now have the Holy Spirit within you who will not stand for it.

And of course, you cannot be fulfilled in Jesus in this way, simply because you are not looking to him for fulfillment. You are merely continuing to look to the world for amusement. I do not say “fulfillment” when speaking of the world, because the world does not even offer fulfillment. It only can offer temporary and shallow amusement.

By now I think that you know me well enough to know that I am not a prude. I think that I have an easy sense of humor, and I do not demand law. Nevertheless, we all need to listen to the Holy Spirit within us. We all need to ask ourselves if the jokes that we tell, the things that we put on social media—Do these things speak well of Jesus? Would we tell the same joke to Jesus or have him read our facebook post?

You may come to Jesus in prayer, but would you like to hang out with Jesus? Or put in another way and using a somewhat archaic expression, would you like to chum around with Jesus? Ask yourself honestly.

If you would not, how can you call yourself a disciple of Jesus? His first disciples chummed around with him for three years. It was not all healing people and feeding thousands. Most of the time it was sitting around the campfire telling stories and joking around—hanging out. 

Another thing that I see as important is church attendance. Go ahead and think it and maybe even say it—“He is only saying that because he’s the pastor, and he only wants more people and more money.”
Or, “I don’t need to come to church to worship God and grow in Jesus.”

Let me put this in terms that may be a little more understandable to you.

Most of you are into sports. What would you say of a coach of your local high school team if he or she told their athletes that they only need to come to practice when they felt like it?

What would you think of a coach who said to his athletes, “Only come to practice if you have nothing better to do?”
Or, “If practice is not fun for you, then don’t bother coming.”

Why do coaches demand that their athletes come to practice? If he or she is a good coach, personal ambitions have little to do with it. Actually (and this is especially true in high school athletics), even the good of the team is not the primary objective of the demands of the coach, although that of course is important.

But the most important and utmost goal of the good coach is the development of the athlete himself or herself! The coach wants the athlete to realize his or her potential and to develop and grow! The coach is thinking mostly of the good of those under him!

I will say that also about pastors.

You can make your own judgment about whether or not you think I am a good pastor, but I will tell you this: I have no personal goals that I am trying to achieve by being pastor here at the Log Church other than to see you grow in Christ.

That’s it!

There is very little that I can point to as personal goals in my presence with you every week.

Frankly, when I was approached about taking this job, I at first did not want to do it. It was only after the Lord convicted me on my thoughts and after He called me to this work that I accepted.

But the same as has been true every time that I have obeyed God even if I did not want toHe has shown me blessing. I have been blessed in these past four years as your pastor.

But now it is up to you.
2019 is up to you.
What is the Lord convicting you of?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.