How many studies do we need to determine the reason for declining church growth and attendance? Do we need larger megatrons, more famous mega-speakers. Should we sing fewer lyrics and more repetitive praise choruses. Should we dress with less formality, place less restrictions upon ourselves, and be less rigid in our views and beliefs?
How many surveys do we need to prove the division of opinion on theology? How many do we need to confirm others do not agree with us? How many discussions, debates and blogposts must be written to accomplish the goal of like-mindedness? What does it take to be one in the spirit, anyway? It seems, sometimes, His blood was not enough.
How many resolutions are necessary to truly bring unity? How many resolutions will it take to define it? How many blogposts must be written to describe it? How many comments will be necessary to reveal it is not possible where two people walk in opposite directions?
How many snarly, snide remarks does it take to see we are in need of a more disciplined spirit? How many prayers for mercy must be issued to cover anothers sin against us? How many words does it take to describe what is not true, to negate mischaracterization of ones motives and intent?
I don't know. But I do know that we each need to begin:
"Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5.
"It is inconceivable, but nevertheless, that saints are not bringing every project [thought] into captivity, but not doing for God at the instigation of their own human nature which has not been spiritualized by determined discipline." Oswald Chambers "Utmost".
We rise each morning because the Creator has allowed us another moment to breathe. Another sunrise to witness. Another day of new mercies. Another hour of grace to grow closer to the Lord. Another opportunity to share that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives. Another chance to walk in the world--to say and do whatever we say and do to the glory of our Father in Heaven.
We are each given the will to choose this day how we will walk and talk and interact with family, friends, brothers, sisters and strangers we encounter. We are each given a voice to use to spread the Gospel. To urge others that today is the day of salvation and there is no promise of tomorrow. How will we bear witness to our Lord? What kind of ambassador are we for the King? What channel of blessing will we be? What words will we wish we had not said and what actions will we regret when the day closes and darkness claims the light?
"And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” Acts 2:40
"Sorrowfully, there is a modern tendency to turn aside from evangelistic preaching, as though the people outside the church could be reached by lowering our standards and changing our eternal message. The spirit of compromise, secularism, and ecumenism are seen everywhere. It is more dialogue without decision, communication without conversion, universalism without personal salvation. This is not the method of the New Testament (Acts 2:40). The Apostles preached for a verdict!" ~ Dr. W.A. Criswell
According to Dr. W.A. Criswell, "the Apostles preached for a verdict!" Do we? Do we make the message of Christ an "urgent" and necessary decision to make? Or do we falter and leave it to another day, for another person? Can we encourage others to do as we have done, to receive what we have been given? Do we have the passion with which Charles Spurgeon spoke in 1888 in a sermon message:
"Oh, that the unconverted among you may be moved to pray. Before you leave this place, breathe an earnest prayer to God, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner. Lord I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon thy name.' Join with me in prayer this moment, I entreat you. Join with me while I put words into your mouths, and speak them on your behalf--"Lord, I am guilty. I deserve thy wrath. Lord I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to will and to do of thy good pleasure." Charles Spurgeon “A Free Grace Promise” 1888
Friends, I can do nothing. I have no words to share that make a difference. My words fall hollow on most ears who hear me. Only God can make anything of them. Only God can see my heart. Only He can judge my motives and my intent. Only He can see your heart, judge your motives and your intent. What will we do? Follow our own "pleasure", or yield to His good"? Will our words be words of clanging cymbals or will they bring comfort, healing and hope? God is sovereign. In His greatness, He allows us freedom to be obedient and yielded to His will, or to use the day of life given to wasted witness, words and whims. What will it be?
Lord, help us see. Help us to grow in You, to heed the teachings of Word and follow the guidance of Your Spirit. Help us to be as one in You and find others who need to know You, too. Save us and them from this crooked generation. selahV