Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SEPTEMBER 30 "POUR OUT YOUR LIFE FOR GOD, WHAT A CONCEPT?"

Wherever is the concept of "pouring out your life" for Christ, in the Church today? The Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal Denomination is now shutting down their Sunday evening services. It's too much, twice on Sundays, those days are gone. It's too much to ask a Christian to come to Church twice on Sundays, once in the morning and the return for the evening service. "People want their family time together at night" said one Assembly of God Pastor. How can one argue against a Christian wanting "family time" together? So what does "family time" look like on a Sunday evening? Well, it looks like this..., dad flopped in front of the T.V. watching Football, junior in his room playing X-Box, Susie in her room on Facebook and mom in her room sleeping. Great "family time" isn't it!  Really what people want is not "family time", they want more "me time", more "rest time" all under the guise of ....."we just want to stay home and have some family time', well how can anyone argue against that?! Paul was a radical Christian who I don't believe would have done well in the Christian circles that we traffic in; here in the 21st Century. Paul most definitely would not have had a church of 50,000 people, maybe 50, but not 50,000. Paul's commitment, his challenge for Christians to "pour out their lives" for Christ would seem far to radical for today's Christian. Today's Christian is not far, in ideals, from the the secularist, atheist and/or agnostic,  Their ideas for the "elixir" of life is, rest, then more rest; then leisure time; then vacations and then some more!  Commercials on T.V., commercials on the radio, "are you tired, run down....then what you need is this drink or this vitamin" as if there is something wrong with you if "you are tired". What is wrong with you? Why are you tired, what is the cause, how can you resolve this great abuse of your life, that you, as a human being should be tired?". Well, what if in retrospect, they realize they're tired because of Christ? What if in reflection, they realize they are tired because of "their ministry" or their commitments to Church? We know our unsaved family members will be quick to be the Devil's advocate and convince us we are "too committed" to our churches, we are giving too much of ourselves to this "Christian thing" we are involved in and that life, is about being rested, life is about leisure and vacations and many allow themselves to be seduced into this carnal and secular mindset. But yet Paul's idea of life was being "spent for Christ!".  Modern translation, "worn out for Christ".  "Paul, you poor boy, you look worn out, you need to get out of the ministry and rest, it would do you good?" Paul would have said, "get behind me Satan for you do not have the purposes of God in mind". You will find that Christians today just want to go home after work, Monday night, take off their shoes, rest and be left alone. That's not so bad, but it's not just Monday Night, it's Tuesday night, it's Wednesday Night, it's every night of every week. I don't want to be pestered by The Church during the week, I go Sunday Mornings and that's enough. "Why is the Church planning events during the week and on Saturday, don't they know we have our own lives?"  Many Christians today probably feel a Church that has services Sunday evenings should be reported to some kind of authority, "for abuse".  The question to ask is, "has the 21st Century lost the essence of Consecration, the essence of sacrifice, self-denial, in short, has the 21st Century Christian lost the essence of Christianity? Paul described himself  "as a slave to Christ". How would you describe your Christian walk with God? Are you "pouring out your life to Christ" or are you sitting on the couch pouring yourself another ice tea, or worse, another beer? Is your manta, "rest, rest, leisure and more rest" or is your mantra, "I have but one life, a short life, here on earth, to live for Christ and may I be a poured out offering for Jesus, as He was for me!"