Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday at Hopedale

I hope that you have all had a wonderful weekend. Today was a great Sunday at church. Our Sunday School class is an exceptional study. It is a men's class taught by Dr. Burris. The guy is one of the the best Bible teachers that I know. The dynamics of the class are great and everyone participates either by offering input, asking questions or both.

The worship time was great (as always). Rich really does a grand job seeking the Spirit's guidance and preparing a great worship experience. Pastor Terry's message on doing church God's way really address how we, as believers, need to be ever mindful that church is not about us--it's about Him.

I managed a brief nap before making it back to church for our Deacon's meeting and the evening service. Our Sunday evening service was super! We had a musical family come for an evening concert. The Crist Family has a wonderful blend of voices and a real desire to share the love of Jesus. You can tell when performers are performing for themselves and when they are performing for their Lord. I really believe that this family desires to bring people to Jesus just by lifting up His name.

I the Bible Jesus says, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me." He was telling of the type of death that he would die but the reference to being lifted up was to story told back in the Book of Numbers.

The children of Israel had been delivered from 400 years of captivity in Egypt. During their time in the wilderness, they began to grumble against Moses and against God. God punished them by sending "fiery serpents" (poisonous snakes) among them. Anyone bitten by one of these snakes would die. When Moses interceded for the people, God told him to make a bronze image of the fiery serpent and lift it up on a pole in the midst of the camp. If a person was bitten and looked upon the bronze snake, they would not die; they would be saved.

Now it doesn't take a modern day, educated person to know that there is nothing about the sight of a bronze snake that provides any kind of anti-venom. It wasn't looking at the snake that saved them. It was about being obedient; about trusting that God would do what He said He would do. It was an act of faith. I can imagine that there were people dying in their tents that wouldn't get up and go look at the snake on the pole. It sounded too ridiculous to be true. I can imagine that even though neighbors dropped by with words of encouragement and personal testimonies that they had been saved from death by looking at the snake, some people wouldn't believe and would choose to die rather that to admit that they could be wrong about the ridiculous notion that that God would only save them if they lifted their eyes to look on the snake.

The same is true of the cross. If we will only lift our eyes to look at the cross and realize that it is still an act of faith that saves us today. It is still about trusting that God will do what He says He will do. It is still about obedience. It is about trusting that in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, is salvation. We can believe that it is ridiculous to think that the only way that God will let us into His heaven is to trust in Jesus. But that is no different that those that chose to die in their tents thousands of years ago. It is about the act of faith.

That's a long way to get to the point of encouraging you to go see the Crist Family if you get the chance. I'm adding a link to their website with the others on the right side of the page. I also encourage you to check Wess Adams and Poet Voices from time to time to see if they'll be in your area. I can't tell you how much I admire those that have given their lives to serving our Lord and Savior.

John

1 comment:

Random Magus said...

I think the biggest problem with our generation lies in the lack of faith. Faith gives such unbelievable strength to get through anything but it is so difficult to acquire.