Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vanity, Thy Name Is Church

"Come to our church.  We have a beautiful building!"
"Oh, our praise band is great.  They really rock."
"You should hear how wonderfully our praise leader sings."
"We have Christmas trees all over the place during the holiday season."
"Yeah, our VBS is really cool this year."
"I just love the multimedia the pastor uses in his sermons.  The video clips are really neat."

How many times do we hear these things, or similar phrases?  How many times have we said them ourselves?  There is nothing wrong with being proud of our church, enjoying the praise and singing, and being engaged by the PowerPoint.  However, I think that many people get to focused on these things to the exclusion of God.

How many times do you hear things like, "Come to our church.  God is really moving there."  "The Holy Spirit really filled our church this week."  "Our praise group sings songs with a really Godly spirit."

We need to get away from the vanity of how our churches look and sound.  We need to get back to God!  Concentrating on whether or not God is working in the people of the church.  If we don't focus on Christ, and if we don't really pay attention as to whether or not He is present, it doesn't matter what the appearance of the building is.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Remembering Where God Is

Today was a really bad day.  For details see my other blog.  But in summary both of our cars went kaput within a couple of hours of each other for unrelated reasons.  This hit us pretty hard, and will end up with us having only one vehicle.  We also very much believe that this was no coincidence, but was Satan's attack.

All of this got me really down, as I struggled with the frustrations.  My wife, son and I prayed, seeking God's guidance and protection. Then my son brought in his Bible.  This week he had been in vacation Bible school, where the theme was Psalms 139.  He didn't remember all of it, so we read it aloud together.

It was pretty profound to me, and really showed me something about God.  No matter what we do, where we are, or what's going on, He knows and He's right there with us.  It's such a simple truth, but one that we often forget.  I've read this Psalm several times before, but hadn't remembered exactly which one it was.  Reading the words I became teary-eyed, realizing that through all of this God is there.  God was there before it happened and knew it was going to happen.  He knew about all of this before I was ever born!

When you need some encouragement, and need to remember where God is, read Psalms 139.