Encourage

Encourage2_2

I am amazed at times at the people who God puts together on a Sunday morning.  A people who make up "church."  I can get  overwhelmed by the problems represented on any given Sunday morning:

  • The couple listening on a Sunday morning for the voice of God as they struggle to heal from an extra-marital affair.
  • The woman (or man) who struggles with depression and feels so alone.
  • The older couple whose adult child who has been active in a homosexual lifestyle for years.  Though they have been a part of the church for many years, they don’t believe that they can confide in any of their friends.
  • The woman whose body contains a malignant tumor.  She wonders what she will do.
  • The father or mother whose hearts have been broken by their young adult children.  ("Will we ever know joy again?")

There is so much on the line every Sunday.  I realize that many people just barely make it to church.  Just too much turmoil in their lives.  Others come, desperate to hear a word from God that will make a difference in life. 

There are Sundays when I find it so hard to stay focused. (Besides when bird peck on the windows outside our auditorium).  There are all kinds of church activities going on and more announcements about upcoming events.  People are present with a broad span of human emotion.  Someone is usually happy about something–someone is upset.      

I am no different.  There are Sundays when I feel a strong sense of sadness (sometimes I have no earthly idea why).  There are other days when I feel a great sense of joy as I reflect upon my life in Jesus.  Still there are other days when I just feel kind of anxious.  (It could have to do with some kind of unresolved situation from the previous week).  I felt that way yesterday.

This is what I’ve concluded:

1.  Most of us on Sunday mornings simply need to be in the presence of God together and to hear a word from God.

2.  Too many people come to church only to hear endless words when they get there:  "blah, blah, blah, blah…"  So often, these words (whether in assemblies or conversations) do nothing to help human beings connect with God.  Consequently, many people just tune out.

3.  Too many church leaders take themselves far too seriously.  (Been there).  People are not generally sitting on the edge of their seats just waiting to see what we (as church leaders) are going to do.  People have their own lives and issues and are just trying to deal with what is on their plate.

4.  Far too many people never connect with another human being on Sunday.  Far too often, we rush to church, talk with our friends and then exit as soon as we can.  To many of us don’t even think about what God wants to do in our lives that morning.

5.  God uses common, ordinary people to minister to (or serve) others.   He "gifts" each one of us to ministers in ways that he chooses.   I am so blessed by sweet, ordinary men and women who God uses to provide encouragment.

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