And now, after a lunch of left-over barbecue chicken, I am about to mow the yard. But first, I wanted to post what I have been thinking about this morning (while doing some final preparation for the message tomorrow).
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, a minister in another state. We were talking about our churches, Sunday messages, etc. I began to think about the assumptions that I make on Sundays. These are assumptions that I make about the group of people who I preach to each Sunday.
- I assume many, many, of these people love the Lord, and really desire to be what he has called us to be.
- I assume some of these people are living very smooth, almost struggle-free lives.
- I assume some people find life to be very difficult right now. On the verge of divorce. Experiencing depression. Health difficulties.
- I assume some of these people feel very, very lonely. Men, women, teens, who do not believe that they have any real friends.
- I assume some are involved in sexual sin. A guy in the middle of an affair. Jr. high and high school age kids doing what their parents never dreamed they would do. Some adults involved in pornography. A visit to a strip club by a young father. A few people seriously contemplating some kind of sexual sin.
- I assume some carry a great sense of guilt. Others are hardened and feel no guilt at all.
- I assume some are dealing with sin that many just seem to accept as "normal." Gossip. Creating division. Lying.
- I assume some long to be more than they are. These people dream of what could be.
- I assume there are people in the assembly who have been hurt deeply. Sexual abuse. Bullying. Others who are the victims of betrayal.
- I assume there are people present who can’t figure out why they are no farther along in their spiritual journey than they are right now.
These are some of the assumptions that I am conscious of right now. What is this? Just a picture of real human beings and the sin we all deal with. I am convinced that grace means very little to so many of us because we are not dealing with our reality. I am so glad that we don’t have to stay the way we are.