The other day I was downloading music and I came across an old song by Michael W. Smith. If you are familiar with the song then you would remember lyrics but if you are not.... it is about a bar called Rocket Town and how it was the most popular and happening place to be. But there was on there who stood out. One who wasn't there to party but to witness. One who didn't want to make sure he was treated right but turned the other cheek. There was something about him that made him stand out in the crowd. It was the presence of God in him. One who spent his weekend nights not thinking of himself but thinking of how he could bring others to Christ.
What happened to Christians like that and pastors who provoked their church members to be like that?
It seems like these days, many Christians and many pastors aren't any different than the world. Their focus is on themselves, having and achieving position and material things, using their faith mostly for believing for material things or events in their lives to propel them to their desires for themselves. Yes tons of Christians are in the bars but they are there to party not to witness. Many Christians think nothing of planning to get drunk with their friends, having sex without being married, cussing, lying, and manipulating and using others. Many Christians don't want to hear about sacrifice, holiness, accountability, responsibility, obedience or taking up their cross and following Jesus. There also seems to be few or hardly any pastors preaching about these things.
Most messages seem to be about what we can have, how we can get it and don't worry about what we do.
We don't seem to hear parents talking about forgiveness and turning the other cheek. Instead we hear "you don't mess with my family" Aren't we glad that God didn't have the don't mess with my family attitude or there would be no blood of Jesus to pay for our sins.
I can't remember when the last time I heard a message about how Jesus told us to forgive 70 times 7 .....was that each day???? Yes it was if someone asked you to forgive them. Now I'm not talking about being a doormat for someone but I am talking about forgiving them. I mean if someone hits you in the head with a bat you can forgive them, love them, help them without handing them another bat and standing there waiting to be hit again if they have done it several times before.
I certainly don't claim to have all the answers but I do believe that these are the things I should be seeking after instead of how to use my faith to get what I want or need. Didn't Jesus tell us to take no thought for these things that our Heavenly Father knows what we need and He will take care of us? Doesn't the Psalmist say that he was young and is now old and he had never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging for bread. Didn't Jesus tell us to seek first the kingdom of God and His RIGHTEOUSNESS and He will give us everything we need? I happened to notice that Jesus didn't say what we want or desire. How strange that was not what I was taught in church. Jesus also knew that when He died His blood would make us righteous and yet here he is telling us to SEEK after righteousness. I wasn't taught that in church either. One translation tells us that the heathen seek after these things. Wonder if a nice vacation falls into that category...... maybe so.
I may not know a lot but I do know that God is going to take care of me. It really doesn't matter where I live, what I wear, what I eat or what material things I posses. I am happy and content knowing Him and I have decided that I am going to put my focus on seeking first the kingdom of God, His way of doing things. I also know that through the blood of Jesus I am righteous but I also have decided to seek after His righteousness because that's what He told us to do.
You know once I heard a sermon about how when we look good we attract people to God. I think that that poor preacher needs some help with what attracts people to God. The Rocket Town christian not only attracts them but offers them a foundation other than money, things and looking good to build on.
I have two versions of Matthew 6:28-34 listed here if you would like to read them.
The Amplified Bible - Matthew 6:28-34
And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lillies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like on of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is
tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, where are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to wear?
For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
But seek (aim and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
The Message Translation Matthew 6:28-34
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as and inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion - do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp of shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers - most of which are never even seen- don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with GETTING, so you can respond to God's GIVING. People who don't know God and the way he works full over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your ENTIRE attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen o=tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.