Monday, October 3, 2011

Rushing Through Our Religion

Ours is a fast-paced society, of course, and we have many things to do.  Too many things, if it causes us to delay, postpone, shorten, or hurry through our service to God.  Having preached for many years, I heard many complaints if my sermon "went too long"--i.e., more than the allotted hour we give for worship on Sunday morning.  The length of worship is not all that critical, of course, but the demanded brevity of our worship does make me wonder about the depth of our commitment to Christ.

Perhaps people weren't quite so busy in ancient times, though I'm not convinced of that.  However, I do find it interesting that, at times, they appeared to be capable of spiritual endurance the likes of which we rarely see today.  In Nehemiah 8:3, we discover that Ezra "read from it (the Law)...from morning until midday."  That would have been about six hours.  "And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law."  When people want to learn the will of the Lord badly enough, they'll do whatever it takes, including listening for several hours.  Not long after that, the children of Israel "read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God" (Neh. 9:3).  That's 12 hours.  When was the last time any of us spent 12 hours in a day reading God's word, confessing our sins, and worshipping Him? 

I like their attitude, too:  when Ezra opened the book of the Law of God, "all the people stood up" (Neh. 8:5).  And "all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law" (v. 9).  Here is reverence to God, and contrition.  When the holy words of Jehovah are spread before a heart convinced of its own sin, then indeed, there is spiritual pain and remorse.  It's a good thing, and we need more of it.

The Lord is ready for us when we are ready for Him.  If we can barely stand to give Him one hour a week, how do we expect to enjoy an eternity of worshipping Him in heaven? 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Posts

I've had some new posts recently on my New Testament Chapter Summaries blog, if you are following that and would like to read them.  I'm thinking that I'll have a little more time to write here in China than I had in Korea, so by the grace of the Lord, I'll be making more posts in the coming weeks.  Hopefully, I'll feel up to it.  I haven't been able to find my depression medication yet here in China, but I'm not totally out of what I had; I've just been spacing it out, and actually, another professor happened to have a bottle of one of the medications that I take so he gave it to me.  So far, I haven't felt overly terrible and I'm praying that I won't.  Anyway, please keep checking back for various posts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Two Wolves--An Old Cherokee Tale

I think I have this on my Current Events blog, but I wanted it here, too.  It's a nice little tale, and so true.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."