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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"There Must Be Church Heresies"

It is so discouraging.  When it happens the hurt and disappointment can be devastating.  The work and progress of the church can be set back for years.  Friends and brethren are often alienated irreparably.  Why must it be so?  Why does it seem like church trouble is so common?  How is it that these divisions are reported again and again?  Is it inevitable?  Are we destined to simply split, and split, and split again?

The Corinthian church had suffered through a good bit of trouble.  In fact, Paul's first letter to them dealt primarily with internal problems in that congregation.  If you had been a member there, surely you would have been discouraged by the divisiveness that characterized their history.  Paul addressed these issues.  He indicated that their problems were widely reported and he urged them that "that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1:10,11).  He blamed the situation on their "carnal" outlook and rebuked them for their failure to grow spiritually (3:1-4). 

While rebuking the Corinthians and stressing their need to grow past these issues which indicated their spiritual immaturity, Paul also revealed that such problems served a necessary role.  Note:  ". . . I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you" (11:18,19).  Do you see it?  The divisiveness, the arguing, the forming of sects and parties within the church, the disputes, etc., all served to demonstrate which ones were "approved" among the Corinthians.  In other words, those who were faithfully committed to God, who were determined to live by His truth, who would not compromise with error - these would rise to the occasion.  They would "be made manifest," that is, their faith and loyalty would become obvious to all that objectively considered the situation.

So, what about our "issues" today?  Must we be content with the problems?  Should we not worry about the divisions and the "church splits?"  Of course, we must be concerned  - such cannot be commended (11:22).  Unfortunately, these things have always happened and will continue to happen as weak, carnal Christians do what they have always done.  But, when these terrible problems arise, let us be committed to do the right thing.  In the end, error will be exposed and those who do right will stand "approved" before God.

- by Greg Gwin


Saturday, February 25, 2017

No friend like Him is so high and holy,

What Can I Do For You?


During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln frequently visited the hospitals and addressed cheering words to the wounded warriors.  On one occasion he found a young soldier whose legs had been amputated, and who was evidently sinking rapidly.


“Is there anything I can do for you?” asked Lincoln.


“You might write a letter to my mother,” was the faint reply.


The President wrote at the youth's dictation: “My dearest mother: I have been shot bad, but am bearing up.  I tried to do my duty.  They tell me I cannot recover.  God bless you and Father; kiss Mary and John for me.”


At the end were these words as postscript: “Written by Abraham Lincoln.”


When the boy perused the epistle and saw these added words, he looked with astonishment at the visitor and asked, “Are you our President?”


“Yes,” was the quiet answer, “and now that you know that, is there anything else I can do for you?”


Feebly the lad said, “I guess you might hold my hand, and see me through.”


So, sitting down at the bedside, the tall, gaunt man with a kind heart held the soldier's hand through the livelong night till it grew cold and lifeless.


Is it not a precious truth that Christ, the greatest of all kings, in our affliction is afflicted, and that He can be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”? *


“For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18


In the words of a familiar song by Johnson Oatman, Jr.:


No friend like Him is so high and holy,

No, not one! no, not one!

And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,

No, not one! No, not one!


Jesus knows all about our struggles;

He will guide ’til the day is done:

There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:

No, not one! No, not one!


Jesus knows all about our struggles, and He cares.  He cares so much that He gave His life so that we might be released from our greatest malady: sin.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).


God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sins those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).


What can He do for you?  He can identify with you and He can save your soul.  And He will, if you will only trust and obey Him.


Won’t YOU?


-- David A. Sargent


Friday, February 24, 2017


I’m getting to the age where many of the “young” people refer to me as “old”. That’s OK with me, I really don’t care, I figure that the gray hair is a mark of the many adventures we have had in this life. The problem with getting older is that your body can no longer keep up with what your mind thinks it can do!


I’m much luckier than many people in this world, because even though I am “more mature” in age, I am also loved by those important to me. Now the reason I am thinking about this is because our family status just changed. You see, about 8 months ago our little “furry kid”, (our dog), who had been with us for almost 16 years died. After struggling with the decision we went to the local Animal Shelter and found a little dog and rescued her.


Now what makes her special is that she was picked up as a stray and no one came to claim her. She was scruffy or scraggly looking with matted hair and quite a bit undernourished (you can easily feel her bones through her skin). The Shelter staff estimate her age to be about 12 year old, which makes it harder to find folks who are willing to adopt her. She was in the “OAU” category (old and unwanted). You see everyone wants a cute little puppy, but an older dog with just a few years left is another story. The bottom line was that if the Shelter didn’t find someone to adopt her they would euthanize (or kill) her.


From the first time I saw her picture (scruffiness and all) I wanted her. I saw a scared little dog who didn’t understand what was happening and was completely at the mercy of people. Being older ourselves and having had two small dogs in the past who lived to be near 16 we understand somewhat the limitations of age. We wanted to love her and give her the best (last) years that we can. We called everyday until they put her up for adoption because we surely didn’t what the alternative to happen. That morning my wife was there when the doors opened, and now she is ours.


It seems that our society has also lost some very important values and one of them is honoring older folks. Our younger generation for the most part worships youth and rejects the concept that those who are older just might have something important to contribute, something as important as love and acceptance. Our “old dog,” is already finding her way into our hearts. She was so over joyed to come home with us that she runs around like a puppy and climbs in our laps and cuddles up and exudes love. My wife said it seemed a little strange that she should adapt so quickly. I replied, “Maybe she knows the fate that awaited her before we came along,” probably not, but we knew and we acted because of that.


Now looking at the spiritual application a bunch of scripture comes to mind as it relates to this. The scriptures tell us, “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” and that “he was not willing that any of us should perish but all come to salvation”. You see, we may be older, we may be a bit scruffy looking too, but not to God. God understood the fate that awaits those, who like that little dog, lost and alone in a big world will suffer. He determined that he would go to any extreme to rescue us and he did. He died for us that we can live eternally in the arms of a loving master. Are you there yet?



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Psalm 18:35

Living Lesson:  Help for Sinus & Sin

by: Christopher Wiles

“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.” – Psalm 18:35


I have a cold and a confession. Paper towel is my nose’s nemesis.  


You know that feeling.  Your cold is chugging forward on full steam.  You nose is running faster than Usain Bolt.  Your raw skin is redder than Santa's cheeks.  Then that dastardly event hits.  It can strike anywhere; while you're riding in a car, in a meeting at work, or in the hallway at school.  You kindly ask for that precious commodity of facial tissue hoping for one of those name brands like Kleenex with aloe, when someone hands you the dreaded brown paper towel of death.  They may be trying to help, but you resent them as you have no choice but to rip your face off with this rough substitute for soothing nasal salvation.  

You may laugh at my hyperbole, but I think it's similar to what is happening in our communities today.  The world around us is suffering.  Some are being battered and beaten by falsehoods, fake news, and self-serving ideologies that plague our culture while others are simply indulging, unaware of the consequences.  Some are red and raw from the daily grind of balancing work, family, study, health, and spirituality to finds themselves caught up in worldly escapes.  People are ill and need healing relief but some of us caught by culture are handing them rough paper towels of self-righteous judgment, condescension, and verbal combativeness instead of soothing relief for their "sin"us drip as we drag them to the Good Doctor. 


Jesus came to offer healing from sin and the physical maladies He touched on earth.  “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 9:35)  While you and I certainly aren’t Jesus, we do have a purpose in His healing process that includes drawing people to the Healer while we share comfort, hope, and encouragement.


From your face-to-face interactions to your Facebook reactions with souls who are ill from this world’s sin-sickness, are you the Kleenex with aloe or that resented and rough brown paper towel? 


Paul directs Titus, "To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people."(Titus 3:2)  Look at yourself and grade which type of facial wipe you represent.  Then choose to bring soothing relief today as you bring people nearer the Healer.  May God make you great through His gentleness.


Weekly I upload five short "Message Minutes" and one "Living Lesson" bulletin article to into the archive of my blog.  May my metaphorical musings inspired by the Master be a blessing to you as you strive to connect others with Jesus.   


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Love and 1 Corinthians 13


“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

A recent email from the Barna Research Group featured an article entitled The Trends Redefining Romance Today. I was not surprised by the contents of this article since we see it splashed across television screens and glamorized in movies. It is a part of the insidious cultural shift in modern society. Some churches have chosen a path of compromise to stay alive; other churches are seriously seeking ways in which they can still engage people in new ways to maintain the old truths of the Bible. It is a tough sell.

One of findings of this research is that the number of single adults is growing: “For instance, between 2000 and 2016, the relational makeup of those aged between 25 and 39 shifted dramatically. In the 16 years since 2000, the amount of single people in the 25-29 range rose 9 percentage points (from 50% percent to 59%), and the amount of single people in the 30-39 range also rose 10 percentage points (from 24% to 34%). From a different angle, during the same time period, those groups saw similar shifts in the number of those married. In the 16 years since 2000, the amount of people married in the 25-29 range dropped 7 percentage points (from 43% to 36%), and the amount of people married in the 30-39 range dropped 8 percentage points (from 65% to 57%).”

This is not really news to any of us. We have seen this trend in our families, churches and neighborhoods. One of the most disturbing aspects of this trend is that singles are just cohabiting without marrying. Under the heading “Dating and Cohabiting Are Increasingly Synonymous” the reports states: “When it comes to living together, the majority of adults (65%) either strongly or somewhat agree it’s a good idea to live with one’s significant other before marriage, compared to one-third (35%) who either strongly or somewhat disagree. Though it may seem that couples would live together primarily for convenience or cost-saving, almost all adults see it as a rite of passage in the path toward marriage. The idea of living with one’s significant other before getting married for the sake of convenience (9%) or to save rent (5%) isn’t as persuasive as the value of testing compatibility (84%). Though the debate has raged over whether cohabitation reduces or increases the pressure of marriage, it appears that among those who have actually done it, there was no major effect either way. A majority (62%) believes that living together did not affect the pressure to get married at all, and those who say it reduced (19%) or increased (18%) the pressure to get married were evenly split.”

There is a clarion call for the church to be transforming rather than conforming (Rom. 12:1-2). We must continue to remind both young and old that the values of the world are not the eternal values of the Kingdom of God. In the midst of this cultural slip into the abyss, we observe that many people even have difficulty in defining what love means and what it is. We often mistake “love” for what we feel or what we want. Love is more than a feeling. There are four different Greek words that are often translated by the one English word “love.” The Greek word “Agape” is the highest form of love and it is the one used in Paul’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. This kind of love is a matter of the will and not just an emotion. In the Biblical use of the term we can even love our enemies (Matt. 5:43-48). Marriage in the Bible is between a woman and a man and it is the foundation of both the nation and the church. God hasten the day when the Biblical truth concerning marriage rules in the hearts of people and when we love God and his word with our whole heart.

Scott Gage


Saturday, February 18, 2017

CBS Evening News segment "On the Road"

Bitter Grounds

In 2005, Benton Harbor, Michigan police officer, Andrew Collins, arrested Jameel McGee for dealing
drugs. In reality, McGee did not commit the crime; Collins had falsified the report. McGee,
however, was convicted and spent four years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. When
Collins' lies were exposed, he, too, spent 18 months behind bars. He had actually falsified many
police reports, planted drugs, and stolen money from the city.

"I took money from people. I took money from the city that I worked for. I was the lowest of low.
In my mind now, as I look back, I was as low as you can get as a police officer," Collins told The

McGee was fully exonerated but was very bitter toward his lying accuser. "I lost everything," he
said on the CBS Evening News segment "On the Road" with Steve Hartman. "My only goal was to seek
him when I got home and to hurt him."

Both McGee and Collins returned to Benton Harbor and ended up working alongside each other at the
Café Mosaic, a faith-based employment agency. They had to face each other and their troubled past.

Collins told CBS Evening News that he apologized to McGee. "I said, 'Honestly, I have no
explanation, all I can do is say I'm sorry.'"

McGee stated that that apology was "pretty much what I needed to hear." He forgave Collins and the
two have become friends. Collins is grateful and amazed at McGee's willingness to forgive. "He
doesn't owe me that. I don't deserve that," Collins said.

Now the two of them have been spreading the message of forgiveness to others. "We have this joint
mission, now, of letting the world know that if you owe an apology to somebody, put your pride down
and go apologize," said Collins. "And if you're holding something against somebody, let go of the
bitterness because it's like drinking poison and hoping it's hurting them."

"And clearly," Steve Hartman reflects, "if these two guys from the coffee shop can set aside their
bitter grounds, what's our excuse?" *

Our sins created "bitter grounds" with our relationship with our Creator and God. Our sins separate
us from Him (Isaiah 59:1-2).

But God loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins (John
3:16; Romans 5:8). Through Jesus, God's Son, we can have forgiveness of our sins and receive the
gift of eternal life (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:23).

We don't deserve it; we deserve the "wages of sin": death (Romans 6:23).

But God, because of His great love and mercy, has provided for us what we don't deserve:
forgiveness. And if we accept His offer on His terms, we can live with Him for eternity in heaven.

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will
continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

Jesus died for us so that those "bitter grounds" can be thrown out, we can be reconciled to God, and
live eternally with Him.

Won't YOU accept His offer on His terms?

~David A. Sargent

* Information gleaned from "Crooked cop pairs up with man he framed" by Steve Hartman as viewed on
CBS Sunday Morning and published on April 17, 2016. See the video at

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rules and regulations for the people of Israel

Focus on Him

As I read through the not-so-exciting (at least to me) portions of Leviticus and make my way through all the rules and regulations for the people of Israel (especially for the priests), it occurs to me that I’m learning some things about God that I would otherwise never know. God is concerned about some things that I would normally think are trivial and I’m concerned about some things that aren’t nearly as important to God.

That leads me to what I think is a really important conclusion—I was made for God; God was not made for me!

I think that’s a vital piece of information. I think modern man refuses to recognize this. Consequently, God is his servant rather than him being God’s servant. People like this philosophy. “God wants you to be happy. God wants you to be successful. God wants you to reach your full potential. God wants you to be rich.” Can you see how this all focuses on me?! God doesn’t exist for me. He loves me more than I can imagine, but he can do just fine without me. He did okay before I came along and I’m pretty sure he will be able to function when I’m gone.

It changes your entire focus in life when you acknowledge that you are God’s servant. You are a follower of Jesus Christ. Your objective in life is to please him. Check out the first statement in each of Paul’s epistles. He always began by making it clear that he was a servant of God and/or Jesus Christ. He existed to do God’s will. So do we. Recognition of that one fundamental reality changes the focus of our entire life.

Our life is not about us, our life is about Him.

Ken Stegall

Saturday, February 11, 2017

We owe a debt for our sin

The Letter

A preacher told the true story of one of his church members, an attorney, who after meditating on several scriptures, decided to cancel the debts of all his clients that had owed him money for more than 6 months.  He drafted a letter explaining his decision and its biblical basis and sent 17 debt-cancelling letters via certified mail.

One by one, the letters began to return, unsigned and undelivered.  Perhaps a couple of people had moved away though not likely.  Sixteen of the 17 letters came back to him because the clients refused to sign for and open the envelopes.  They likely feared that the attorney was suing them for their debts.*

Observe some parallels of these incidents to our own lives…

We owe a debt for our sin, and ALL of us have sinned (Romans 3:23).  Perhaps one of the Scriptures the merciful attorney read was “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” in Matthew 18:21-35 (please read this parable of Jesus).  In the parable, Jesus tells about a servant who owed his king an exorbitant amount of money (10,000 talents).  The servant pled for mercy.  “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt” (Matthew 18:27).

But that servant whose debt was erased went out and found a fellow servant who owed him some money (100 denarii).  This servant also pled for mercy but found none; instead he was cast into prison.

When the king heard what his servant had done to his fellow servant, he called him and said to him, “You wicked servant!  I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me.  Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” (Matthew 18:32-33).  The “master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed” (Matthew 18:34).

Then Jesus gives “the moral of the story”: "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).

In Jesus’ parable, you and I are represented in the servant who was forgiven the immense debt.  This is true if we have “opened the Letter” and accepted Jesus offer…

Jesus paid the debt for our sin when He died on the cross.  This is the truth that “the Letter” (God’s Word) reveals.  The Apostle Paul states that one of the components of the Gospel (literally, Good News) is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).  “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

We owe a debt for our sin and God is willing to cancel it but too many people will not even open the Letter that explains that.

The Letter (God’s Word) also explains that in order to receive salvation and the gift of eternal life, we must place our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).  Then, as we walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse us from sin (1 John 1:7).

Won’t YOU open “the Letter,” learn the Good News, and respond in trusting obedience?

-- David A. Sargent

* Illustration from

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it ove

Called to Serve

Jim Woodell


God’s call to serve others is a theme in Scripture (Phil. 2:4-11).  Serving should grow out of an attitude, a disposition; a state of mind that results in the overt action of assisting others.  This attitude of mind moves a person from a conscious awareness of status to an unconscious willingness to sacrifice for others.  Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you MUST be your servant, and whoever wants to be FIRST must be your slave – JUST AS the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:25-28)

It is interesting that the “sheep” on the right hand of Jesus in Matthew 25 were unaware of their service to the Lord, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” (37-39). This attitude is in stark contrast with the record keeping older son in Luke 15: “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.  Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” (29-30). This older son was very aware of his acts of service.

Paul indicated that the disposition to serve is seldom achieved, that most people are driven by a personal agenda rather than led by the Spirit of Christ.  “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.  I have NO ONE else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.  For EVERYONE looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 2:19-21).

Paul said of himself and Apollos, “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants…the Lord has assigned to each his task.” (1 Cor. 3:5) In the next chapter of Corinthians he wrote, “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ…” (4:1).  He went on to say, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges me.” (4:4) In spite of his good intentions Paul indicated that he could be failing the servant test.

So?  How am I doing as a servant of Christ?  How are you doing? Are my hands open before the Lord? Palms up?  Is my body on the altar? (Rom. 12:1)  Is my love sincere (Rom. 12:9)? Do I honor others above myself (Rom. 12:10)? Do I keep a record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13:5)?   We are admonished to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.  “Test yourselves,” Paul wrote (2 Cor. 13:5).



U.S. National Snow Sculpting Com

"Melting Masterpieces"
When I was young I loved playing in the snow.  Almost every new snowfall would find me rolling balls of snow as I constructed a snowman.  I knew my creation would not last beyond the 32-degree mark.  My best work was doomed from the outset.
There's a lot more talent on display at the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition, held annually in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  This year's event has already concluded, and if you'd like to marvel over some of the creations, click on this link
Fifteen teams compete for top awards, and each team has three members.  They will spend about 100 hours with their creations; event organizers report that each team will consume about 30 mugs of coffee and hot cocoa during their sculpting.  Only a few photos of the event will confirm that these folks are serious about their work!
I'm amazed at the sculptures produced during this event.  Some of them appear to be museum-worthy.  It would have to be a chilly museum, however, to put them on display.  Even the most breathtaking ones will melt before long.
Whether you and I produce anything that can be classified as a masterpiece, we are sometimes proud of what we accomplish.  But what will become of our best work?  Will it, too, melt with time?
The Preacher grumbled over such a realization in Ecclesiastes 2:11: "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.  There was no profit under the sun."  And this was from someone whose accomplishments were notable (see Ecclesiastes 2:1-10).
The Preacher's musing makes us wonder: Even if we rise to great heights in life with honors and awards bestowed - what will it matter 100 years from now?
Paul had a different perspective on this question - a heavenly one: "... I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12).
Hebrews 6:10 states the truth in this way: "For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister."  Our labors will never be forgotten by our Creator.
These lines from a poem by C.T. Studd speak the lesson clearly: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last."
Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2017, Timothy D

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ask Not What the Church Can Do for You

     John F. Kennedy once said, “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for country,” This is truly one of the great quotes in the history of our young country.

     Such an outlook is so important for the success of a country. Citizens who try to “milk the system for all it is worth,” are a disgrace to their country. Their selfishness and slothfulness becomes a plague to the rest of humanity.

     The perspective we view things from makes all the difference in the world (and in the church!). From time to time you hear someone say, “Well, I sure did not get anything out of that service.” Perhaps such a person should have come seeking to give and not just receive. The idea of coming to worship (which means “to bow or kiss toward”) and then complaining about what you did not receive is very misguided. There is a lack of understanding of the nature of worship. In fact, the truth is, the person who gives the most is the one who will receive the most! (see Lk. 6:38). 

     Others might say something like: “The church really does not offer me much.” The most important (and biblical) question is, “What do I offer the church?”

     Jesus taught that it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). This kind of perspective makes for a great church. Obviously, the church is to seek the welfare of its members, but perhaps we should remember who the church is… us! It is not about what the church can do for me, it is about what I can do for the church!

Daren Schroeder

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