An Ineffective Message

1 Corinthians 9:22-27
22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
A disciplined believer is an effective witness to the world. But to be more precise, you can lose your ability to effectively share the gospel with the people you know if you are not living a disciplined Christian life.
Paul said he disciplined his body and kept it under control as not to be disqualified as an example to the people he was witnessing to.
We can lose our effective witness to the people around us as well. Are there people you know who need to hear the message of Jesus Christ but you have lost your influence with them? What steps do you need to take to regain trust?
Sometimes we have to go to people and apologize to them for our behavior. We have to acknowledge that we are not perfect (they already know that). Sometimes we have to make a change in the things we allow as not to offend people we want to share the gospel with. Sometimes we need an attitude check – or we need to get closer in our own walk with Jesus in order to be prepared to share Christ with others.
Whatever discipline we need to apply, it must start with a desire to be closer to Jesus and to be used to share the miracle of the message.
Prayer:  Reveal the undisciplined areas of my life and give me grace as I make the changes that are needed. I want to be used by you to lead my family and friends to Christ. Give me boldness to share the message of the gospel with them.

A False Message

Christian Smith is a sociologist from Notre Dame and he is the preeminent expert on emerging adulthood in our day. He writes about the fastest growing religion in America today. It’s not Buddhism or Hinduism or even Mormonism or Scientology…
It’s called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and it’s the fastest growing faith in America today.
These ideas are so commonly embedded into the culture of young people today that they have become the most common belief system for this age group. What is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism?
There is a God…who He is? …that’s kind of fuzzy
This God wants us to be good…that’s the moralistic part
What does good look like? …that’s kind of fuzzy
The central goal of my life is to feel good about myself and be happy
That’s the therapeutic part.
What does human self-image and happiness look like… that’s kind of fuzzy
God doesn’t need to be involved in my life, doesn’t need to put demands on my life but he is available to me if I have a problem.
That’s the deism part.
How does God intervene? …that’s kind of fuzzy
And then the last part to this belief system is…
All good people go to heaven when they die.
Exactly what constitutes a good person? …that’s kind of fuzzy
And what kind of community is heaven? …that’s kind of fuzzy
But that is the deism part and that is the fastest growing faith in America today.
Smith says the really insidious part to all of this is that many, many people in churches today think they are being good Christians but what they are really practicing is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
It sounds good, but it is a false message. There is no salvation in a false message. Real hope and real peace only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The gospel invites us to realize we need a savior, not a grandfather who watches over us. We are sinners who are separated from God and Christ is our only hope.
Faith in Jesus Christ as our savior brings forgiveness of sin and new life to all who believe.
Prayer: Examine my heart and give me the courage to boldly proclaim the true gospel message, for only truth can transform lives.

Sunday Expectations

Every Sunday morning churches around the world open their doors to people who want to honor God. They meet to worship and to study God’s word together. They meet to fellowship with other believers and to hear the message brought by the pastor. They meet to obey God’s word about assembling together. But some meet every week to experience a moment with God.
As believers we know that you don’t have to be in church to have a moment with God but we also know when believers meet together to worship God that he is in the midst.
So what are our expectations on Sunday morning as we prepare to worship? Do we expect to meet God today? Are you looking for a moment where God shows up and you feel his presence again? If not, why not?
All too often we fall into routines that take us away from experiencing God. Even our worship can become routine and boring. We find ourselves going through the motions Sunday after Sunday. But today, think about the miracle of a moment with God.
Jeremiah 23:23
23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away?
God is not far from us. He has promised to be found of us when we seek him with our whole heart. When we come to God in the right frame of mind, with a willing heart he invites us to worship him. Jesus declared:
Matthew 7:7
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
And as we worship today may we ask God to give the miracle of a moment to an unbeliever as they understand the gospel and place their trust in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Invite me into your presence today, forgive my sins and cleanse me so that I am whole, and give me a burden for the lost around me that they might also come to know you.

Daily Devotions 2020