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Weekly Scripture!

Matthew 5:29-30

And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.   KJV

What this means to me:

If you’ve read through the lines in today’s news and headlines, you’ve probably seen a lot of things that are totally deplorable. People divorcing people, people marrying other people of the same sex, people cheating on people, people shooting people, etc., etc.. There’s this feeling of dissatisfaction with the status quo, and a hope and desire that somehow the situation will improve by changing relationships, the situation will improve if I look for love in a more unorthodox manner, the situation will improve if I eliminate this certain individual, the situation will improve if I … and the list goes on and on.

What is it that causes this dissatisfaction? And why are people becoming more and more bold in the means by which to satisfy the need?

The answers to these questions definitely need more space than this article can provide, but it is obvious that people are searching more than ever for something to satisfy that inner longing for happiness and contentment. Yet if you ask anyone at church, why we have such difficulty in attracting people to church, we are ready to reply, “We are so rich in this country, and in need of nothing, that we don’t feel we as a nation need Christ, therefore no one comes to church.” Well, it does, on the surface, appear to be correct. But really, if we’re so “in need of nothing,” why do people look to such strange things to satisfy that inner quest for happiness?

I would argue that the “laodicean” condition that that is applied to the world’s view of the body of Christ has nothing to do with the actual riches of our present country. If you think about our supposed riches here, it is merely a not-so-honest exterior hiding a more ugly reality. While we, here in the US, may have more toys, gizmos and material objects than many countries in the world, we still have poverty and an ever-growing rate of personal bankruptcy. Granted, the poverty experienced by some here is more akin to middle class in some countries, but it still causes stress and unhappiness. But does that cause a return to God in those classes of people? Not necessarily.

So if it isn’t riches causing apathy in the growth of the church, then what is it? I would argue it is a two-fold reason. One, we haven’t figured out how to communicate to our peers the value Christ can play in the life, and the satisfaction true Christianity brings. And two, we haven’t experienced Christ in our lives enough for it to be obvious that Christ can bring happiness to the heart. The second reason is the most powerful reason, because it directly affects our ability to communicate this amazing gospel, thus causing part of the first issue of communication.

I say only part, because understanding the root cause to why people are looking other places for happiness helps to create a solution to answer that need. But if we don’t have the experience in our own hearts yet, then knowing that answer will have no better effect than ignorance to it.

In the future, I would like to analyze the root causes in more detail, but in the mean time, I challenge you, to sit down and meditate on the motivations and actions you see in your own life. Why do you do the things you do? You can concentrate on trying to cut the sin from your life, but if you don’t cut what brings that motivation to sin in first place, you will find yourself in that situation again and again. With the power of the Holy Spirit, you can overcome that root cause, which will take care of the manifesting actions. And when we can experience the peace in Christ, our ability to communicate that to our peers becomes much more automatic.

May God bless you!


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