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Keep God fresh in your heart
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Writing a column like this can be a challenge. After all, I also preach and teach two or three times every week. I don’t want to use the same material over and over. I want to say something fresh and relevant. Still, the Christian message really hasn’t changed in the last 2000 years. It is still about what Jesus did for us when He gave His life so that we might live.
I am reminded of the young man who was called as pastor of his first church. On the first Sunday he preached a wonderful sermon. The people in the church were so excited. They thought they had a keeper. But the following Sunday he preached the exact same sermon again. The people were puzzled, but they realized his first week had been hectic. After all, he had two funerals and a wedding in that first week. It must have been tough. So no one said anything to him.
But then, on his third Sunday, he preached the same sermon again, almost word for word. This time somebody had to say something, so it fell on the chairman of deacons. He approached the preacher and asked him why he had preached the same thing three straight weeks, and when he was going to preach a new sermon. The preacher looked at him and said, “Well, as soon as you folks start doing what I’m telling you to do in this sermon I’ll move on to the next one.”
Well, you might guess that story is not real, but it does illustrate the challenge of the Christian life, and teaching and preaching. The fact is that most of us know what the Bible says. We know the story of Jesus. We know how we are supposed to live. And yet we often choose our own way. We don’t do those things we know we should.
And we do many things we know we shouldn’t.
I tell people I started attending church nine months before I was born. I’ve been reading the Bible myself for 34 years. I’ve been preaching and teaching for 28. So I know what the Bible says. And yet I still lose my temper, I still say things I should not, and I still willfully disobey God too many times. And I can’t think I’m the only one.
Here’s what I know I must do. I must become friends with God again. I need to talk to Him daily, and listen to Him more than I do. I need to approach every decision seeking to please Him. I need to make the commitment to follow Him, renew that decision often, and seek to please Him by all that I do and say. It won’t be easy. But it will be the best thing I can do, both for myself and others. Come to think of it, it would be the best thing for you, too. Will you do it? Join me as we seek to serve the One who made us and gave us life. You’ll be glad you did.
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