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Plain and Simple for April 17, 2014
SoVaNow.com / April 17, 2014I love teaching and I love to teach Sunday school classes. One of the reasons that I love to teach Sunday school classes is that you never know when the unvarnished truth might come leaking out. Yesterday we were discussing I Corinthians where the apostle Paul was saying that it was best that people should remain as they were. That is, if you were married, you should stay that way; if you were single, you should stay that way. His whole rationale was that whatever state you were in, you should attempt to devote all of your energy to serving God and Christ Jesus.
One of the members pointed out that he thought that Paul was a tad misguided even if we recognized that Paul thought that Jesus was coming back to earth at any moment. The member believed that family should come first or you ran the risk of becoming a fanatic and God really had no use for a fanatic. This led to a robust discussion and some interesting exchanges.
First, we realized that we really and truly did not have much desire to sacrifice everything for God as Paul did. No matter how you sliced and diced it, the idea that God should have the very top priority in our lives is not happening. We can rationalize; we can pontificate; we can huff and puff. The plain truth is that we daily allow other things to occupy center stage in our lives.
On the other hand, someone had the unmitigated gall to point out our hypocrisy. She asserted that many of us had served in the military and had dragged families all over the country or even countries at the drop of a hat. We did not seem to be so protective of our family when Uncle Sam did the ordering around. And yet, we hesitate and balk when it appears that God might require a sacrifice from us.
I have also noted as a pastor that people are ready to run around for sports teams or to volunteer for service clubs or whatever, but they always seem miffed by the requests from the church. Could it be that we have lost the will to serve God?
Perhaps the proper place to start with serving God is honesty. We do not need to pretend that God is first in our lives except when there are other things we know that God would rather we do first. Let’s just say that most of the time, we look after ourselves first.
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