In a resent testimonial one comment pricked my ears. This person, no doubt with good intentions, said that the church fitted into their schedule and that was one of the reasons they joined. It is commendable for a church to be able to provide services for so many different people with needs. However, I am concerned because too many of us seek out churches that fit our schedule and our needs. Suppose the church needs us? Should we not schedule our life and activity according to the church's schedule?
Quite often we sing in church, "He gives and takes away." It is not the way I can picture God. He is the giver of all good gifts, but He is not the one that takes away. Who then is the one that takes away and makes us look as if we were the enemies of God? The Book of Job gives us clearer insight.
Evil (Satan) has no source of income. It steals from God who is good (Mk.10: 18). God has set the sun to shine over the good and the bad (Mt.5: 45). Only man is capable of discerning between good and evil (Gen.3: 22). When Satan, the source of evil, was cast out of heaven (Rev.12: 9), he took command of the world (Lk.4: 5-7). He always sets up his headquarters near Christians (Rev.2: 13). The devil has children called evildoers and they prosper under the umbrella of goodness (Jn.8: 44; Mt.7: 23).
Jesus instructed his disciples to go to all the nations and make disciples, not saints (Mt.28: 19). Since 1953, when I attempted my first public testimony about Jesus, I was under the illusion that we had to become saints and turn others into saints. In 1955, I studied Greek and became familiar with the word "disciple or mathete." I assumed that Matthew 28: 19 meant that we must turn converts into mature Christians; when in reality, I was merely a student, pupil, learner or beginner myself.
Thomas the Twin has been unfairly treated as a doubter. Everyone could and can doubt except Thomas. Yet, he was the bravest and most courageous of the disciples. It was he who was willing to die with Jesus and speak up when in doubt (Jn.11: 16). Thomas was not the only one that doubted (Mt.28: 17). But he was the only one that demanded evidence that would end his doubts (Jn.20: 25). Doubting is part of our human nature. Some are easily convinced and others require extra help. Thomas was such a person. Jesus had to do a little extra (Jn.20: 24-29). And I am one who is thankful that Jesus came back to deal with Thomas. Doubt twists our mind and renders us incapable of walking on water or moving mountains (Ja.1: 6; Mt.14: 31; 21: 21). Jesus used these examples to show how dangerous doubt is. It robs us of what we could be and of what we could have. It puts a break on our ability and on our faith.
It is the idea that when I scratch your back, I expect that you return the favor. Jesus too counseled that we do unto others what we expect them to do for us (Mt.7: 12). He also encouraged his followers to make friends with mammon, in case they encounter hardships (Lk.16: 9). He himself shall make use of the rule when He shall reciprocate with those that confessed or denied Him during their lifetime (Mt.10: 32-33). Jesus also applied the same reciprocation to forgiveness and the treatment of others (Mt.6: 15; 7: 2). If we expect kindness come our way, then let us steer it by doing something nice to someone.
Much has been said and written about worship; yet, I am left groping with what it all means? It has become a mysterious question for me. And here is the reason. Worship has become a substitute for what I ought to be about for Christ in this world. It has become an indoor enriching affair for my faith. That has placed me in danger of confusing lip service to Christ inside a fellowship from witnessing about Him in the world. The world has been remarkably successful in keeping worship inside our churches.