Missing Worship

I am not sure who wrote this poem, but I want to share it with you. It’s about someone who missed the church service.

“You missed the fellowship that’s there,

You missed the handshake, missed the prayer.

You missed the Word of God when read;

You missed the things the preacher said.

You missed the worship’s wondrous hour,

You missed the Spirit’s tender power.

Not only did you miss the chance

Your life in Jesus to enhance,

You missed your chance to do your share,

To build His church, the house of prayer.

And so the loss is yours indeed—

God had no chance to meet your need.”

The early Christians understood the need to gather on a regular basis to worship the Lord together. Let’s make sure that we understand that need too.

“On the first day of the week we came together…”—Acts 20:7

 

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Great Opportunity

I enjoy playing “Words with Friends” on the phone. This is a word game similar to “Scrabble”. Recently I started a new game, and with the letters I was given, I was able to score 20 points on the first play, which is pretty good. In addition to this, the letters I was given to replace those I had used included Z, Q and J, three of the highest scoring letters. With such a good start, I have an excellent opportunity to win this game.

With all that we have been given by God, we have an excellent opportunity to lead a winning life. Let’s not squander that opportunity!

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”—Colossians 4:5

 

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Producing

What do you call a cow that does not produce milk? Either a milk dud or an udder failure!

Just as cows are expected to produce milk, Christians are expected to live productive lives for Jesus. We are supposed to speak and act in such a way that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is seen in our lives. We are supposed to shine our light in the darkness and be the salt of the earth that makes a difference in the lives of people we interact with.

Let’s not be duds or failures! Let’s be productive!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”—John 15:5

 

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Believe in Prayer

When a nightclub opened on Main Street, the only church in that small town organized an all-night prayer meeting. The members of the church asked God to burn down the club. Within a few minutes, lightning struck the club, and it burned to the ground. The owner sued the church, which denied responsibility.

After hearing both sides, the judge said, “It seems that wherever the guilt may lie, the nightclub owner believes in prayer, while the church doesn’t.”

Actually, the church does believe in prayer. At least we should.

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”—Acts 4:31

 

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Power Source

Magellan

On Wednesday, October 11, 1994, NASA’s Magellan space explorer fell silent. The Magellan had circled Venus more than fifteen thousand times since arriving at the planet in 1990, but on this day NASA scientists intentionally changed the satellite’s course and sent it veering into the planet where it burned to a crisp in the atmosphere.

Why would NASA send the Magellan—which cost nine hundred million dollars—plummeting into the planet? Because the Magellan was virtually out of power. One final experiment had drained its batteries to the point where it could no longer transmit data.

Without power, even the highest technology is worthless. Without the power of God, even the most committed Christian can bear no fruit.

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Most Sincerely Dead

In The Wizard of Oz, when the house landed on the wicked witch of the East, the coroner was called to the scene. After examining the body, he famously proclaimed, “She’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead!”

When Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, he was really dead. He did not merely swoon on the cross, only to regain consciousness in the coolness of the tomb, as some liberal scholars have claimed. A Roman soldier thrust his spear into Jesus’ side to confirm that he was indeed dead (John 19:34).

The innocent Son of God willingly laid down his life to pay for the sins of the world. He really and truly died for us.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:6-8

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Unafraid of Death

In 100 Meditations on Hope Wayne A. Lamb writes:

In the midst of a storm, a little bird was clinging to the limb of a tree, seemingly calm and unafraid. As the wind tore at the limbs of the tree, the bird continued to look the storm in the face, as if to say, “Shake me off; I still have wings.”

Because of Christ’s resurrection, each Christian can look the experience of death in the face and confidently say, “Shake me off; I still have wings. I’ll live anyway.”

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”’—John 11:25-26

This question is not just for Martha; it is for everyone. Do you believe this?

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Window of Opportunity

Sometimes you can be late and get away with it; sometimes you can’t.

According to the Associated Press, near midnight on the evening of June 30, 1997, United Airlines flight 728 from Chicago was bound for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and as happens it was behind schedule. Unfortunately the Harrisburg airport had informed the airlines that the lone airport runway would be closed from 11:30pm to 6:30am for construction.

The pilot of flight 728 believed that he could land before the runway closed, but when he radioed the control tower he was refused permission to do so. The plane was ordered to fly all the way back to Chicago so as not to disrupt other flight schedules. The airline put the 101 passengers up in hotels and gave them $25 travel certificates, and the next morning the 101 made the trip to Harrisburg one more time. Yes, they were angry.

A window of opportunity is just that. Never assume everything will be okay if you miss the cutoff time. Sometimes, as here, it just makes life harder; other times, we never get a second chance. So it is with the opportunity for salvation.

“…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”—2 Corinthians 6:2

 

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Talking to Strangers

Sometimes we get the idea that it is of no use to try to initiate a conversation about Jesus with someone we have just met. We have come to believe that we need to develop a long-term relationship with someone before having such a conversation. While developing relationships in order to share the gospel is something we should strive for, let’s not dismiss the value of a meaningful conversation with someone we have just met.

Most of the people in the crowd on the day of Pentecost had never met the apostles, but about 3,000 of them accepted the gospel message that was preached. The woman that Jesus encountered at the well in John 4 was receptive to the words of this person she had just met. The Philippian jailor believed and obeyed the instructions he received from Paul and Silas, even though he did not know them well.

So let’s not be afraid to initiate conversations about Jesus with people we have just met. This method of evangelism has been known to actually work!

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”—Colossians 4:5

 

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Evangelism Plan

There is a story told about a fellow who was involved in one of those get-rich-quick multi-level marketing programs. He was so excited about the concept that he tried to apply this business model to the evangelistic efforts in his church. He explained—“You don’t have to lead anyone to Christ personally. You just need to sign up ten people, who will in turn sign up ten people…”

Unfortunately, evangelism doesn’t work that way. Evangelism takes place when followers of Christ personally share the gospel message with others. It’s just as simple as that.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”—Acts 1:8

 

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