As is my custom, I include some thoughts I’ve had this previous week in the bulletin. Today is no different. I’ll be sharing some thoughts with you in regard to this special day, our Friend Day. It may be that before darkening the threshold of the front door you didn’t know what to expect in visiting us. If I may, allow me to ease your concerns. The people you’ll see today are made up of pretty much the same kind of folks you’ll find in any group of people. We’ve got our friendly, happy, and loving folks and we have some who may not seem as friendly, happy or loving. We’re a diverse group, coming from varied backgrounds that are at different stages of knowledge and spiritual growth. We readily admit that we don’t know everything; that we don’t always do things right…that we don’t always treat each other as we should; that we haven’t arrived—but that we’re simply on the journey (together). We aren’t brought here by any illusion of our perfection or righteousness. We were brought together by our recognition that we are sinners in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus. That’s the reason we can worship together, stick together, and with God’s help, accomplish some things that make a difference. You won’t have to look very far to find failures, but the bottom line is that you will find people who love Jesus, who are dedicated to His Word, and who do their level best to adhere to His teachings. Thanks for sharing this special day with us. It means SO MUCH to have you worship our Creator alongside us! Stick around after the conclusion of the services today. Join us in our lower fellowship hall. Break bread with us. The only thing you’re required to bring is yourself and an appetite! We love having you here, and we want to express our appreciation by sharing ourselves with you. Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! Kevin
Commitment. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Commitment is a
word we hear when speaking of a championship team or when making
reference to exemplary leadership. But, we need to take into consideration
that commitment doesn’t come easily. Commitment is a pledged promise
made to solidify one’s belief in seeing something to its end. Even at times
when it would be easier to bale than to push forward, commitment reminds
us there’s no turning back.
Jesus reminds us in Luke 9 that no one having putting his hand to the
plow and then turning back is fit for the kingdom of heaven. Let’s be
honest…there are times in life that tempt us to quit short of our goal.
I’m reminded of a time when Caleb first started playing pop warner
football. The conditioning wrought upon these youngsters was intense! The
coach had his sights set on winning the championship, so these kids ran hills,
pulled tractor tires the length of the field and did numerous calisthenics.
Caleb came home after a particular grueling practice and announced he
wanted to quit. I told him at the end of the year if he decided he no longer
wanted to play he could quit then. Interestingly enough, his team won the
championship game that year by one touchdown (the only touchdown
scored in the entire game). Caleb made sure to thank me for not letting him
quit before he tasted victory that year. I couldn’t get him off the field after
that win! Our Christian lives can be like that. There are times laced with
sorrow, difficulty and even fear. We can be devasted by a doctor’s diagnosis,
a layoff notice, or an unexpected financial difficulty. God’s Word reminds us
not to give up until we taste victory; eternal life. It’s then we can look back
and be reminded that every ounce of travail was well worth the victory.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you!
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.