Monday, October 4, 2010

Devotional 041010

Dear brothers and sisters,
Thanks for your prayer for my preaching trip in Vancouver, Canada. It was a blessing to witness God’s work in His church. I thank God for this healthy missional church. God is motivating young people in this church for missions, and many adults are faithful in answering God’s call to serve Him in whatever capacity. Pray that God will bring to completion the good work that He has started in this congregation, so that they can become the channel of His blessings to their community.

The world of religion generates a huge market for meeting all the needs that didn’t get met in the shopping mall. Pastors are conspicuous in this religious marketplace and are expected to come up with the products that give customer satisfaction. Since the needs seem legitimate enough, we easily slip into the routines of merchandising moral advice and religious comfort. Before long we find that we are program directors in flourishing business. We spend our time figuring out ways to attractively display god-products. We become skilled at pleasing the customers. Before we realize what has happened, the mystery and love and majesty of God, to say nothing of the tender and delicate subtleties of souls, are obliterated by the noise and frenzy of the religious marketplace.

But then who is there who will say the name of God in such a way that the community can see Him for who He is, our towering Lord and Savior, and not the packaged and priced version that meets our consumer needs? And who is there with the time to stand with men and women, adults and children in the places of confusion and blessing, darkness and light, hurt and healing long enough to discern the glory and salvation being worked out behind the scenes, under the surface. If we all get caught up in running the store or the program of the church, who will serve as the pastor?

This happened to the first church in Acts. The Bible said, “The Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word” (Acts 6:2-4). We need pastors in this world of consumerism to remain watchful for the well being of the flock, instead of busying themselves in entertaining the flock. Have mercy on your church O Lord. It is definitely not an easy task. We need to pray for our pastors, who will spend time listening to the Great Shepherd in knowing how to lead their flock with spiritual boldness from above. And we also need to pray for congregation who will encourage their pastors in focusing on prayer and preaching God’s Word.

With love in Him,

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