Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Schools out, Christ isn't

We all get incredibly busy over the summers. We head off on vacations. We have family get together, Barbeques with friends, Sports, this and that, time outdoors, and it’s all allot of fun. But as we come into summer, I want to note a concern. There is a tendency around here to check out when it comes to our faith. Christian Ed (both adult and Childrens) stops for the summer, the service moves to 9:30, and we seem to take that as a sign that we should act like kids let out of school. Historically, summers lags in terms of attendance, and in terms of our personal walk. The first summer I was here, we had a Sunday under ten people (I think it was 8).

With this in mind I want to say. Keep working on your walk with God, even in the summer. Hebrews 10 says, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful”. This doesn’t stop being true just because its summer. (Hebrews 10:22-23).

So, here’s my plea to you this summer:

Be in church. Continue to gather with other believers and worship throughout the summer. If you are away on vacation, find a bible believing church to worship at. Hebrews 10 continues by saying, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25) Don’t stop gathering in corporate worship, just because it’s summer and you’re busy.

Be in the Word. As your schedules fill up, be intentional about making sure you carve out a time to be in the Word of God. Remember the words of the Psalms “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, (Psalms 119:105) and “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)

Be reading. Find some time to read a good book that helps you grow as a follower of Christ. Read a book that engages your mind. If you’re looking for a recommendation, here are 5. “The Reason for God” by Tim Keller (or any of his other books). “When sinners say I do”, by Dave Harvey. “Radical, taking back your faith from the American dream” by David Platt. “Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, by J.I. Packer and Gary Parret (one of my seminary Profs)”. And finally, an old Classic, “Desiring God” by John Piper.

Finally, start thinking about your fall schedule. It was pointed out to me that on Education Sunday, we didn’t take time to speak to the need for adult Christian education. Let me say a few words about that now. Christian Education isn’t just for Kids. It’s for you too. Each one of us needs to be seeking to grow as a follower of Christ. This fall, plan on getting involved in Adult Christian Education. Most American Christians act like we should teach our kids, but we don’t take time to learn ourselves. Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life. God, marriage (if married) family, work, etc. Plan on getting involved in a class or small group this fall, as you seek to grow as a follower of Christ.

This summer, as you seek to grow as a disciple of Jesus, my prayer as a pastor is that you will continue to seek God and stay focused on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.