Church on a Bad Day
From Help for Shepherds
|Church on a Bad Day|
Don't lie about where you are, admit it and keep growing
How to Get There
- We talk about amazing ideas in church. Selflessness, unconditional love, sacrifice, and more. But because we talk about these wonderful topics so often, and know we should be living them, we can get to feeling guilty about having a bad day, about not being there yet.
- We can get to where we think we need to look perfect in order to be in church, we must look like we have faith mastered, even though we are all still working on it.
- The people in the text we have were not evil. They sold their property and gave the vast majority of it away. They only kept a small part for themselves. That’s more than most of us could do.
- And they didn’t get in trouble because they didn’t give it all. They got in trouble, they died, because they lied about what they really did give.
- They wanted to look like they had mastered more of the spiritual life than they really had.
- This couple died because they were not just lying to each other, or the disciples, but to God.
- God knows who we really are. Pretending anything else doesn’t help, and God doesn’t approve.
- God wants us to grow in our faith, not pretend. And only if we admit where we are can we move forward.
- If this couple had come to the disciples and said “we can’t seem to give everything, but here is most of it” they would have been fine.
- We should not be ashamed or hide when we cannot YET fully live up to what God’s ideals are. We need to admit it, and seek help in doing better. When we put on a fake smile and pretend, we’re only fooling ourselves.
- None of us are there yet fully. The early Church wasn't perfect. Even Paul admits that hje wasn't in Philippians 3:12.
- Admit it to yourself and to those around you when you're not there yet, and get support to become in truth what you were only pretending to be.
Things to Watch For
- This message was prompted by a good missionary friend of mine who admitted one day that when he was home he skipped church one day because he didn't feel "happy enough" to go to church and smile.
- This message is difficult. On one hand we cannot excuse sin, and on the other hand we need to admit that what God is doing in us has not been completed yet. As part of a series, this message is designed as a counter-note to all the amazing high minded ideals that we deal with in the rest of the series. Coming so fast one after the next, we can get overwhelmed and instead of changing, simply begin to pretend to master these ideas. The point here is to get people to slow down and really live what they talk about, recognizing that growth in the future is still possible, even needed.
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This Message is part 3 of A Faith's Beginnings message series.