|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Are you infectious?”
This morning I want to pick back up where we left off yesterday, by thinking about Eugene Peterson’s concept of living a simple life that’s “a long obedience in the same direction.”
Perhaps you’ve heard about the old deacon who was in the grocery store when he encountered a younger man who used to attend the same church but whom the deacon hadn’t seen there in a long time. The deacon asked the other man where he had been. The younger man said that he had stopped going to church because he felt he wasn’t getting much out of it. He said, “Over the years that I was in church I can’t count the number of sermons I’ve listened to, and I honestly can’t remember any of them. So, what’s the point?”
To that the deacon replied, “I’ve been married for fifty-seven years. My wife has prepared a meal for me every day of those fifty-seven years and honestly, I can’t remember most of them. But each one of them nourished my body and helped to keep me healthy.” He went on, “Sermons are like that. Each one of them nourishes my soul and helps to keep me spiritually healthy. Even if I can’t remember them, they accomplished their purpose at the time and I’m spiritually healthy today because I was there in church every Sunday.”
For a long time afterwards that other man considered the words of the wise deacon. He also thought about how much he admired that deacon for the man he was – wise and kind, a man of character and integrity. Finally, he decided that if faithful church attendance over all those years helped to make that deacon into the man he was, then he was going to return to church and be faithful as well.
Pastor Chuck Swindoll once wrote, “Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with every day need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just crackerjack clean living. Just honest-to-goodness, bone-deep, non-hypocritical integrity. Authentic obedience to God.”
The deacon in our story was a faithful man with an infectious godly lifestyle. How about you? Is your faith infectious? Do people observe you and decide that they want what you have? Such faith begins and continues as the result of a long obedience in the same direction – just being where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to do, day in and day out.
I encourage you to attend your church this Sunday.
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