Jesus says: “Wake up!”

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “How to inhabit time”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of God.” Revelation 3:2 (NIV)
 
Our thought for today: “Jesus says: “Wake up!””
 
Are you becoming apathetic in the practice of your faith? I’m willing to bet most of you just answered, “No, I am not apathetic about the practice of my Christian faith.” Okay, but wait. Let me ask a few more questions. Do you find yourself making excuses for not praying and reading the Bible enough? Do you skip church fairly frequently so you can participate in recreational activities, family events, or because you just felt like sleeping in? Do you give little to the church but spend a lot on creature comforts, recreational activities, fast food, and things like that?
 
In short, are you in the habit of making excuses for not doing what you know you should do, and for not being where you know you should be?
 
Every year in January the magazine Christianity Today publishes their annual “Book Awards” edition. In it they rate the best books of the previous year, by category, and give awards for the best four in every genre. They also choose one book as “The book of the year”. The book of the year for 2022 was “Overcoming Apathy” by Uche Anizor.
 
The book addresses what many Christian leaders consider to be the number one malady in the Christian community in the USA today – apathy. A deep sense of apathy and indifference is becoming an increasing problem in society in general, and it is impacting the Church as well. Christians just don’t care as much as they used to. Oh, they would never admit it. They would protest and insist they do care. But words are cheap, it’s actions that tell the true story.
 
And the true story is alarming. The church in the USA is becoming increasingly inept and ineffective. Church attendance is at an all-time low; Bible literacy among Christians continues to decline; and believers increasingly accept and practice immoral cultural standards. Consequently, the Church in our country is slowly withering away.
 
The words of Revelation 3:2 were spoken by Jesus to apathetic Christians in an apathetic church in that day, but they pertain to all Christians in all church in all ages. We don’t become apathetic overnight, but slowly over an extended period of time. And eventually it comes to the point where we are essentially sleep-walking through our faith. To that Jesus demands, “Wake up!” “Your faith is slipping away from you.” Your churches are dying and you don’t even realize it!”
 
That’s true of Christians and churches today, and it’s really about choices. It’s about how we decide to spend our time. We often make poor choices with respect to the practice of our faith and then we make excuses and rationalize our choices. One of our favorite ways of rationalizing our excuses is to pat ourselves on the back for doing other things we consider to be good in instead. “I may miss church a lot but at least I read my Bible and pray.” “I may not give financially very much or very often, but I do pass out bulletins on Sunday morning.” You get the idea.
 
Apathy is a spiritual disease that is spreading across our land and infecting millions of Christians, many of whom are convinced they are actually faithfully engaged, but they’re not. Instead, increasingly, they’re missing in action, they’re uninvolved, and they’re making excuses. As a result, our churches are withering away. The command from Jesus to us is, “Wake up!”
 
We’ll think more about this tomorrow.
 
God bless,
Pastor Jim 
Copyright © 2023 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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