What's Important To Us?
Well, if you are reading this, you survived Black Friday!
(If something said here today offends you, please know that is not the intention at all. It's hard to stay focused as a Christian in this society where we see much more godlessness than we do Godliness. The only intent today is to encourage us to stay strong, keep our eye on the prize, persevere and hopefully lead others to Christ.)
We start seeing Black Friday advertisements right after Columbus day, maybe even before. People start registering in their minds those deals they want to make, those things they want to buy. Some start pigeon-holing money so they can insure they get just what they want, while others are about to max out their credit cards. In some places, they may sit or stand in the cold for hours to be the first in the door. We've seen news reports of people dying being trampled to death when the door is unlocked, simply so that somebody can walk out saving a couple hundred bucks on a 60" TV.
Don't get me wrong, I like to buy neat stuff too and if I can save money that's certainly a plus. I'm not better than anybody else either, but you won't catch me being one of those pushing and shoving, shouting and fighting to get to the front lines of an anxious mob. I've grown too old and my bones break too easily to get in the middle of that, and for numerous years now, I've resolved that I absolutely don't need anything that badly.
So here's the thought for today. What would it take to get people to start thinking about a Gospel Meeting, or similar event, weeks ahead of time, standing in line to be the first in the door, then pushing, shoving and fighting for a place to sit and listen to the teachings of Christ? In fact, what would it take to just get them to come if there were no lines, plenty of seats, and no hassle? I ask sincerely! What is it about saving a few bucks on the latest video game, TV or appliance that motivates people enough to sacrifice life and limb and elbow their way in, maybe leaving with a black eye on Black Friday? If we could harness that motivation and get them to use it to listen to our Lord who has the "words of eternal life" (John 6:68) something they can't buy at any price, maybe we could change the world.
It's not all that hard to observe and see what is most often the root of the problem, but the fix to the problem is extremely difficult. Pursuing ways to help people see the attractiveness of following Christ and how precious His blessings are as opposed to the continual pull of this world's material things is not an easy process, especially when they don't understand what they are missing out on. Often the best we can do is try to set an example that shows them Christ, and makes Him desirable.
Commitment is a huge part of the problem, desire is too, along with motivation and self discipline just to name a few. I know that because I struggle with these and other similar issues. These are all difficult to change in people because Satan works constantly to deceive us. He keeps telling us materialism, riches, pleasure, sensuality, fame, fortune and the likes are the fruits of our success. In a world that promotes that agenda, it's extremely difficult at best to convince people otherwise. Scripture says Satan does this through lying and deception. (Rev 12:9, John 8:44)
If only everyone could experience God and His truths for a while, maybe our world would change. If only we understood clearly that loving this world and the things in it, is not the way to go. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." (1 John 2:15) If only mankind could comprehend the extent of the Love of God, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!..." But John finishes that statement, "...The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." (1 John 3:1)
This world, like all generations leading up till now, needs to know Him! For that to happen, they must know us! We are His messengers. (Matt 28:18-20, 2 Cor 5:20) Let us show the world what they are missing.