NOW THAT VBS IS OVER

14 Aug

Wow! What an amazing week we just had! Absolutely incredible! I have looked forward to every Vacation Bible School we have ever had and this past week has never disappointed.

But now it’s over!  And we’ve had a couple of days to rest and reflect. And the next question is “What now?”

You know, our whole purpose in life is to carry the light of Jesus wherever we go.  When we began a relationship with Him, we were instructed to be witnesses for Him. (Acts 1:8). We were instructed to carry His light.

That’s what Matthew 5:16 tells us:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

This past week, many of you let your light for Jesus shine… whether it was in the snack line, on the rec field, at Imagination Station, upstairs watching videos or enjoying Bible adventures, you let your light shine.  Many children heard about Jesus (some literally for the first time) and it was because of you. That is awesome!

But now VBS is over.  It won’t be long before we start planning again. But let me ask you a question. Does that mean we stop letting our light shine?

Of course you would say “no”. I expected that.

But the truth is that many of us won’t.

You see, I am concerned about what I see going on in the world around us. I have voiced that many times.  That is no secret.

I am seeing immorality made legal. I am seeing wrong made right. I am seeing churches empty and everyone quit pursuing Jesus in the name of our own selfish fulfillment.

None of this is new. You have heard me say it before.

And you have also heard me say this: I blame the church.

And by the church, I mean I blame the Christians (the majority of them) who make up the church.

We don’t seem to get it.  We sing praises to Jesus on Sunday morning. This week, we yelled out (over and over) that we need to “Follow Him!”  Children went home singing about Jesus.  And many of them will be back or we’ll cross paths with them again.

And when they see us, that light needs to continue to shine.

But most of the time, we don’t let it shine.

Or worse, we let it shine only when it’s convenient.  It’s great to take that light out on Sunday morning and let it shine in each others faces.  We might even compare our lights (mine is brighter than yours).

But then we leave the church and we tuck that light away (nothing to see here).  The preacher comes over to our house, the light comes back out. Certain friends come over or we are just at the house with only our family, the light gets put away.

The world sees that and they have a word for it: FAKE

And it’s that fake Christianity that many of the children we saw here will also see as well.

And their parents.. many who know you and sent their children to VBS at your invitation will also see it.

Many of them who met or saw you for the first time this week and will now recognize you in other places will see it.

That light was meant to be constantly on… not hidden.

But most of us carry on like we are ashamed of it.

We would never say that outloud! Yet that’s exactly how we carry on. We are often too quiet about or faith in a world that desperately needs to hear it.

We need to be like Paul who said in Romans 1:16:

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.”

We need to boldly speak out our faith and live it out in an amazing way.

But many of us do not.

We “compartmentalize” our lives.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating Presidents of the 20th century was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Kennedy was known for his bravery during the Cuban Missile Crisis, his cool head during the Bay of Pigs invasion, and his numerous extramarital affairs.

One of the women, Mimi Alford, when writing about him, would say that one of the most amazing things about him was the way he would “compartmentalize” his life. He could be the playboy with one of his many mistresses at night, and devoted family man and President during the day and as long as the two didn’t interfere with each other, then he was perfectly fine.

Isn’t that the way a lot of Christians live their lives?

The Bible has a word for it: double minded.

James 4:1-8

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it On your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Look again at verse 4:

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?

There it is: plain as day in the scripture.

We cannot be friends with both the world and Jesus.

But many of us do that!

And we think it’s okay.

As long as Pastor Rick doesn’t know.

Or even if he does. Who cares?

“Hey, we’re all sinners. God still loves me”

Well, no joke.

But what gives you the right to treat Him like that.

The scripture says you’re like an adulterer.

You whisper love to Jesus raising your hands in praise and then at the same time, you’re crawling into bed with the world and enjoying all of its pleasures.

Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

We are a world sinking further and further into oblivion.

Do you believe that Jesus is real?

Do you believe that He truly died for your sins?

Do you believe that He rose again on the third day?

Do you believe that His Spirit is among us and walks with us and is there at our disposal?Trying to communicate with us and trying to steer us in the right direction?

Then live like it matters.

I so want you to understand that you’re hurting the heart of Jesus when you compartmentalize like that.

Think about what He did for you?

Think about the nail scarred hands.

Imagine that hammer hitting the hands of Jesus… driving it deeper into the wood.

“It’s my business”

“Don’t tell me who to love”

“God still loves me”

“I’m sure Jesus will understand”

“Hey, there are others doing worse”

“Everybody’s a hypocrite”

“Don’t I have a right to be happy?”

“It’s just one weekend”

Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

He died for you! Live for Him!

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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