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PLEASANT OPPOSITION PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, February 28 2011 16:07

 

 

The gospel writer Luke tells us in his witness of Jesus that there came a time when Jesus was “fiercely opposed.”  The opposition came from the most religious among the people, the teachers of the law and Pharisees.  They opposed him because they had much to lose.  Their very existence depended upon strict adherence to not only the written law but also all the oral rituals as well.  Jesus seemed unimpressed with their station and expertise.  So naturally, they hated him.  Privately, I’m sure this hatred was displayed openly with people of like mind.  But publicly their distaste for Jesus and his message took the form of tests and challenges.  This indeed was their way, but Jesus knew there was much more than academic debate contained within their questions.  He understood the motives behind the masks.

 

Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that you are being fiercely opposed in your commitment to follow Jesus?  The opposition may be overt, expressing itself completely in the open.  But more likely it's subtle and has been growing right along with your faith for sometime.  The vines of “greed” (although we don’t really use that term) and “pleasures” are just two among many that control the way we grow.  We can only commit so much to God because most of it’s already been spoken for.  The questions the sages of our era ask are not, “which is the greatest commandment,” or “who is my neighbor” but different altogether.  Questions asked by clever adds that whisper, “Don't you deserve this?”  “Wouldn't you like to go here and experience this?”  Or one of the most insidious of all, “You’re not a good parent if you don’t give your child this opportunity!”  Whatever “this” is!

 

We need not be opposed by gruff, stiff-necked, God-hating atheists.  No, not when we’ve been carefully planted in the fertile beds of discontent and pleasure-seeking-after all we deserve it, right?

 

How is your commitment to Jesus being opposed?  Ask Him, you may be shocked by the answers!

 

–Dale

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, February 28 2011 16:13
 
WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO SURRENDER PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Tuesday, February 22 2011 09:24

Confounding our efforts in drawing folks to Jesus is quite frankly, ourselves.  Ouch! It’s true more than we would care to admit.  Our flesh, our rights, our own ideas about how things should be are much of the time a Christian repellent.  People wonder: what difference does it make to be a follower of Jesus?  To be honest, in the midst of church turmoil this thought crosses my mind occasionally.  What difference should it make? 

I have never met a Christian who didn’t judge; yet Jesus tells His followers, “Judge not.”  We usually have a tendency to hate someone, somewhere and more often than naught it’s someone we know.  Yet Scripture teaches that our love is to be superhuman, to the point that we are to love even our enemies. 

These and other instructions would be impressive if accomplished, right?  One pastor says he daily prays the prayer, “Lord, let me not make it harder for someone to know you today.”  That’s a good prayer!  Help me not to get in the way today.

Reliance is the key.  Jesus knew we were spiritual klutzes, so He gives us assistance.  To tap into that enormous power though, we must be willing to surrender.  That, my friend, is where the loop begins anew.  If you have trouble getting out of the way, it probably stems from a failure to surrender! 

Sometimes, giving up is actually winning.

– Dale

 
AN UNNATURAL SOUND PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, February 06 2011 09:22

The Bible is full of unnatural decisions.  An “unnatural decision” is one made against the grain – against what we would describe as “common sense.”  The pages of the Bible introduce us to a group of people I like to call “jumpers” (folks who swim against the current).  These are those who have a habit of making strange and unnatural decisions.  Why?  Because “God’s Word” is filled with those who hear and respond to an unnatural voice.  Now I will agree with you in your argument that these so called “jumpers” are actually listening to the right voice, the natural voice – God’s voice.  But in reality it’s the world’s voice that becomes the natural voice because it’s natural for us to hear its sounds both early and often in our lives.  We get a steady dose of what seemingly makes sense and before long it just comes natural.  The more familiar, the harder it becomes to listen to something different.  Therefore, the world around us (translated, other people) think it strange, bizarre, even whacked, if we listen to an alternative voice.  But I want you to know that this new way of hearing is the only path that leads to true life, full life!

Consider if you will, in your life, learning to hear something new.  Listening and responding to a sound that in the beginning may seem strange and unnatural; but in the end you’ll wonder how you ever did without it’s guidance.  Now understand that the complexities of truly hearing and following this new voice faithfully, takes a lifetime of devout practice and discipline.  But the journey’s a joy and you need to start somewhere and sometime.  So why not here and now? 

May I suggest that you begin by accepting.  Accepting that you’re not remotely in tune with all that you need to be.  Accepting that there actually is a God who desires to be heard and who has much to say.  Also, if I may, a friendly reminder: please remember that you’ll never arrive.  There is no destination where you can just kick your feet up and say I’ve made it (not on this side of glory anyway).  We’re always searching, ever discovering fresh nuances of God’s voice – which leads us deeper and deeper along this unnatural path! . . . Few there will be that will find it.  Or hear it, for that matter!

– Dale

 
GOD SO LOVED PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, February 13 2011 09:23

“For God so loved the world that He gave . . .”  God’s amazing love is expressed in His generosity.  Giving us Himself so that we might have life . . . and then giving us His task – which is sharing the knowledge of Him and His great love with the world.  Paul writes, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”

We mirror God’s great love to the world and express love for our fellow man by sharing the faith we have in Christ Jesus.  Breathing in the Word and then living it out in view of the world causes our witness to contain power – to have a believability about it!  This allows us to be heard, because our words are seen to carry weight.  The realness of these words are only felt in as much as we believe them ourselves.  Only love felt can be properly expressed.

For our God so loved this world that He first gave us His Son and then He gave us filled with His Son!  So in reality, you and I are God’s expression to the world of His great love.  That’s cause for pause!

Live out your faith!

– Dale

 
VOLUNTEERISM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, January 30 2011 09:21

Volunteerism, “use of or reliance on volunteers.”  Did you know that according to statistics women are more likely to volunteer than men?  (Although the total number of women volunteering this last year declined as well.)  The age group most likely to volunteer are those age 35–44 with folks in their early 20's being the least likely to volunteer.  Being married seems to increase the urge to give of one’s time and energy as well as being parents.  Both groups were statistically higher in the “helping out” category.  That’s more than you wanted to know about volunteering, right? 

I wonder how most people see their labor in the Jesus movement, or Church, or ever how you want to term it?  Jesus used terms like, field hands or workers which may be a little too intense for some today!  Do we think of ourselves as volunteers when we’re involved in kingdom work?  Maybe it’s our own fault.  We use terms like “ministerial staff'”and “lay-people,” like there’s a difference in the labor.  In reality, although there maybe a difference in the specific tasks, there’s no difference in the calling.  As Christians we are all called to labor.  All called to use our gifts and talents within the body and upon the world.  Granted, some may have a more “body-sensitive” calling such as preaching and teaching and helping with worship.  But all are called to serve in some way inside and out.

So, if you’re presently just a spectator, you’re not listening.  Could it be the many wonderful sounding voices of the world are drowning out God’s call and Spirit-teaching?  Or maybe you’re just ignoring God’s voice, hoping it will go away and leave you to do your own thing?  Truth is, He probably will.

“What are you doing right now that requires faith?” • Francis Chan

– Dale

 
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COMITE CHURCH OFFICE:

225-275-3382

COMITE CHILD DEV. CTR.:

225-273-2699


Sunday Morning Bible Study

at 9:30 a.m. We offer classes for all ages.  There is something for everyone!

 

Sunday Morning Worship

10:45 a.m.

All are welcome!

 

CHECK THIS OUT:

Adult Wednesday

Bible Study

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Come join us Wednesday evenings as we open the Word of God and discover the treasure inside.   We will worship, pray and study from 6:00-7:00 p.m. each Wednesday in the Comite cafeteria.  Bring a friend!   (There are youth and children’s activities also.)

 

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