Don’t you just hate it when a particular sermon sticks with you when you leave the church on Sunday. Sometimes I go to early service because I have something else to do later in the day and sometimes I go to the regular service because I want to relax before I have lunch and a nice nap. The recent series on the Ten Commandments, mostly Michael’s revelations from the old rules, has gotten in the way of several Sunday activities.
In particular, Commandment number six, “You shall not murder”, kept me awake that afternoon and has resonated all month. I am not a felon and have always considered eating what I had killed. Similarly, I grew up in the Vietnam era with conscientious objectors using the Bible to escape service. As Michael unpacked this commandment he changed the interpretation from taking of a life to keeping someone else from enjoying life with the heavenly Father. WOW!
The month of October and recent days in November have included a few days of my daughter being sick (in Waco, Texas), several pressures at work, another birthday for my spouse and daughter, and the deaths of a long-term friend in North Carolina and a co-worker here in Illinois. In addition, as I get closer to the big 60, I spent more money (college funds or retirement) on medical bills than I have personally spent in my entire life. Now, I am not one that worries a lot as long as I can be busy doing something else. So, please let me reveal some of the ponderings that came to me through these days.
- God is GOD: I am not.
- The greatest opportunity in my time here on earth is to improve my relationship with God (I have already accepted his plan for salvation).
- “Good Things” that I do will not get me into Heaven but will:
- Make “Daddy” happy
- Keep me closer to his will for me, and receptive to the blessings that he makes available every day
- Benefit the Church, charity, or other organization that facilitates the service, and
- Pave the way for others to walk towards God
- I am my brother’s keeper (big burden if 1-3 are not handled properly)
- Heaven celebrates new believers: It is not too small for more
- There are 10 places in the Bible telling me not to be a “Stumbling Block”
- My wife and Daughter may have to live here when I’m gone
- The “roses” I give to others daily are far more valuable than flowers at their passing
By the way, I was just kidding in the first paragraphs. I am proud (sinfully) to know and learn from our Pastors and friends. Share the relationship joyfully through tough times.
In Christian Love,
David Bishop, Elder