Today’s Reading: Acts 13:18-20 NIV
18 [God] endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, 19 He overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to His people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.
My grandchildren were very busy yesterday, playing games in the living room. Andrew and Emily had set up tents near the front picture window, where they watched the snow fall gently to the ground. Joshua gave up watching cartoons to come and join them in their new found abode. I heard Emily exclaim in her high-pitched voice, “Joshua, let’s play church!” She was totally sincere when Emily said it, and I peeked around the corner and watched while my grandchildren knelt down inside the tent and prayed together.
Watching them play, I was reminded about how we sometimes huddle inside our make shift shelters and play church. Many of us show up on Sunday mornings for worship, but are our hearts really there? We kneel at the altar together and pray corporate prayers of confession, but do we really intend to make the necessary change? Do we somehow expect our Lord to miraculously, supernaturally change our yen for sin, so we no longer struggle with our daily choices for living? Are we really waiting for God or is God still waiting for us? I have witnessed incredible miracles during worship, when folks just like you and me seek forgiveness for sin and sincerely ask God to create within them clean hearts. Compulsions, diseases, and broken lives have been and continue to be healed at the foot of the cross today. Yet, when we are tempted again, does it somehow devalue the sincerity of our original prayer? How many times must we “play church” before the truth of God’s Word completely captivates and controls our human hearts?
After the Lord led the people of Israel out of Egypt, He tolerated their lack of faith and trust, even as they wandered around in a forty-year wilderness. The people would ask Moses to seek a miracle on their behalf; they needed food and water and supernatural provision. God supplied it all, and yet, it wasn’t enough to satisfy a disbelieving generation. They doubted their leader; they doubted in the Word of God, even when He parted the great sea and saved them from total annihilation. An entire generation had to pass before the children could cross over into the Promised Land. Their inheritance was coming, but people playing church were missing the miracle.
It is time for all of us to stop playing church and begin believing the promise! The Father delivered the Son, our Promised One, and He died and rose again to forever break the chains of sin over our lives. If you are struggling today, look up, for your salvation is here! Jesus Christ longs for you to stop playing around and start believing! He can set your heart on fire with healing and wholeness and a love that will not ever let you go. Won’t you give your life to Him today? Come and join with me as we worship our Lord Jesus Christ together at Faith Church.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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