Church Speak

In his book Between Two Worlds, author John Stott wrote in 1982 about the future of the computer chip and the impact it would have on human relationships and the Word of God.  He wrote the following:

It is difficult to image the world in the year A. D. 2000, by which time versatile micro-processors are likely to be as common as simple calculators are today.  We should certainly welcome the fact that the silicon chip will transcend human brain-power, as the machine has transcended human muscle-power.

Little did he know how true those words would be.  The positive impact of technology in our lives cannot be overstated.  But it has come at a cost to our human relations in ways that we are still discovering and learning how to cope with.  Stott went on to write this corollary statement…

Much less welcome will be the probable reduction of human contact as the new electronic network renders personal relationships ever less necessary.

This statement has a lot of truth to it and you must admit that today, more than 30 years after Stott wrote that statement, we see the impact of our “smart” phones and “i”-everythings invade our lives at every turn, often hindering us from speaking with each other face-to-face or at least person-to-person.  We hardly ever use our voices, hands, and expressions to convey the depth of our feelings, ideas, thoughts, and dreams. Instead we use emoticons, acronyms, and abbreviations to convey the depth of our love, our frustration, and our laughter.

What is perhaps the most significant remark that Stott makes is that he relates the impact of technology on the church, specifically on preaching and teaching the Word of God.  He writes:

In such a dehumanized society the fellowship of the local church will become increasingly important, whose members meet one another, and talk and listen to one another in person rather than on screen.  In this human context of mutual love the speaking and hearing of the Word of God is also likely to become more necessary for the preservation of our humanness, not less.

 

 

God is not silent…in fact He spoke all of creation into existence!  “And God said…” is what Genesis 1 says…not “And God text…”   God is a god that speaks to us.  He wants to communicate to us through his Word.

genesis-1-slant-view

How wonderful a privilege to gather together with others to hear the Word of God proclaimed. If you are not regularly attending a church where the Word of God is being shared, I would encourage you to get out there and find one.  Find a church family where the Word of God, the Bible, is taught verse by verse, and people long to dig into the truth of what God has said.

Get out there so that we all can preserve that Godly character trait of real, true, loving personal communication with God and with each other.

Between Two Worlds The Challenge of Preaching Today, John Stott, 1982 p.69
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Help for the Helpless…

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”  Romans 5:6

My wife and I had the wonderful opportunity to help my son and his wife move recently.  It involved the usual bunch of boxes, furniture, food stuff, etc.  We rented a U-Haul set about the task of packing it up.  Getting all the “stuff” packed was not that hard but we were up against the clock because a winter storm was approaching and we needed to get on the road early the next day.  I thought we were in pretty good shape. However, in the morning when we were getting the final things in the truck I felt a slight twinge in my back.  I was being reminded of the fact that I really cannot do any lifting and in the 20 degree weather I was pushing my luck.  So I backed off and relied on others to do the heavy lifting.

Finally with all the stuff loaded we hit the road…the journey to our final destination was pretty normal, a few slow downs here and there but in the back of my mind I was wondering how I was going to get everything unloaded from the car, pickup truck and U-Haul before the snow and rain set in. I felt utterly helpless knowing that what lied ahead I could not do on my own.  Fear of suffering with back pain again was not an option.

If you know me at all you will know that I hate feeling helpless. I think most of us hate that feeling.  Our society tell us that if you set your mind to it you can do anything.  Well…that just isn’t true folks…trust me on that one. Once you bust your back and have to have surgery, the reality of what you can and can’t do become much more clear. So this is where God loves to have us.  It is at this point that God uses people to remind us of what Christ’s love is like.

By the time we got to our final destination, where we were going, there were people just pulling in to help.  Four friends from church came to our rescue…my rescue.  They laid down their lives for a couple of hours to help someone that couldn’t help themselves.  You may think this is a sign of weakness or something, but I began to tear up standing in the back of the U-Haul as I was reminded of the love of Christ for me.  I saw the perfect love of Christ being lived out and demonstrated in the simple act of helping unload cars and trucks full of stuff.

You see, I could not be forgiven of my sins or go to heaven on my own.  I was helpless to get that job done on my own.  I had stuff in my life, sin, and frankly it was more than a few moving vans full.  I needed someone that was qualified and capable to do that job for me.

That is where Christ stepped in.

The passage at the beginning of this post says that “…while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

I was helpless yesterday, overwhelmed by my inability to do that job myself.  But in my helpless state others stepped in, demonstrating the love of Christ to me and my family, getting us to our final destination with joy, delight, and a few laughs along the way.  All I could do is accept the help with a humble, grateful heart.

We all have stuff.  We all sin.  But Jesus Christ, the one who we celebrate at this time of year, is the only one that can step in and help us.  Jesus Christ is the only way to get to heaven.  He is the only one that can move the sin out of our life.

I pray that as we celebrate this Christmas holiday, that you too are reminded of the precious gift of Jesus Christ.  That he came as a babe, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, was buried, and three days later rose again from the grave.  He reigns in heaven and longs to show you his never ending love.  I pray that you too know that eternal hope and perfect help that comes from Christ alone.  He is more than able to help you.  If you feel helpless this season, trust in Christ, turn to him and give him your stuff, trust him with your eternal salvation.