We are a culture and a people who do not like to wait.
Gary Thomas writes that many elevators do not have a working button that will manually close the elevator doors, but include a fake close door button just to appease the impatient people who need to think they are doing something to speed up the process!
According to a post thread at yelp.com, the worst places to wait include:
DMV -Airport Security -Border Crossings -Restrooms -Amusement Parks -Post Offices -Banks -Emergency Rooms -Grocery Stores -Parking Lot's after a Concert/ Game
God is Slow
God's Process of Spiritual Growth usually involves some type of waiting. Waiting on God's timing, His deliverance, His will, His message. In our timeline, God feels slow to act. Thankfully, God is not threatened by our timeline. He may be slow to act according to what we want, but He is wonderfully intentional in making us wait. You see...
God doesn't waste our waiting.
For we wait as followers of Jesus in Hope (not despair).
Isaiah 40:31 and Romans 8:23-25 incredibly explains how waiting leads us to Hope in God. And as we wait, God produces in us, Godly character. Waiting is part of God's good and perfect plan to shape us and make us mature followers of Jesus Christ.
Questions for You and I to Ponder
What are you waiting for?
Do you feel Hopeful as you wait?
Do you see your waiting producing Godly character in your life?
Give up yourself, and you’ll find your real self.
Lose your life and you’ll save it.
Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life.
Keep nothing back.
Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.
Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.
Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.
But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
-CS Lewis in "Beyond Personality"
As I was leaving the grocery store last night
A homeless man standing outside the grocery store asked me for spare change. I stopped and talked to him for awhile, trying to offer him a listening ear as an act of compassion and mercy. As I was talking and listening to him, one of the managers of the healthy and environmentally conscious local grocery store walked up next to us and asked the man to leave.
On one hand
I completely understand why the manager would do this. He has a business to oversee and doesn't want his customers thinking twice before visiting his store because they know they have to deal with panhandlers in the parking lot.
On the other hand
I find it ironic that a company who represents itself as the store of caring for the environment and of caring for people's health, cannot take the time to care for the poor marginalized homeless man standing outside its doors.
Here is the dilemma for places like this grocery store
The individual employees and even the corporation may be caring and compassionate people. Yet the bottom line is that they are a business. Their ultimate goal as a business in a free market economy is to make money. This is why the Church can always offer more in terms of compassion and care than a health conscious grocery store or frankly any business or government institution.
The Church is not a business.
The church doesn't have as its ultimate goal to make money. The Church's ultimate goal is to glorify and serve God! One way God tells us that we can glorify and serve Him is through caring for the poor and marginalized around us. Another way is by offering people God's unconditional love regardless of whether or not they are a 'customer.'
So last night as I left my conversation with the homeless man, I invited him to come visit our Church, hoping and knowing that our Church could serve and care for Him like no one else can. May it be true.
I overcame a major hurdle over the weekend, but abstaining from the stuff
right before I taught a sermon on Sunday morning. I have become convicted that I often use coffee (Or the psychological effects of it) to get prepared to teach on Sunday mornings or Tuesday nights. It was important for me this last Sunday to not use coffee for these purposes and instead trust that God through the Holy Spirit would give me the energy and focus that I needed.
Want to listen to my non-coffee powered sermon from Sunday? Go here.
Along those lines, Eric Wakeling sent me a link to a great and insightful post from Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christians Like. Check it out.
About a month ago I was listening to Kari Jobe's version of the 'Revelation Song'
while reading through Revelation chapters 3 and 4. The following is what I wrote in my notebook based upon what I was listening to and reading that day.
I decided to include what I wrote, in my sermon today.
Here is what I wrote:
Jesus is Huge.
He is Worthy.
He is THE Almighty.
Jesus is the one was and who is and who is to come.
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega,
The first and the last, the beginning and the end.
Nothing compares to Him,
Nothing competes with Him,
Nothing threatens Him,
Nothing overcomes Him,
Nothing Holds Him Back,
Nothing Contains Him,
Nothing Surprises Him,
Nothing Makes Him Fearful or Scared or Worried.
Jesus is the One and Only who is worthy to receive Glory and Honor and Power,
For In Him all things were created and Because of His Will everything exists,
By Him, For Him and Through Him!
How could anyone of us be spiritually asleep in the presence of Jesus!
Jesus’ Authority and
Demand our full attention!!!
I ended the morning reading from Ephesians 5:14, I love this passage:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."