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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just Paying Respects?

I mentioned in my last blog that my mom and dad's preacher was shuckin' it at Easter! Well, let me tell you... I have not been able to get some of the things that he said out of my mind!! Obviously the Lord NEEDED to get a message across to me... especially after my preoccupation with toenail polish. (ya think!?)

So I won't be able to remember it word for word, but let me just tell you what I do know and I will pray that it has the same impact on you that it did on me. The following was the very beginning of his sermon and it definitely got everyone's attention. He had other great points too, but this one will be for this blog! There's more to come!!

He was talking about Jesus' death and burial. (Very appropriate for Easter. I am not making fun. I am just sayin'.) And he said that it would have been so much easier for the disciples if Jesus would have just stayed in the tomb. He said that every day that they were with Jesus they were on the move. They were being taught in large groups of people. They witnessed miracle after miracle and they moved constantly. There was never time for them to rest or to take the time to soak in all that Jesus did or said. He said that they had to be tired and the commitment was hard, but so worth it to be with God, Himself, on earth.

So when Jesus died they were very broken and saddened by His death, but it would have been so much easier on them had He just stayed in the tomb. It would have been so much easier to just go to the tomb and pay their respects than to have Him come back from the dead. When He was here He was their life... they ate with Him, slept with Him, traveled with Him and learned from Him. With Him gone... they could do as they pleased.

And then he asked, "What about YOU? Are you just here today to pay your respects for Jesus or are you here to let Him be your life?"

You could have heard a pin drop in that packed church. It was as if that pastor had stood on every toe in the building and asked each individual to answer.

OH! I wanted to YELL! "PREACH IT!!" He could not have been more dead on!

How do we view Jesus? No, He's not here in the physical form. He does not pull us along from town to town or have us sleep in the wilderness. He does not teach us through an audible voice or touch us with physical hands. His piercing eyes to not follow our every step.. not so that we can see.

Are we showing up each Sunday to pay our respects? Are we living our lives like He does not see? Do we give token time and energy His way?

It was so evident as we sat in that room that the silence indicated guilt. Every single one of us are guilty of paying our respects and not seeing Jesus for who He is or for the life that He lived and gave for us. That pastor challenged me that day to look at myself and the things that I do in the name of ministry or "going to church" and evaluate my motives.

If I am attending church for social reasons or for the simple sake of going then my attitude is in complete need of an overhaul. If I am ministering to people for any reason other than to bring them closer to the knowledge of Jesus' love and forgiveness then I am not ministering and my actions need to change.

Lord, thank you for the hard lessons. I need to learn that You deserve so much more than my respects, but You deserve my all! I am sorry for being so shallow at times. Lord, please help me to see Your people and Your church the way that You do. Help me to love You more and to adore Your for the life that You lived and gave for ME! Your eye is ever on me and I am grateful! You do not let me fall and You are always faithful to hear my cry. Help me to be faithful to love You with all that I am.

4 comments:

JenB said...

Wow! While I've never heard of "shuckin'", he makes a great point. I probably need to think about it for a while before I comment. Too late! I'll be praying about that one.

Stephanie said...

Melissa, oh my goodness your words are so powerful, you are such a powerful person. I love listening to the things you say and reading your blog. I don't know if you could tell that by the e-mail. Heehee. And look that is a great feeling when you want to yell out "preach it"

Valarie said...

GIRL!! I don't even know what to say. I thought it was bad that Dr. B says "Hey, I haven't seen some of you in about a year" Sun morning (is that funny or what?) but THAT is good stuff!! I can't believe you didn't give a shout out. Girl, you know if I would'a been with you we could'a shouted it together!! ;-)

Love ya girl and that's GOOD STUFF!!!
V

Faith said...

Wow...so true and very convicting.
I haven't heard of "shuckin" either, but he sounds like he was bringin' it! Amen!
Thanks for this challenging reminder that He should be my ALL...He is Worthy!