Our church sends out occasional emails, our Pastor write alot of them and they are all great! Today’s email was just amazing and spoke right to the core of my heart. It encouraged and challenged me, I had to forward it on to our home group just in case some of them didn’t get it or didn’t take time to read it yet. For a second I wanted to feel shame and guilt, I am such a doer its sometimes hard for me to understand that its not by performance. I good at relaxing that’s for sure. I love to be busy but I have plenty of lazy moments and days! But I am not relaxing in God like I should in any area of my life. Something I need to work on for sure!! Enjoy the message below!
|from the desk of Pastor Jess
Our vacation is coming to a close. It has been awesome, restful, and refreshing. What a joy that I have spent time with the best woman in the world; thank You, Jesus.
I am so looking forward to this weekend, spending time with the people we love so dearly. What a weekend it will be.
We have spent a summer, on purpose, resting. We closed down so many things we usually do to give everyone a rest. I hope you have filled your schedule with a time to relax this summer.
Every once in a while I notice that people relax but not in God, and when this happens a kind of spiritual falling takes place.
I have wondered, what causes people to fall spiritually over the years?
Usually, I have discovered, people don’t know they have fallen spiritually until their children are in a crisis they don’t seem to have an answer for. Further, their marriage is stressed, their debt accumulates, and fatigue increases. Finally, they find more exhilaration away from God, so they miss devotion time, church attendance, fellowship connections, and giving opportunities, and they do so without giving much notice.
If they are students, their grades slide for no apparent reason; if they are an employee, evaluations plummet; if an employer, their business hits a tailspin they have no answer for.
Inwardly they are without vision, spiritual hope, mental energy, and emotional joy. They have not been aware of their slow dip into their back-sliding condition until catastrophe finally emerges leaving them hopeless.
Beware of Things that Make for a Decline …
First, Personal Time in Christ’s Presence Is Neglected.
A couple of days and a few Sundays go by, and time with Jesus is absent; all the while the mind pretends all is steady.
“The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3 ESV
Second, Personal Time with Other Believers Is Neglected.
It is foolish to imagine that we can live apart from the encouragement of others. I cannot see myself accurately. I obsess over weaknesses and magnify the mountains; others give me Christ’s courage to see something much different.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
Third, Personal Time for Margins Is Neglected.
When a life is consumed with what doesn’t matter and neglects what does it is because the mind and heart has become consumed with an imaginary sense of urgency.
“… making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16 ESV
Take time to relax as you finish out your summer, but above all become really good at relaxing your life in Christ.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalms 23:1-2 ESV
Pastor Jess Strickland