The phlebotomist opened the door, sourly confirmed my name for the blood test, and pointed at where I was to sit. She seemed extremely unhappy through her expression, and tone. I asked if she was having a good day, and to my shock, she said “Yes.” Seeking to make conversation, I asked what consisted of a bad day for her. She said, “Grouchy and unpleasant patients.” I wondered silently if her attitude might contribute to patients being unhappy.
Don’t you enjoy being around happy, pleasant people? I certainly do. It is good for us to check own attitudes and pleasantness. How do we rate? Are we sour and demanding or contagiously joyful? Will others see the light of Christ in us and want to be around us or avoid us? “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
I admit it. I really like to laugh and be happy. As such I can struggle with being sober-minded. However, that isn’t much of a challenge lately (Titus 2:2). My heart is so heavy with grieving and mourning. What am I so troubled about? The spiritual condition of our nation, churches, and “Christian” families. Jeremiah has been my favorite prophet through the years, and I can relate more and more now.
When Israel conquered the land, God told them “thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth” (Deuteronomy 20:16). I told Teri the other night when we read that, I couldn’t imagine being a warrior then and having to carry out that command on the young and old. It is beyond my wildest imagination, yet, if God said it, He meant it. It revealed how serious God was about sin and wickedness corrupting His children.
God commanded it because He didn’t want this to happen: “That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 20:18). When we have the “good life,” we focus more and more on pleasure and forget our God Who said “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Ephesians 1:4).
“For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant” (Deuteronomy 31:20).
Instead of believers reaching the lost world, the world is reaching believers. Instead of the church reaching the world, the world is successfully reaching the church.
What is one word you hated to hear from your mother? That word still seems to bring sighs and groans today from most adults. It’s something that the greater expects of the lesser. Some would consider how well a person deals with it as a measure of the man.
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalms 27:14).
Assuming you have to work for a living, you likely have noticed something at work. It is amazing to me how men generally act around women in the workplace. Regardless of which one initiates it, it is common for there to be interactions between a man and woman much closer and familiar than is appropriate for someone who is married. It has the appearance that one of them might be “fishing” so to speak. No wonder divorce is rampant. Hopefully, that doesn’t describe any Seriously Dads reading this. I pray that we take our marriage vows seriously.
Along a similar thought, could many be courting disaster? Do you know that we are “married to another” —the Lord Jesus? “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:4). Our life is bound to His. He bought us with His precious blood. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Surely you have noticed others espoused to the Lord, yet flirting with the world. Some give much more than just inappropriate attention. They have given their heart to another. Keep distance from the world. Set your heart on Him. Be in His Word. Consume it every morning.
I had lunch with someone who rejects any belief in Jesus. We discussed how he came to that position. It was a sad story involving being around many stale church services and religious, hypocritical people who “persuaded” him to never want anything to do with God.
There was one noteworthy story that would be helpful for us. Years ago an eight-year-old relative was visiting him, and the topic turned to belief in Jesus. He told her that he didn’t believe in Jesus. At which point her face “turned upside down,” and she began weeping. She pleaded with him to trust Jesus, and when he declined, she began sobbing and sobbing. This went on for quite a while to where he finally promised her he would go to church a few times to learn more. After all these years, the mental picture, as he told me of her love and concern for him and her uncontrollable sobbing brought him to tears.
Sharing Christ with others out of obedience is better than not sharing. However, having love and a broken heart for the one you are sharing with cuts to the heart. I’m sure you know I’m not saying we must sob over the lost we know but may our hearts be broken like Paul’s was for salvation for the Jews. As long as one has breath, there is still time to repent. Are you sharing Christ?
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart” (Romans 9:1-2).